Congratulations to our Careers in Code graduates!

We’re very proud and excited to announce the graduation of our cohort 2 students enrolled in our Careers in Code program!

Our capstone presentations and graduation ceremony was held on Thursday, August 26 @ 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.

These determined students endured the pandemic to engage in our virtual classroom and ultimately graduate from Careers in Code. We’re so proud of our second cohort of students and can’t wait to see them take the next step in their software development careers!

You can view our capstone presentations and graduation ceremony here, a flashback of their journey here, and photos from the graduation ceremony here.

Our Graduates

Capstone Projects

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.

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

Shah Mansoor

Project: Professional and Personalized Interpreting Services

Shah’s capstone project is called Professional and Personalized Interpreting Services. He describes his capstone as a full-stack website for a local business here in Syracuse. He created this app for nonprofits using Salesforce.

The app uses front-end forms and back-end data/information to handle users, clients, and customers. The back end handles the information entered to route the information to the correct department or worker who can assist the user. It also utilizes a database where clients can sign in and request services. In addition, there is a contact form that allows users to send him an email directly from the app. The app also generates reports.

His technology stack included HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, Javascript, PostgreSQL, NodeJS, Express, Beekeeper, SendGrid Email API, and Heroku.

He plans to continue building web applications to help businesses solve problems.

Melaquan Saffold

Project Name: The Better Gift Depot

Melaquan’s capstone allows users to choose from an assortment of gift ideas by filtering down the gift list based on user input to several categories, including by recipient, by occasion, by category, and/or by more categories. Keeping security in mind, he also created a login page where users must successfully authenticate to reach a personal wishlist page. His capstone also features a blog page.

Melaquan’s tech stack included HTML, CSS, Javascript, and React.

La’Tonia Mertica


Description: Portfolio-style eCommerce website designed to showcase original creative content while showcasing code/web dev skills — digitally materialized from concept to (extensive) coding.

Titled ‘CREAS CRAVE’. Frontend/Homepage fully wired. Fully operational. Offering original, high-quality b-roll videos in the left column. Unedited. In the right column, offering original high-quality b-roll videos — modestly edited to illustrate possibilities. All video quality reflects the original content as captured. Each video ideal to serve as complementary footage if/when used in others’ video projects. Debut set of images focus on vibrant, expanse images. Scalable, the CREAS CRAVE capstone may include a variety of additional images over time that range from industrial to creatively visionary, as well as a fully wired portal and backend — which will continue to build on the current tech stack.

- Frontend Tech Stack: HTML, CSS, Javascript, React, Axios, APIs, et cetera. ..
- Backend Tech Stack: Javascript, Cors, Express, Node, Postgres, Sequel, Heroku, et cetera. ..

Part of La’Tonia Mertica’s goal was/is to solve the problem of not having a beautiful, functional place to showcase her creativity, hard work, and potential for generating income through her creative works.

Susan Baiter

Project: Music Festivals of New York State

Susan’s capstone project entitled Music Festivals of New York State sought to solve one problem, and that is finding the location of nearby music festivals without searching for them on social media. She had a special interest in this because she recently moved to Central New York and found it challenging to locate this information when conducting her own search. She had a special interest in learning more about the area and felt like the search process could be made easier for folks like herself through the creation of this project.

Her website features a search by location field which targets the ten regions of New York State as defined by the New York Department of Economic Development.

Her tech stack included HTML, CSS, Javascript, Node.js, SQL, Beekeeper Studio, Postgres, and Heroku.

An interesting thing to know about Susan is that she loves to visit all the local beautiful state parks and gardening when she’s not coding.

Kyle Gilbert

Project Name: Walkumentary

Kyle’s capstone project is called Walkumentary, and it is a website that will provide users with an audio-based tour of the history of Downtown Syracuse.

Before being accepted into Careers in Code, Kyle worked as an Office Manager for fifteen years and earned a degree in Linguistics. About three years ago, she decided she needed a career change. She taught herself a little bit of Python because she wanted to combine her passion for languages and code. This led her to discovering and then being accepted into the Careers in Code program.

The inspiration for her capstone project was spurred during this time as she attended Women in Code meetup events and local hackathons. There, she stumbled on a brochure outlining the history of downtown Syracuse and came up with the idea to create an audio tour.

Kyle’s tech stack included HTML, SCSS, Javascript, React, Node.JS, Express, Bootstrap, Google Map API, Postgresql, and Sequelize.

After graduation, Kyle plans to launch and promote her website.

