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.Net Programming Student Considers Himself Extremely Fortunate to Discover an Incredibly Rewarding Career

Originally studying Physics at Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY, Nigel Norman's plans changed during his Sophomore year when tuition and expenses became more than he could afford. After withdrawing from school Nigel worked in retail, which helped pay his bills but felt unrewarding. His desire was to build a career and working in retail was not what he had in mind. It was 2015 when his mother suggested learning the trade of programming. She knew someone in the field and thought it might be a good fit for her son. Nigel decided to take his mother's advice and looked into programming. After doing an online search, he found a program for .Net Application Development and Programming at Suncoast Technical College which happened to be right down the road from where he lived. The program seemed interesting, was affordable, and it was close to home. Nigel enrolled.

Going into the program, Nigel thought it would consist of anything related to internet programming. He soon learned that it was much more. In his words, “I discovered that .NET was really an ecosystem of technologies that had an incredibly versatile range of applications.” He knew that this was the opportunity he needed to build his career. According to Nigel, there was so much more to the program than his initial expectations led him to believe. He was also pleasantly surprised at the mixture of both high school and adult students enrolled, all bringing varying degrees of expertise, talent or skill.

"The program was absolutely worth it! It was incredibly affordable, and I found that you really were provided every resource needed to be successful. The degree of your success ultimately, of course, depended on what effort you put into your studies."

After graduating, Nigel considered himself to be extremely fortunate, finding employment after only six weeks. His first job was for a local Sarasota company, Sarasota Software Solutions, that designed software providing inventory management solutions for timeshare resorts. He was making a modest salary, far better than minimum wage. After roughly eight months, Nigel moved on by applying to PropLogix, a Sarasota based company specializing in Real Estate Due Diligence Research, where he worked for over four years. Starting as a Junior Developer he poured numerous hours into honing his skills through on-the-job training and learning new technologies along the way.

"My time at Suncoast really equipped me with the skills and confidence to be resourceful enough to really learn... well, anything that my work threw at me!" says Norman, which is evident in the hands-on experience his repertoire lists, including utilizing Amazon's AWS services, building reactive web applications with Angular and automating administrative processes with Quartz.NET. Eventually, Nigel continued to grow with PropLogix as a Lead Developer until reaching the role of Software Development Manager. Nigel is currently moving on to new opportunity, expanding his programming experience and salary, and taking a new role as Senior .NET Engineer with ATP FlightDocs, a company based out of the Fort Meyers area that does Software as a service in the aviation sector. Through Nigel’s success, he has remained in contact with former instructor James Hornberger.

"James really was my first mentor, and I do not take for granted the benefits of being trained by an industry professional with a proven history. James taught me what it takes to make it as a programmer: to be resourceful, and to build upon all of your prior successes to reach the next level in your career."

Nigel has been a guest speaker for the .NET Programming Class, inspiring other students with his achievements. He is also involved in the Suncoast Technical College advisory committee, consisting of a group of individual professionals in various local Programming and Information Technology industries in the Sarasota area, of which he is considered a valuable asset. The committee's purpose is to provide relevant feedback on the desired skills and competencies that the local community desires in new candidates, in order to keep the institution's curriculum current with the industry. Within recent years, the committee has, at least partially, been credited with making Suncoast Technical College become an accredited testing facility for many of Amazon's AWS certifications.

According to Mr. Hornberger, “Nigel’s attitude was a key role in his success. This is what every student is capable of doing and should do. As a teacher, I cannot force a student to learn. I can only present the opportunities.”

For more information about STC's .Net Program, please visit our PROGRAMS link at Suncoast.edu or contact a school counselor at 941-924-1365 / Ext. 62283

Article by Laurie Dillon
May 20, 2021