Now enrolling for our April 29th cohort!

Success Stories

Amanda Porto

Amanda currently works as a front-end developer at KnowBe4, but this is far from what she thought she would be doing. Originally from Brazil, Amanda's initial career was in business. She initially pursued and obtained her MBA. After working in a multitude of departments within businesses - from purchasing to international security trading - she decided she was never passionate or eager to get out of bed every morning. This spoke volumes to her and she realized that she needed a career switch. Amanda stumbled upon the SDG team and was completely enchanted with them as well as the opportunities available in the web development industry.


Allan Seitz

Allan's journey started with his desire to join the air force and support his family. Due to not finishing high school, he had to earn 21 college credits to join. After taking a few college courses in C# and basic I.T. he did, in fact, join the air force and became an Air Traffic Controller. The funny thing is, he loved the little coding experience he had received as much as he loved controlling traffic! After the air force, he attempted to go back and finish his degree. After two semesters, he realized he did not have four years and $100k+ to achieve that goal. After scurrying back into construction for more than 2 years, he found SDG!

"Thanks to SDG I get to live my dream of being a full stack developer here in downtown St. Petersburg and could not be happier!" -Allan Seitz


Portrait of Taylor Cox

Taylor Cox

Hailing from Indiana, Taylor is a digital designer turned front-end developer by way of The Iron Yard and stealing her parents' ThinkPad as a child to write CSS for her Neopets profile page.

As a student in the final cohort of The Iron Yard in Tampa Bay, Taylor became ingrained in the community through the staff's encouragement to participate in local hackathons, meetups, and conferences.

Now, she serves as a co-organizer for SDG Jr. to promote the importance of learning technology and problem solving skills to a younger generation. Taylor is a coordinator and in for the SDG Jr's kids coding classes and has spoken at development conferences.


Portrait of Dat

Dat Tran

After having worked in corporate America for a couple years as a middle-manager, Dat went through a quarter life crisis. If this is how he is to spend 8-12 hours of his day, he needed to see what else was out there. After listening to the song Motto by Drake, he decided to leave his job and enroll with SDG. After 3 fantastic months of education, and 2 months of unemployment, he was hired at Operation PAR as an application developer. After a successful year there, he recently started working at Protect My Car as a Software Engineer II.


Portrait of Brandyn

Brandyn Sullins

After college, Brandyn bounced between legal jobs while entertaining the idea of law school. After a large amount of soul searching, he decided a change needed to be made and performed a hard pivot; taking a leap of faith to attend SDG. Brandyn is a conscientious developer that cares about making programming enjoyable for everyone and solving challenges in pragmatic ways. In his spare time, he's a swim instructor and enjoys writing.


Portrait of Venel

Venel Rene

From youth development to software development...

Meet Venel, a Juvenile Supervision Counselor studying human development turned Software Developer. Venel spent countless hours attempting to figure out ways to maximize his gaming experience to level the playing field against the youth he was supervising. While doing so, he found himself falling in love with everything he was learning about software so much that he decided to switch careers.

After graduating and several months of dedicated job hunting, he landed his first tech job at a local startup, Net Synergy Virtual Solutions, where he was able to gain knowledge, experience, and additional skills in data aggregation. In an effort to grow and expand his skillset even more, Venel recently took on an exciting new role as an Engineer at Salesforce.


Jasmine Frantz

Jasmine had been working as a 3D animator for over a decade, producing marketing materials and simulations for real-estate developments and golf courses. After having her first child, Jasmine took a little time off to try something new and coding came into picture. She enjoyed it but it was extremely difficult to study while taking care of a toddler while also working as a freelancer. After her second child was on the way, it dawned on her that it was now or never to take the plunge... She joined code school and now is working as a front-end developer for Ned Davis Research.


