Careers in Code: Congratulations Cohort 4!

Hack Upstate
11 min readApr 3, 2023

We’re very proud and excited to announce the graduation of the Cohort 4 students enrolled in our Careers in Code program!

Our capstone presentations and graduation ceremony was held on Thursday, March 16 @ the James Commons Campus Center at Le Moyne College.

Immediately following the capstone project presentations was the graduation ceremony where each student received a diploma.

Every one of these determined students continued to engage in class even when it transitioned from in-person to virtual, and went on to graduate from Careers in Code. We’re so proud of our fourth cohort of students and can’t wait to see them take the next step in their software development careers!

You can view their capstone presentations and graduation ceremony here, some photos here, and a congratulations video here.

The Capstone

A Careers in Code capstone project is a personal endeavor by each student to showcase their skills by building a full-stack application of their choice which they’ve been working on over the past 24 weeks. Students demonstrated their projects, explained the complex problems and challenges they addressed, and celebrated the new skills they have learned through their journey.

Our Graduates

Here are some of the highlights of our graduates’ capstone projects:

Schneider Joachim — Watch presentation

Project: EVNow

The problem? With the growing popularity of electric vehicles (EV), many people may be foreign to what an EV is.

EVNow is a web app that helps to answer some questions and inform people about the world of electric vehicles. Schneider created his own database using SQL and Postgres, and all the data about the EVs in his website comes from there. Throughout the process, Schneider realized that he really loves working on the backend, and is really proud of the work he did to create an MVP of his project. The ‘Shop EVs’ page allows a user to choose a make and then a model, and the information populates from the database Schneider created. The user can then compare vehicles. The news page populates real time news and links via an API call. Schneider is looking forward to adding more to his project in the future.

Jordan Murray — Watch presentation

Project: NeonGrin

Jordan was having trouble finding a hub where he and his friends could have watch parties, where they can watch their favorite anime shows and movies — so he decided to build one!

Starting with planning, Jordan used Figma to help him plan the layout for his site, and all the components he would need to make it functional. On the homepage, Jordan has embedded some live streams of his favorite shows, and has a schedule under the videos where users can see what times different shows will be available. Jordan also put a lot of time into the comments feature, which allows everyone watching to comment in real time, adding the comment to the database and then retrieving it to display in the sidebar. In the future, Jordan wants to add a login and profile feature to his project.

Jennifer Harris — Watch presentation

Project: Family Finder

A personal problem Jennifer wanted to solve was, how can we assist with the rehoming of animals when people face health challenges or financial problems and can no longer care for their pets?

Jennifer created a webpage where people who are looking for pets, can find pets that need homes — particularly pets that had to be rehomed if their previous owner was suddenly unable to care for them anymore. She was passionate about solving this problem and began by wireframing and created mockups to help her envision what the site would look like. She has a page with pets that need new homes as well as a page where people can donate to help the animals. In the future she would like to eventually have some animals in the ‘available for adoption’ and ‘animal information’ tabs, which will come from an API call to her database. Up next, Jennifer would like to continue learning some new coding languages, build some websites for her portfolio and friends, and is exploring more educational opportunities to further her coding knowledge.

Brandon Furze — Watch presentation

Project: Plant-a-Box

The problem? Access to fresh food is a widespread issue. Brandon wanted to help find a way to teach people to grow their own food — regardless of where they live.

His initial plan was to build a water tracker for indoor plants, but throughout the course of the program, he was able to add other features. He found that his project idea was too big, and he spent time focusing on the MVP instead. Scaling things down into smaller, more manageable parts helped him get more done. One of the most important parts of his project is the database. Upon selection of a plant from the dropdown list, an image and some information appears. The data is coming from his database that he created using postgres and SQL. He also has a journal section that acts like a blog for users to track their progress. In the future Brandon would love to continue implementing new features in his project, such as a photo upload feature to the journal form.

Egzona Imeri — Watch presentation

Project: After Grad Prep

Applying to graduate school costs a lot of money, and Egzona wanted a way to make the process easier by helping recent college graduates figure out which schools would be a perfect match for them before applying.

Her solution was to allow prospective students to put in their information and receive three matching schools that they could apply to. Egzona spent a lot of time planning out her project using wire framing and figma. She enjoyed thinking about the user experience. This allowed her to plan the complicated forms and pages she needed to make her project come to life.. She created her own database with all of the data she wanted available for each school. The biggest challenge she faced was creating the algorithm she needed to be able to get the schools that matched the user information. She created a custom algorithm using javascript and it took 150 lines of code!

Kalaivani Saravanan — Watch presentation

Project: Syracuse Hospital ER Status

Kalai works as a researcher full time, and is keen on learning new things related to data analysis. She noticed that people wait in the emergency room for very long periods of time. She wanted to help improve the ER system for everyone involved, so she created something that would allow the hospital admin, patients, EMS and more to see the status of the ER.

To plan her project she used paper drawings and notes and an Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) for her database structure. Her project is built in React, and her database uses postgres and SQL. The pages that are displayed depend upon who is signed in to the site. Kalai implemented a secure login page which allows hospital admin to see how many patients are waiting, and data about the patients as necessary, but nobody else can see that data. In the future she hopes to make this come to life with real hospital data.

Patrick Oswald — Watch presentation

Project: Be Someone Kind

The problem? Patrick found a need for resources for the marginalized and LGBTQ community, especially for youth, who are facing homelessness, abuse and discrimination.

