Nashville Software School Collaborates With Amazon For Software Engineering Program


Amazon is working with the Nashville Software School to create a software engineering program focused on expanding opportunities for adults looking to enter technology careers.

Amazon had contacted the Nashville Software School to see if it wanted to adapt Amazon’s in-house Technical Academy to make it publicly available, according to John Wark, founder and CEO of the Nashville Software School.

“They are a major player in the tech talent market here in Nashville,” Wark said. “It didn’t take long for us to figure out that, yes, we would be interested in pursuing this.”

John Wark founded the Nashville Software School in 2012 and prepares students for entry-level tech jobs.

The Nashville Software School is a nonprofit software boot camp that aims to prepare adults for jobs in tech. It has long focused on students with underrepresented backgrounds in tech jobs, according to Wark.

Many companies, like Amazon, often require computer science degrees for their software engineering jobs, but Amazon plans to treat graduation from this nine-month program the same as a degree, Wark said. He hopes other tech companies will follow his lead.

The program is longer than the school’s other six-month programs, and the school plans to increase the size of the program beyond its typical 25 students. Wark explained that this program is “narrower and deeper” by focusing on large and complex applications that run on the server side. The school’s more balanced full-stack curriculum examines both the server side and the front-end of web applications.

Packaging boxes at Amazon Warehouse in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., Thursday June 10, 2021.

Packaging boxes at Amazon Warehouse in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., Thursday June 10, 2021.

The June 2022 cohort will launch with 25 students, but the school’s goal is to increase class sizes to 50 by October. The program will be taught virtually.

“This program alone could double the number of students we admit in a year compared to where we are today in our current program,” Wark said.

The potential to double the program is tied to Nashville’s growth as a tech city, Wark said. The tech scene in Nashville could grow both through the move of tech companies to Nashville, as well as remote workers looking for a smaller city.

The program aims not only to help students develop their software engineering skills, both practically and academically, but also on their skills in the workplace. The school has career development teams to prepare students for post-graduation job searches.

“We are a vocational school,” Wark said of the graduate students. “It doesn’t make sense to give up the mission just because they’re not a butt in school anymore.”

“At Amazon, we strive to remove barriers such as time and money for our employees so that they can pursue professional training and education opportunities essential for the jobs of the future. This fits well with the nonprofit mission of the Nashville Software School and focuses on affordability and reducing financial barriers, ”said Sarah Castle, director of the Amazon Technical Academy, in a press release on Monday. .

Nashville Software School plans to start with its first cohort in June 2022. The nine-month program costs $ 18,000 and tuition assistance is available. Classes take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, and take place virtually.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Nashville Software School and Amazon Collaborate on Engineering Program


Gordon K. Morehouse