Meet Our Team

We’re a small crew of mission-driven, people-focused professionals proud to be living in The Bull City, North Carolina.

Aaron Hayslip

Founder/Instructor

After working with several of the world's largest ``coding bootcamps`` and after starting the first immersive code school in Israel, Aaron set out to do something different with Project Shift in Durham - to create a software education program that puts students before profit. With an atypical programming background in Religious Studies, Aaron believes that anyone can learn to program and become a software engineer, but the few who will do well are those who love to code.

Sean Doherty

Co-Founder/Instructor

Sean comes from a long line of teachers and is passionate about being a part of raising the quality of software education. Drawing from his experience teaching at the university level as well as over a decade of experience leading a software team, he seeks to instill the next generation of software developers with the lessons he has learned during his career. Sean has a formal programming education with undergraduate and graduates degrees in Computer Science concentrating in Artificial Intelligence from WPI. Sean has been a guest speaker at many conferences such as SXSW and All Things Open.

Morgan Cates

Director of Partnerships

Morgan is passionate about people, education, and business. Originally from Florida, she started her professional career as a teacher here in Durham. She worked as an autism teacher, specialist, and later as a special education coordinator. Through teaching, she interacted with non-profits that provided services to the students. She became interested in non-profits and went back to school for non-profit business management. During her studies, she learned about B Corps (For Benefit Corporations) and fell in love with the idea of businesses serving people and society as their main purpose.

Daniela Sanchez

Director of Student Life

Daniela enjoys working with people and systems, or processes, that invest in people. Most of her experience is in the nonprofit sector, having worked with organizations that support education, sustainable community development, and social businesses through justice-driven models. She is most passionate about guiding individuals into recognizing their potential and providing the tools and support to help them achieve their goals. As the Director of Student Life at Project Shift, Daniela enjoys getting to know students, providing pathways for them to develop as professionals throughout the program, and empowering them to be future leaders in the tech world.

OUR MISSION AND VISION

Project Shift was birthed out of a passion to be student-first in an era where large investment firms are predatorily taking advantage of career changers and attempting to capitalize in the unregulated vocational school market. Students are our stakeholders, not investors. Because in the end we care about the impact we have in the lives of our students more than anything else, Project Shift has recently graduated from NC State’s B Clinic in puruit of BCorp Certification.

Our Mission

“We want to offer students dignity, purpose, hope and new opportunities by equipping them to create and by inviting them to be part of something bigger than themselves.”

It might sound a little deep for us to assert that helping people transition careers into software engineering is our way of offering “dignity”, “purpose” and “hope”, but we really believe that this is at the core of what we’re doing. Not that our fellows don’t have these things when they arrive at Project Shift, but we recognize that those who apply for our program are stepping out in hopes of doing a job they love. In that sense, doing meaningful work and thinking of your career as a vocation really does bring you newfound dignity, purpose and hope.

Our Vision

We are propelling our mission forward by building a wholistic tech education and creating a new category for software education – a “software engineering fellowship”. This means:

  • We are highly selective in admissions, yet inclusive and striving to tear down barriers for minorities in tech.
  • We are people over profit and seek to create an environment that invests deeply in each student. We therefore only select students when we’re confident they’ll do well in our program, we strive to keep classes small and we ensure that the instructor to student ratio remains high. We’ll never grow beyond our one campus in Raleigh-Durham.
  • We are making up for what is lacking in Computer Science education by training our fellows to operate in real-world software engineering teams using the latest technologies and best practices. At the same time, we’re not just another “Coding Bootcamp” in that we value and teach the deeper concepts that have proved invaluable from university Computer Science programs.
  • We are combating the negative stigmas that many “Coding Bootcamps” have perpetuated with transparency and student-first placement statistics.
  • Ultimately we care about the whole person and have built a program around developing people first – in both skills and character.

Who Is Project Shift