Matt Kraatz profile

A problem solver at heart, I've excelled in my career as a business operations specialist and leader. In early 2016, I decided to extend this passion into software development, learning how to design, build and scale the complex systems that are revolutionizing our world today. I'm a music enthusiast (all genres) and have called Nashville my home for almost ten years.

We should talk: if you like to build things, if you like to play devil's advocate, if you have the scoop on a secret show... Thanks for visiting.


Major Projects

- More on GitHub -


Blog: My Journey in Development

  • Reflections on Nashville Software School January 7, 2017

    Well, my time as a student with Nashville Software School has come to a close, and wow did those six months fly by. When every day is spent learning, expanding and applying new concepts, it’s easy to lose track of time. NSS didn’t just teach me the craft of software development, or how to learn continuously, or how to work in a development team; most importantly it exposed my passion for coding and reinforced my decision to pivot careers. ...read more

  • Mobile Development with Xamarin December 16, 2016

    For my final capstone project at Nashville Software School, I wanted to dive deep into native mobile development. Native apps still provide a better mobile experience than the mobile-optimized web, and with the right tools can be developed rather quickly. Intrigued by it’s promise to deliver native iOS and Android apps from shared C# code, the tool I chose for this comprehensive capstone was Xamarin. ...read more

  • Building a bot with machine learning November 25, 2016

    Bots really started gaining steam this year, with Facebook and Kik (among others) opening up their massive messenging platforms to bot developers. It’s an exciting time for chat interfaces, which are still in their infancy, and have the potential to overtake some more common application and web interfaces in popularity over time. Recently I attended a talk at Nodevember 2016 here in Nashville from Sarah Sexton about the Microsoft Bot Framework and was inspired to finally build a bot of my own. ...read more

  • Informed Thoughts on c# November 14, 2016

    Coming into c# a blank slate, my expectations for the language were based solely on surface-level conversations with mentors and instructors, which usually carried a tone of ominous sobriety. As students relatively new to coding and just entering our second language, fear of the unknown was rampant. I had a sense that my transition into a statically-typed, newly open-sourced language would be difficult and frustrating, but hopefully achievable and ultimately rewarding. ...read more

  • Technologies I've learned October 31, 2016

    As I’ve started to develop my professional story to most effectively look for employment over the next few months, I’ve uncovered a need to catalogue the technologies I’ve learned and used in practice since my journey began this year. This is meant to be fairly comprehensive of specific technologies I am comfortable working with, but more important is an understanding of the underlying software development principles that I’ve gained in the process. I expect updates to this list periodically over time, but to start, in no particular order: ...read more

  • Initial thoughts on c# October 13, 2016

    Having just started the second half of the curriculum here at Nashville Software School, I am neck deep in C#. It’s been a very humbling reminder of my initial feelings three months ago with JavaScript, when I had just started NSS and was desperately trying to master the syntax and possibilities for my first programming language. But that reminder is encouraging, seeing how far I’ve come in a short three months, I’m confident that I can do it again with this new language, and potentially accomplish even more. In the meantime, I’ve found it surprisingly refreshing to take a break from my C# studies by working on some side projects I had started in JavaScript, where I actually know my around (enough). ...read more

  • Final thoughts on Front-End Development October 4, 2016

    As I dive headfirst into server-side development with C#, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what I’ve learned over the past three months, and what I hope to accomplish with the last half of my Nashville Software School career. While I’m sure this is only the beginning of my engagement with front-end development (I mean, I’ve only just dipped my toe into the water here), my experience with Javascript has given me some expectation of what to expect on the server-side. ...read more

  • Front-End Capstone September 28, 2016

    Next week marks the halfway point for my career at Nashville Software School, amazing how quickly that time has passed. To cap our front-end coursework, every student has independently developed a client-side application (hooked up to Firebase) that we are presenting to the entire school tomorrow . With almost two weeks devoted to the task, this was really the first opportunity we had to develop something fully-featured and–dare I say–cool. ...read more

  • My first pet projects August 15, 2016

    One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced about learning in a classroom is relating my coursework to current, real-world applications. Don’t get me wrong, understanding theory is essential to mastering the concept, but it’s all for naught if you can’t apply that concept to a real project. Similarly, being hyper-focused on a single topic is required to pick up the fundamentals, but without drawing relationships to your existing knowledge base it can feel like learning in a silo. ...read more

  • Beginner product management August 2, 2016

    At some point in High School I learned that finishing a creative thought is really hard to do. I remember performing a song I wrote to 1000+ people at a school talent show, and even in the green room before the show I was committing rewrites. Perfection is a fairly impossible goal, but as a creator it’s hard to settle for anything less; it’s hard to stop working on any project (well, deadlines help). ...read more

  • Group projects July 25, 2016

    A couple of times last week, for most of the day the class was split up into small groups of three to complete an assignment. Primarily, these exercises were intended to introduce collaborating via git, but I was also introduced to the challenges and value of coding in teams. ...read more

  • Beyond the Basics July 18, 2016

    I’m still getting a feel for the pacing at Nashville Software School, and resetting my expectations along the way. Perhaps there is no typical pacing–except for “everything at light speed”–as one might expect from a professional setting, which is potentially by design. ...read more

  • First week July 11, 2016

    Four months ago I decided to shift my career’s trajectory to the world of software development, and last week that journey officially began when I had my first day of class at Nashville Software School (NSS). In that short interim I’ve traveled several thousand miles around the country, been a groomsman in two weddings, experienced four music festivals, created hundreds of snaps and completed 80+ hours of prework for NSS. My transition back to a normal routine has been going well. ...read more


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