Talent: Our Spring’17 Graduates

Our students, who come to us from diverse paths and backgrounds, have these traits in common: aptitude to work in technology; recognition that acquiring coding skills will dramatically improve their career options; willingness to put in the work to develop those skills.

Each graduate has a resume, a portfolio, a sense of what kind of work would be a good fit for them. Check out the stories of some of our students, represented by their initials.


Summary / DJA has two engineering degrees, then ten years of experience working in transportation engineering: five years as an engineer (a lot of CAD) and then five years of automating company processes, designing and implementing server-based and cloud-based systems.

Why DJA  Took The Front End Course / Wanted to be able to customize the front end of enterprise software; and to work with developers based on a more solid understanding of data structures and the development process.

What’s Next / Based on strengths in engineering and business process automation, now-solid skills in HTML & CSS, DJA is looking for an internship involving the customization and implementation of enterprise software.  Studying next:  SQL, PowerShell or .NET


Summary / TAF has a BFA degree and worked for six years in graphic design, layout, digital prepress, followed by a move into email and digital marketing.  A switch away from digital arts, and into administration and sales for a few years left TAF craving an updated toolkit, to work in front end design and development.

Why TAF Took The Front End Course / With solid HTML and some CSS skills, TAF knew that responsive design, frameworks, client side JS and JS libraries, and updated workplace tools for collaboration and version control, would be the needed to get back into a creative career.

My Next Role / TAF would thrive as an intern at a digital marketing company, or as part of an in-house digital design or comms team.  As part of the PinDrop Project, TAF has the experience of working a full project design cycle, wireframing out and building an app from scratch.


Summary / Six semesters of computer engineering – C++, algorithms, analytics, math and physics – was great.  MVM then made a living as a musician and freelance Angular developer, for a while.  MVM has tremendous passion for code, is an analytical, energetic, team player who can script, debug, troubleshoot and learn fast.

Why MVM Took The Back End Course / Wanted to broaden and solidify back end dev skills.  With strong JavaScript skills already, the course gave MVM a chance to work on projects in PHP, Python, Ruby and their frameworks. Equally important: a structure to build projects and interact with mentors and employers to practice software dev culture.

Next Role /MVM would be a great fit at a mid-sized dev shop where everyone communicates openly, pushes for the best solution, but goes home before the kids go to bed. Bonus if there’s side projects that involve machine learning and AI.


Summary / FNT, passionate about computing and all things data, is an ex-Marine with several semesters of undergrad computer science, then trained as an electronics technician in the service. FNT has been using and teaching Java and C++ for a decade, working with XML schema to wrangle data on and off for six  years.

Why FNT Took The Back End Course / Modern scripting languages Python, Django, Ruby, and Ruby on Rails  are fast and powerful tools to build user-friendly applications for datamining and data analysis. The Back End course prepared FNT to add to existing knowledge (XML, SQL, Java, Windows and Unix/Linux server) and develop a data miners’ toolkit.

Next Role / An internship in app dev for a organization driven to build data analysis tools and predictive engines. A deep dive job that allows use of a broad and varied toolkit in passionate pursuit of data would be a perfect cultural fit.


Summary / A geology major, math minor who has passed several actuary exams, AWB is drawn to complex, rigorous problem solving frameworks. Very open communicator, strong interpersonal skills. Starting in 2015, courses online and in classrooms at FMCC (Java and Database programming) provided first exposure to computer science. As of July 2017, AWB is an analytical, communicative, emerging back end developer.

Why AWB  Took The Back End Course /  AWB is looking to shift from a current, technical job, into a computing internship with a developer trajectory.  The chance to build projects in PHP, Python and Ruby provided exposure to different scripting approaches, and let AWB connect the dots with tools for data visualization, data management, and web-based performance issues.

Next Role /  The classical knowledge base for programmers – mathemathical analysis, and database – combined with passion for and emerging skill with PHP, set up AWB  as a good candidate for an internship in full stack or back end using LAMP/WAMP stack. A mid-size or enterprise environment – or a creative workplace where the staff keep regular hours – would be a good cultural fit.  Learning Next / Laravel, Automated Testing/CI


Summary /Natural mathematician, came to study coding through the Ruby-based Firehose Project after 6 semesters toward a BS in Math and a few relocations for family reasons.  Careful and patient, RM is in his element in the data modelling and database aspects of a project; and after the Back End course in PHP, Python and Ruby still loves Ruby best.

Why RM  Took The Back End Course /  Prior to AlbanyCanCode, RM’s coding education and project experience was limited to online and remote environments.  In-person, real time, cohort-based instruction with an optional team project (the PinDrop Project) as well as mentors from local employers gave RM exposure to developer culture, and a handle on the sftware development process.  Though RM still loves Ruby best, the 3-language curriculum (PHP, Python and Ruby) integrated with adjacent server-side and workplace tools (Git, Slack, and libraries and frameworks for all 3 languages) made RM a broader-base technologist – more of a “technology agnostic” who can dive into and make best use of a variety of languages.

Next Role /  An internship in full stack or back end development role or a data-intensive job with a software development firm. A small or mid-size company with a moderate to quick pace of work would be a good cultural fit.