Patrick found from personal experience that what he needed was someone kind so he wanted to create a way to help the community and educate others on the problems affecting marginalized youth, including homelessness and mental health. His site features contact information for various community resources for youth struggling with these issues and more. It also features a mental health awareness page which Patrick hopes to complete in the near future to help people better understand these issues. Up next he wants to complete the website and be able to allow it to be an active community resource!

Naujalique Brady — Watch presentation

Project: Graceful Eye Photography

As a hobby photographer, Nauj wanted to create a website that allows her to showcase her work and create a way to connect with other photographers. To plan, Nauj created wireframes using Figma to lay out her site. Nauj learned to manage her time and debug her own errors along the way, and learned multiple languages to help her build her completed site. She built her project using React, css, node.js and SQL, and published her project through github projects. Her site features a photo gallery that pulls photos from the database she created. In the future she would like to add categories to organize her photos, an upload form for other photographers, and to improve the user experience and UI.

Artrell Capers — Watch presentation

Project: Coupon Clip

Artrell wanted to solve the age old problem of forgetting to bring coupons with you to the store. Especially with the rising cost of food, coupons can save you some money. He wanted to solve the problem by having the convenience of access to all his coupons on his phone or other internet capable device. In his website, the stores are grouped by region, and it uses a database he created, to provide a link to each store in that region that will bring you the stores webpage to find locations nearest to you. In the future, he would like to continue to expand the stores in the app, and add a geolocation feature so that the app knows which store to find coupons for based on where the user is when in use.

Alba Diaz — Watch presentation

Project: Food Resources in Syracuse, NY

Alba saw a need in the community for a food pantry database — so that’s exactly what she created. She wanted to make it easier for people in need to find food pantries near them. They are often hard to find, closed, or difficult to find out hours of operation. There is a general lack of information in this field. Alba currently works in the northeast community center as a digital navigator, helping people learn how to use computers and tech. Her website is designed to be easily accessible by region, with a collection of food pantries for each region generated by her own database. She spent a lot of time researching, and putting together the information so others don’t have to. She used wireframes to plan her project and then created the first version in basic html and css. She then refactored her code to use React and created the database. In the future, Alba would like to expand by growing the database to add to the list of resources. It is currently online for people to use!

Nyasia Graves — Watch presentation

Project: Al Bacio Ricette

Nyasia is passionate about cooking and wanted a single place to be able to go to for all her favorite recipes instead of having to go to multiple sites. She created a website where people can search, upload and share recipes and the passion for cooking. Nyasia is especially fond of Italian food and culture, and it inspired the name for her project. She built her database to hold recipes. Currently, users can create an account, upload a recipe and search by category. They can also log in and see the top recipes on the site. She would eventually like for these to come from her database and be ordered by the recipes with the most clicks from users. Nyasia would like to continue learning, and get a job in the field.

Brian Hill — Watch presentation

Project: CheckBall!

Brian enjoys meeting new people through playing recreational sports, but often finds it difficult to coordinate meetups and games. His goal was to create a very simple to use app to help people coordinate recreational sports together. The stack Brian chose to use was React, node, postgres and is deployed using AWS. First he created a wireframe and entity relationship diagram (ERD) to help him structure the database. When a user logs in, they can filter by sport to find events happening nearby. A user can also post a meetup with details of the sport they are hosting, and it will show to other users. Up next, Brian would like to land a job and keep coding. He wants to continue learning and make more personal projects as well.

Thank You Partners

Careers in Code would not be possible without the tremendous amount of support from our partners.

Onondaga County Seal, black and white round logo with symbols in the center

Onondaga County

Erie 21 Logo, green with light green and white words that say ‘Erie 21’

Le Moyne College’s ERIE 21 Initiative

CenterState CEO


Working Solutions

Thank You Instructors, TAs, and Subject Matter Experts!

Our instructors, TAs, and subject matter experts work hard to ensure a quality classroom experience for our students. We want to thank Max Matthews, Karin Thorne, La’Tonia Mertica, Mel Saffold, Kaitlyn Warboy, Ryan Gaus, Nathan Evans, Ariel Murphy, Shantina Perez, Christi Harlow and Doug Roussin for providing classroom instruction, teaching assistant support, mentoring, and learning resources for our cohort 3 students.

Thank You Team!

Jesse Peplinski — Partner

Doug Crescenzi — Partner

Max Matthews — Lead instructor, responsible for our program curriculum as well as providing support to and meeting with students who have questions.

Jason Scharf — Student Success Representative, who helped our students navigate challenges they faced inside and outside of the classroom.

Laura Thorne — Career Coach. Laura has helped our students prepare for their job search with confidence and competence. Learn more about Laura here.

Max Gerlach, Karin Thorne, Kaitlyn Warboy — Program Managers/Marketing Specialists, who provided overall program support, applicant support, created social media posts, and engaged in general operations activities.

Thank You Guest Speakers

We want to give a huge thanks to all the guest speakers who volunteered their wealth of knowledge and information to our students in order to help them learn more about the technology industry as well as careers in the technology field.

Thank You Mock Interviewers

Our career coach, Laura Thorne, has done an incredible job facilitating mock interviews with local employers to give our students real experience and feedback. We want to say a huge thank you to all of our mock interviews for taking the time out of their busy days in helping to interview our students!