Brandy Mack

Project: Syro-Waste Directory

Brandy comes from a law enforcement background and believes in being “in-service.” She felt that in her current career, she was becoming trapped in “adulthood.”

Brandy says she felt like she was wandering “quite aimlessly” and falling down a rabbit hole before being accepted into the program because her current degree did not take her very far. She reached out to Tealye Pinet at the On Point for College program to help her find a new career direction. It was there that she learned about the Careers in Code boot camp. She created the Syro Waste Directory website to solve the city’s outdated resource listing.

Brandy explains that the motivation for her capstone is because, in her opinion, the city’s sustainability efforts are behind and its websites are outdated. Her tech stack included HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, Sequelize, Node.js, and React.

Now that Careers in Code is over, she plans to dive back into learning more about Javascript and exploring back-end technologies. She also hopes to land an internship to gain valuable hands-on experience as a coder.

Dominique Wynn-Siver

Project: Blvck Blossom Vibee

Blvck Blossom Vibee is an outlet created for individuals to learn coping skills, new perspectives and lean on each other in times of emotional need. She plans to enlighten her peers on their own personal power.”

In reflecting on what inspired her capstone project idea, Dominique said “What inspired me was, I wanted to become the change I wanted to see in the world. To blossom into my better self. I hope that my capstone assists others as it did myself.”

Her tech stack included GitHub, VScode, Heroku, Postman, Postgres, SQL, JavaScript, React, and Trello.

Dominique plans to continue developing her website and her personal brand.

Sara Dow

Project Name: Hello Syracuse

Sara currently works as a baker in a local bakery. She holds a degree in Linguistics from the University of Buffalo.

The name of her project is Hello Syracuse. She was inspired to do this project because she wanted to help answer the question, ‘What is there to do in Syracuse? I wanted to shine a light on events in our community that were hard to find and aggregate those into one easily accessible place.

The solution she sought through the creation of her capstone project would do the following:

  1. Get all of the information into one place.

2. Focus on local businesses, groups, and organizations.

3. Would allow her to aggregate all of these events into one place by scraping the web for relevant information.

To make this vision come true, she utilized HTML, CSS, Javascript, and React in her tech stack on the front end. On the back end, she used Bootstrap, Express, Sequelize, and Node.js

Now that she has graduated, she wants to refine her project by adding features for user engagement and adding more content via web scraping.

Brielle Dailey

Project: I ILOVECNY.COM (I Love CNY)

Brielle is a Direct Support Professional who loves her job but feels that she has very limited opportunities to advance in her career. One of her friends who was familiar with her desire recognized that she loves to build things and suggested that she apply for Careers in Code. Fortunately, she was accepted and thus began her journey towards becoming a full-stack web developer.

As a resident of Central New York, she observed many different and unique things to do in the community, but people do not know how to find them. She set out to solve this problem by building a website that contains a database of things to do here in Central, New York.

Brielle says that her proudest moment during the boot camp was when she was able to write 10 lines of code without searching on Google because it was a clear demonstration that she was able to write code on her own.

Ariel Murphy

Project Name: Flirt First

Although Ariel already freelances as the owner of her website design and digital marketing company, she wanted to do something more challenging. She says she felt like she was lacking direction and wanted to learn more to earn more money. In addition, she had not updated her skills since 2003.

Ariel’s inspiration for her capstone is a result of witnessing innocent people being fooled or “catfished” into dates or relationships via online meetings only to find out they have been pranked by someone who wasn’t interested at all. This happens when someone creates a fake social media profile for a fake identity to lure potential victims.

To prevent this from happening, she created what she calls a “pandemic friendly” dating app called “Flirt First” to help users avoid this kind of situation. It features an authenticated chat sign-in via Google, requires users to video chat with each other, and users can rate their matches after they’ve met.

Her tech stack included HTML, CSS, FireBase, Javascript, React, and NodeJS.

She plans to continue the build-out of her website by adding WebRTC and Socket.IO implementation to enable video chat. Geospatial capabilities will also be added. And last but not least, in thinking about mobile use, she wants to move forward with React Native for mobile app implementation.

Jaheal Smith

Project Name: Grammar Goblin

Jaheal says he wanted to be a part of Careers in Code for two reasons. The first was because he wanted to obtain a skill set that would help him to clear his college debt. The second was because he wanted to see if he could work full-time while going to school.

His capstone project was an educational video game using a web application to feed it data and make education more engaging.

