By Roadtrip Nation

Jerome Hardaway



My road in life took a while to figure out.
Grew up in Memphis, Tennessee.
When I was younger, I was really interested in the sciences, like paleontology, astronomy, and kinesiology.
After high school, I decided that I didn’t want to go to college right away and instead wanted to do something bigger with my life.
I joined the U.S. Air Force and served as a member of the Air Force Security Forces for six years, deploying for both the Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom missions.
While still in the military, I attended Florida State University and earned my bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
After my military service ended, I worked as a database analyst for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program at the Department of Homeland Security.
Participated in a coding bootcamp through General Assembly and later secured a job as a web developer for HigherVisibility, a digital marketing agency.
After seeing a need to help fellow veterans, I started Vets Who Code, a nonprofit that focuses on teaching veterans programming free of charge so they can find gainful employment after service.
Keep following my journey



I am a veteran, Google Developer Expert, and founder of a nonprofit teaching veterans how to code.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Problem Solving

Day to Day

Vets Who Code is almost entirely operated online, so I spend a lot of time on a computer not only doing my own developing work, but also communicating and coaching the veterans I work with. We select up to 13 veterans per group and then we take them through guided lessons for about 14 weeks where we teach them the fundamentals of software programming from top to bottom. I also do a lot of follow up after they complete the program and offer whatever help I can to them in their lives or careers.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

You need to be curious, have focus, discipline, and passion to be a software programmer. You also have to be comfortable being a life-long learner. Software and technology are always changing and you have to constantly be learning in order to keep up. Practice your skills everyday so you are always improving.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Advocate for veterans or whatever group of people you support. Always be learning. Read, watch documentaries, listen to podcasts, etc. in order to pick up as many tips as possible and improve on your skills. Network and gain friends in different areas that will help you learn new things and give you a wide pool of skills to pull assistance from.


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"Since you are a veteran of security forces, you should just be a cop or security guard."

Challenges I Overcame

Racial Discrimination

Interviewed By



Future of Work Roadtrip