Caleb Frost Sanderson

Caleb has a degree in music and worked for several years as a performing musician and educator. Most recently, he worked for a small, non-profit organization as the creative director which included managing a cumbersome website. His frustrations with that website mixed with a passion for creating quality digital experiences led him to Suncoast Developers Guild. SDG was instrumental in meeting his career change goals. Since graduating, he has been using his new found skills as a product designer for Spatial Networks Inc. Fun fact: Caleb is a Boston Marathon qualifier!


Keri Spencer

Years ago, Keri worked as an insurance agent. She was never passionate about insurance but if she left, she would take a dip in salary and wasn't sure where to go. At that point, she and her husband moved to Florida and she found herself in several remote positions piecing together a decent income. She dabbled in programming on her own and had spent quite a bit of time building small applications. At that point, she knew it was time to jump in with both feet and went through code school. Since graduating, she has been working remotely for Vector Solutions for just over a year continuing to learn and grow in her role. She gets to enjoy travel and the flexibility that remote work provides.


James Enoch

James started to teach himself how to code via online tutorials. Through some networking with the community and local developers, he ended up attending SDG. He is now gets to enjoy a brand new career as a developer for Proforma in Tampa! Offline, you can find James outside, taking pictures, and always learning new things.


Portrait of Julius

Julius Bzozowski

While searching for opportunities to expand on his background in graphic design & photography, Julius, explored the idea of learning to code. It seemed like the perfect complement to his existing technology toolbox; an in demand skill; and a challenge that would prove to be both formidable and mentally stimulating.

After a month of researching information on various bootcamps and completing a few coding tutorials online, he interviewed, was accepted, quit his full-time job, moved closer to St. Pete, worked tirelessly, and became a graduate of Cohort 8, affectionately dubbed “The Ocho” by a fellow classmate.

Despite the risks and challenges, Julius, now works for a premier, web design services company in Tampa. Having accomplished the personal goals he set for himself one year ago, he looks forward to the continued growth and development of his coding skills and to one day be combined with his love of golf.


Crystal McGowan

After years of being a customer service and marketing guru, Crystal found herself to be a textbook example of someone that needed a life and career pivot. While she had taken an interest in coding, she made every excuse in the book to not invest in it professionally.

Thankfully, the SDG team and her stellar support system echoed every day: “You can’t afford NOT to invest in yourself, and you’re going to be great!” Crystal never looked back. The hours were studious and the caffeine ran rampant, but it’s one of the decisions she’s most proud of making.

After embracing the opportunity to work for a killer start-up company, she moved onto Raymond James Financial where she is an Associate Interactive Specialist. When she’s not dabbling in a CMS for Financial Advisors, you can catch her assisting with SDG Jr's kids coding classes and geeking out at development conferences.


Portrait of Kristen

Kristen Swan-Grashel

When I first thought about going to a code school to change I knew it I knew it would be hard, especially with three young children to care for. I also knew it would be worth it in the end. The Iron Yard experience turned out to be just as hard as I ever imagined, but also just as worth it. I accomplished what I set out to do. And really, there are few things better in life than that. Achieving a goal you've worked hard for.


Portrait of Val

Valeria Benetti

Of all the choices I have ever made, coming to this has to be one of the greatest choices that my brain came up with. Not one day goes by since graduating have I been extremely grateful to the school for teaching me the valuable skill sets that I now know.


Portrait of Shaun Hailey

Shaun Hailey

I came to into this with zero programming background whatsoever. After over a decade in finance, a layoff put me into a position where I could explore a new career. This finally allowed me to do what I had wanted to do for many years--learn how to code.


Portrait of Mark Lombardi

Mark Lombardi-Nelson

I can't begin to express the gratitude and impact learning to code has made on our business, as well as my life. We built Shoot To Thrill Media, and I made the conscious decision to dive deep and learn to code soon after. This skillset has empowered me to provide for my family, impact my community, and grow my business in a way that would have not been possible without you. Thank you for empowering me to have the confidence and ability to follow my dreams.