Users enter information into form fields. The entry is checked for spelling errors using back-end technology, but not in a typical spell checker interface. Instead, users will see animated figures and hear music. This user interface is designed to engage the senses as one works through spelling and grammar issues.

His tech stack included HTML, CSS, and React. His capstone was inspired by his passion for playing and creating video games.

Thank You, Partners!

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

Le Moyne College, ERIE 21 Initiative, CenterState CEO, and JP Morgan Chase

Led by Le Moyne College, the ERIE21 Initiative capitalizes upon the strengths of key educational, business, and public sector partners seeking to make inroads against the City’s persistently high rate of poverty while simultaneously addressing the workforce needs of regional employers seeking employees who possess software and computational skills more closely aligned with the innovation economy. ERIE21 delivers early intervention and provides ongoing support to students in high school and college to strengthen the region’s capacity to develop a pipeline that can generate homegrown talent to feed the growing demand for computational, software and engineering talent.

CenterState CEO is an independent and forward-thinking economic development strategist, business leadership organization, and chamber of commerce; dedicated to the success of its members and the prosperity of the region. It is located in a vibrant and globally connected region recognized as a place where businesses thrive and people prosper.


Commonspace provides the right sized and right priced urban apartments and working space, for a more social and more productive experience. We believe our differences make us unique, and our commonalities are the key ingredients for a community. So, they create living and working spaces that cultivate a collective metropolitan experience while embracing the needs of the individual. We’re fortunate to partner with Commonspace to provide coworking membership to our students.

Metis Consulting Group

Metis Consulting Group is a New York-based IT consulting firm specializing in data-driven, enterprise-wide Internet- and Intranet-based technologies. We’re fortunate to partner with Metis Consulting Group to help with our student stipends.

Working Solutions

We’re fortunate to partner with Working Solutions to provide laptops to our students. For our second cohort, we provided all of our students with loaner laptops with the intent to return them after program completion. After partnering with Working Solutions through the AAI (American Apprenticeship Initiative) and WANTO (Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations), we were able to provide our students with laptops they can use to continue their journey in software development and for entry-level software developer opportunities.

Thank You, Instructors and Teaching Assistants!

Our instructors and TA’s work hard to ensure a quality classroom experience for our students. We want to thank Max Matthews, Karin Thorne, Christy Presler, Kaitlyn Warboy, Dana McMullen, Gus Cost, Ryan Gaus, Joey Buczek, Nathan Evans, Aneesa Hussain, and Kelly Corey for providing classroom instruction, teaching assistant support, mentoring, and learning resources for our cohort 2 students.

Thank You, Team!

Student success and program support are integral to retaining our enrollees throughout the duration of the bootcamp.

  • Dana McMullen — Program Manager/Marketing Specialist, who provided overall program support for student recruitment, remote classroom/course digital content management, created social media posts, and attended speaking engagements to inform the community about Careers in Code.
  • 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.

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.

  • 3/29 — William Guisbond — Strategies for Getting and Staying Organized
  • 5/24 — Melissa Schmitz — Introduction to AR for Web Developers
  • 6/7 — Joshua Marris — A-Frame, A Web Framework for Building a VR Experiences
  • 6/14 — Annalena Davis — Advice for Breaking Into the Tech Industry from a Career Changer
  • 6/21 — David Vorhees — Creating Beautiful Code
  • 7/12 — Erin Smith — Connecting your Connections
  • 7/19 — Betania Allo — My Educational and Job Experience in Technology
  • 8/2 — Glenn Allen — The Pros and Cons of Freelancing
  • 8/16 — Linda Kovac s— How to Find Your Dream Job in Tech
  • 8/18 — Natasha Falter — What Role Does HR Play in the Tech Industry and Where Do I Start

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 interviewers for taking the time out of their busy days in helping to interview our students!

  • Shaun Burdick — Vidaloop
  • Tim Midgley — DIEMlife
  • Kandis Harter — AIS
  • Kelsey May — City of Syracuse
  • Ralph Divito — Raymour and Flanigan
  • Dana Scherzi — Scherzi Systems
  • Joanna Habermann — Syracuse University
  • Tim Crosby — SIDEARM Sports
  • Max Matthews — Turzag
  • Erin Smith — Lemoyne College
  • Doug Crescenzi — Upstate Interactive

Job Openings

You can find additional partner job openings here. If you’re looking for a job or hiring, hit us up!

Upcoming Events

Please check out the Syracuse Software Development Meetup for the latest events.

If you have an upcoming event that you would like to promote, please email

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