Episode 38 - The Bootcamp Experience: From Padawan to Coding Master with Steve Brownlee

Episode 38 – The Bootcamp Experience: From Padawan to Coding Master with Steve Brownlee

Today we have a very special guest on the show – Steve Brownlee. Steve has been a lead instructor at Nashville Software School since 2015 and has watched the program grow and mature over the last 4 years. He has taught and mentored many students (including me in cohort 12!) through NSS’s program and watched them launch their software development careers.

Steve has over 25 years of web and software development experience across a variety of industries working with different programming languages, tools, and technologies. He stays very plugged into the Nashville technology community.

He enjoys sharing his coding and learning knowledge with others, working on his calligraphy with high quality pens, and bookmaking.

Did we miss anything, Steve?


Topic Intro
“This is Episode Number 38 “The Bootcamp Experience: From Padawan to Coding Master”. Today we’ll be talking about attending bootcamps from an instructor’s perspective, with advice about preparing to learn, absorbing new concepts, and taking your career to the next level.”


“‘Sharpening the Tools’ is the section of the show where we discuss what tools we’re using, concepts we’re learning, and generally how we are continuing our learning in software development.”


“Sharpening the Tools”


More review of Python basics. A lot of it has been basics you learn every time you learn a new language so far, but just getting used to Python syntax, because it’s a bit different than what I’m used to with C# and JavaScript.



Slack integration.


Steve (optional):

I’ll be talking about learning Docker


“Opening the Toolbox”


Episode Outline

We are welcoming Steve Brownlee to the show today to discuss his role as a bootcamp coach and lead instructor, and to share advice he has for people looking to enroll in a bootcamp program, are currently going through a bootcamp program, or who have finished and are now looking for their first developer job.

  1. How did you learn to code when you first started? What resources were available to you?
  2. What would you tell someone thinking about enrolling a software bootcamp? How can they best prepare for the 6+ months of firehose of information they’ll be receiving? What other considerations are there?
  3. What traits or behaviors help bootcamp students be successful?
  4. How do you adapt your teaching to different learning styles?
  5. What are some tactics for helping students stay encouraged during the program, especially when they reach the “valley / pit of despair”?
  6. How do you design a curriculum? Is it a challenge to balance fundamentals with ‘chasing the latest hotness’? How do you decide which languages, frameworks, etc. are relevant?
  7. What are some things that might indicate someone is NOT cut out for a bootcamp style education? What learning resources/paths would you suggest to them instead?
  8. What are some hiring trends you’ve noticed as a software instructor?
  9. Of your students that get hired quickly, what are some ways they get noticed by employers?
  10. What are some tips you’d suggest for developers to keep their careers open to opportunities even after they land their first developer job?





Where to find Steve?:

LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevenbrownlee/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_stevebrownlee

Website: https://stevebrownlee.com/



Carol Dweck – Growth Mindset, Typing skills, Determination

Extra Links


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