- First job: Nanny for family friends.
- Things she can't live without: My family and friends. And Haribo Gold-Bears!
- Tess in three words: Fun, weird, hardworking
Why are you at Starter School?
I came to Starter School to learn how to build web applications and to change the direction of my professional and personal life. I only signed up for the first three months, but loved the experience so much that I signed up for three more!
What's one thing that you have been surprised by at Starter School?
I have been surprised by how willing the teachers, mentors and other classmates are to help you when a problem arises, whether in school or out.
Is there one experience that stands out for you at Starter School?
The first hackathon definitely stands out to me because I had never taken part in one before, and I didn’t really know what it involved. Prior to Starter School, I always assumed the goal of a hackathon was to hack into some unnamed system and do some harm. I quickly learned it was not. It was exciting to see how much people were able to accomplish in 24 hours.
What was the first day of Starter School like?
The first day was exciting and a little nerve racking. But just like every other day since, we dove in headfirst and started learning right away.
How do you explain Starter School to your friends, family, and/or significant others?
I describe Starter School as an accelerated programming school that teaches you how to build the back-end and front-end of web applications. The school also teaches by inviting respected individuals from the community to speak about technology, design, entrepreneurship, and their own experiences.
What makes Starter School different than other classes/schools you've been to?
Starter School stands on its own because of how it is structured. It is a completely different way of learning than college in that it is completely immersive.
What are you building right now?
I just built a blog that pulls in real time information as data points for the blogger. For my first trimester project I built an application that would allow homeless shelters to register occupants, which would in-turn record which homeless shelters, around Chicago, were full and identify those who have open beds. It still needs a lot of work and research, but I am happy with what I have been able to build so far.
What would you say to someone interested in joining Starter School?
I would tell them how much I have enjoyed the experience, that I have learned more than I ever could have imagined, that the teachers and topics are amazing, and to apply now.
Who or what inspires you and why?
Besides my family, I am inspired by design, both good and bad. Good design excites me and pushes me to learn as much as I can so that one day I can build something that other people love. Bad design makes me aware of how important it is to keep it simple and make sure it works.
What's something you've done in your life that you're most proud of?
I would say taking a risk to go back to school for something I didn’t know much about was a pretty great decision.