Nebraska Dev Lab May Update

Nebraska Dev Lab May Update

Meet the Nebraska Dev Lab Team: Chad Michel

Each month, we meet the team members working with the participants during their Integrated Pipeline journey. 
This month, we’re highlighting Don’t Panic Labs Senior Software Architect Chad Michel.

What do you do as a software professional at Don’t Panic Labs, and (briefly) what is your background?
I run our professional services organization within DPL. We take innovators’ ideas and turn them into products.

What do you teach in the Integrated Pipeline Program?
I teach some of the software engineering-related courses.

What is something you’ve learned from your real-world experience as a software professional that you didn’t learn in school?
Classic school education doesn’t cover how to structure large software systems. Schools focus on small problems where the software design isn’t as important. Software design matters a lot in the real world, and it is often a missing topic in college programs.

What is something you wished you received from your education that you hope to provide to the next cohort?
The importance of automated testing.

What is one piece of advice you’d give participants to be successful in the Integrated Pipeline Program?
You have to love to learn to be good at developing software. You must always be learning, not just during the program but after it too.

Why would you recommend the Integrated Pipeline Program to potential participants and sponsor organizations?
The fusion of a traditional college education with real-world experience makes the program truly unique. Students get the benefit of both class education and experience.

Meet the Spring ’22 Cohort

Cassie Christensen

Why did you apply to the Integrated Pipeline Program? How did you hear about it?
I initially heard about the program during my company’s annual town hall. I had been giving a lot of thought to my professional future and what I wanted that to look like. The program itself interested me because of the opportunity to make learning my full-time job, the ability to work with Doane University Professors as well as Don’t Panic Labs developers, and the amount of hands-on experience. 

What is your current level of familiarity with software development?
Before the program, I had no experience in software development.

What excites you most about starting the program? What are you most nervous about?
I am excited about the opportunities it will create as well as the daily challenges. I am nervous about the amount of information we have to learn since there has already been so much covered in the first week, but at the same time, each day has been incredibly satisfying. It’s very rewarding when I am given a problem to solve and can figure it out and have it start “clicking.”

Looking ahead, how do you see the program impacting your professional career?
I see it having a huge impact on my career. What I like most about the software development field is that there are so many different opportunities and pathways one could pursue.

Maggie Freemyer-Ackerman

Why did you apply to the Integrated Pipeline Program? How did you hear about it?
Software development seems like a very interesting and challenging field. I’ve dreamt of becoming a developer for years. A friend told me about the internal posting at work, and I could hardly believe my eyes when I read it.

What is your current level of familiarity with software development?
I currently have close to zero familiarity with software development.

What excites you most about starting the program? What are you most nervous about?
I am extremely excited that I have such incredible resources at my fingertips and am actually starting to learn to code. And I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do this (instead of the other way around). I’m nervous that I won’t be able to grasp everything as quickly as needed.

Looking ahead, how do you see the program impacting your professional career?
I see this program completely changing the trajectory of my career. Before, I had a job. Now, I’m pursuing a career that I’m passionate about.

Seeking Sponsor Organizations for Upcoming Cohort


Nebraska Dev Lab is now accepting applications from sponsor organizations for our next cohort beginning September 12.

Organizations interested in sponsoring participants can email devlab@dontpaniclabs.com.

 

Nebraska Dev Lab is an academic/corporate partnership between Doane University and Don’t Panic Labs, which aims to help address the shortage of qualified software developers in Nebraska.

Organizations sponsor individuals — at any level of experience — to participate in the Integrated Pipeline Program. At the end of the Program, these individuals will emerge as full-stack developers.

Learn more at dontpaniclabs.com/devlab.