For Nicole Ahima, dance has always been a passion. And as artistic director of Music City Dance Alliance, she’s been developing the vision and associated programs that help grow a new generation of dancers.

Now, she is ready to do another sort of development—software. In January, Ahima was among the twelve graduates of Nashville Software School’s inaugural evening cohort.  

“It’s definitely been rewarding. It was scary. It was hard,” Ahima told Nashville podcaster Clark Buckner at the demo day on Jan. 13. “At the end of the day, I’m really excited for what the future holds after a year here.”

The capstone project she presented at the demo day incorporated both her passions. Built on HTML/CSS with a C# and .NET backend framework, her sign-in application for Dance World of Nashville allows the office to cut out its reliance on paper-based forms.

A 2010 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a major in psychology, she thought the hardest part of going through the year-long coding program was in relearning how to learn. “After not having to learn and study in so long and then coming in here and learning something completely from scratch, it’s definitely been an adjustment,” says Ahima, who realized her love for the “clean, simple, visual” work of front-end development.

And a career as a front-end developer is what she hopes to land soon. As she searches for opportunities in Nashville, she is already broadening her skill sets by enrolling in the NSS professional development course on UX and UI for digital product design.

Catch all interviews by Clark Buckner with all the newest graduates of Nashville Software School here.  

From Dancer to Coder