{ We're not just developers; we're a team of veteran educators }

We're a group of experienced educators and developers who love to teach as much as we love to code. After years mentoring students and writing curriculum, we know how to help students succeed.

our staff

Elie Schoppik

CEO + Lead Instructor

Teaching Background   Developer Background

Before founding Rithm school, I was a Lead Instructor at two other web development bootcamps. Over the course of the last 4 years, I’ve helped support hundreds of students through full-time immersive programs. I’m passionate about writing curriculum and teaching through examples to make complex concepts easily accessible.

As a self-taught developer, I’ve experienced firsthand the professional and personal growth that comes with learning how to code. I started exploring web development and just haven’t stopped. I’m a sucker for new technologies, but JavaScript is my first love. I’ve had experience working on a number of development teams and co-founded a startup in 2012.

Joel Burton

VP of Education

Teaching Background   Developer Background

While I studied Computer Science for my undergraduate degree, my first career was in teaching health education. I’ve been teaching application development for over 10 years, both independently and as part of academic programs. I led the development and teaching programs at Hackbright Academy, where I was the Vice President of Education and Chief Academic Officer.

I’ve been a software developer since the 1990s, focusing on security, big data, and web application engineering. Early in my career, I worked at Apple, then at Planned Parenthood, and had a career consulting on application development, focusing particularly on Python and open source web frameworks.

Kadeem Best

Instructor / Software Engineer

Teaching Background   Developer Background

I am a dynamic educator who believes in education as a tool for empowerment. I actively seek out opportunities to share my extensive knowledge with people who are willing to learn and who are excited about their areas of expertise, in addition to continuing my own professional growth as a software developer. I've been teaching in a post-secondary setting in Canada for more than 6 years, at institutions such as Seneca College, Humber College, and George Brown College. Education is very personal to me since it has transformed my life in so many ways, and as an educator, I wear it like a badge of honour.

Since I was a child, I've been captivated by problem solving and the power of computers. Unsurprisingly, computer science and software development attracted my interest at a young age. After graduating from high school, I pursued a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and later postgraduate studies in Information Technology. I've worked in the software development industry for the past ten years or so. My areas of expertise include web application development, e-commerce integrations, database design and implementation for financial services.

Brittiany Juravic

Instructor / Software Engineer

Teaching Background   Developer Background

Throughout my career in higher education, I created and updated training materials on a variety of topics and conducted classroom and virtual training to hundreds of colleagues. After making a career pivot to tech, I jumped at the opportunity to become part of Rithm School’s instruction team. I spent a year as a teaching assistant, shadowing and learning from our very best educators and have since become an instructor.

I spent almost 10 years as a higher education professional before learning how to write a single line of code. My interest in development began at UC Berkeley where I managed the Federal Work-Study Program. I served as the functional expert for the program, but over time I became increasingly fascinated with the technical side of the program. I became curious about coding and began teaching myself JavaScript in my spare time and eventually decided I wanted to learn how to design and build web applications. I joined the full stack web development program at Rithm School and have been building ever since!

Spencer Armini

Teaching Assistant / Software Engineer

Teaching Background   Developer Background

Prior to joining Rithm, I spent a meaningful amount of my career in healthcare helping others understand a variety of topics, from complex operational processes to inclusive care practices. I've always enjoyed being a source of positivity and encouragement while helping folks learn new concepts and work through tough problems. I aim to teach with equal degrees of enthusiasm, collaboration, and dumb jokes whenever possible.

During my time in the healthcare space, I decided to learn a bit of SQL to boost my productivity in my role. Fairly quickly, I found that writing queries to answer complex questions had become my favorite part of my job and I began to wonder about what else I could learn. I then decided to dive head-first into software engineering via Rithm's full-stack web development program and had an incredible experience. Always curious to learn, I'm driven by opportunities to create social impact via well-tested code and thoughtful collaboration.

Sarah Stockton

Teaching Assistant / Software Engineer

Teaching Background   Developer Background

I've taught learners from ages 4 - 84 for 20 years in a variety of settings: Wesleyan University, the public schools, 1-on-1 lessons, online and in-person seminars, and more. I earned my Masters in Education in 2012, and have written curriculum for every level from Kindergarten through college. While in the public schools, I led regional professional development days for music teachers from several districts, was the leader of my district's Professional Learning Community in the arts, and was a piloter and co-editor of some of CT's Common Music Assessments. I love working with curious people and helping them accomplish more than they thought possible.

The first program I wrote was in BASIC from a 3-2-1 Contact magazine when I was in middle school, and it definitely did not work. Soon after, I discovered the flute and got completely sucked into the music world until after college, but the ideas always fascinated me, and the curiosity stuck with me. Throughout my various jobs, I always volunteered for the techy tasks, hacked the CMS system in my school district to give my classroom page a unique look, and bought endless Udemy classes. Finally, in 2021, I made the leap and joined Rithm's 22nd cohort. I'm excited to build systems that will help Rithm conquer the world with its awesomeness!

Kate Moser

Teaching Assistant / Software Engineer

Teaching Background   Developer Background

I’ve been teaching in some capacity since I graduated high school. I started out teaching theater, pivoted to early childhood education/literacy, and finally spent seven years in Japan teaching English, designing curriculum, and training other teachers. As a teaching assistant at Rithm, I’m finally able to combine my two loves of teaching and programming.

Although I’ve spent much of my professional life in education, I actually got my undergraduate degree in Computer Science. However, I did not feel prepared to get a job in the industry when I graduated—getting a degree in C.S. ended up killing off a lot of my enjoyment of programming. 10 years later though, the spark had been reignited, so I took the plunge and enrolled in Rithm’s full-stack web development program to update my skills. 100% one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

Brian Aston

Teaching Assistant / Software Engineer

I'm a graduate of Rithm's r24 cohort from the start of 2022. I have a degree in Computer Science: Game Design from the University of California, Santa Cruz. I spent some time post graduation doing lots of different jobs from warehouse management to being a clerk at a law office. I'm excited to be able to share my experiences and knowledge with the delightful people who learn here at Rithm. Given my background, I have a deep love of games be it video, table-top, or board. I also enjoy hiking, cooking and absolutely spoiling my lovable cat named Kona.

Edmond Soun

Teaching Assistant / Software Engineer

Teaching Background   Developer Background

My love of teaching traces back to high school, when I worked as a piano and music theory teacher at a small music school in my hometown. About ten years ago, a dual interest in the artistic and practical possibilities of rapid prototyping technologies drew me into the makerspace movement, where I began teaching safety and operations courses on welding, CNC machining, laser cutting, 3D printing, and more. (Find me volunteering at a manufacturing education non-profit in San Francisco to this day!) I find incredible joy in helping a student realize their dreams through education, and on that front, I can't imagine a better place to be than Rithm School.

My first professional forays into code sprang from my work in CNC machining. I've also worked on a variety of one-off projects over the years, such as building a responsive chatbot with JavaScript using Node.js. In early 2022, I took the plunge, applied to Rithm's full-stack web development program, and haven't looked back. My favorite aspect of software engineering is the limitless potential to collaborate and learn ⁠— current personal areas of focus and development are data structures & algorithms, security, and lower level languages.

Colt Steele

Guest Lecturer

I'm a web developer with a serious love for teaching. I've spent the last few years teaching hundreds of people to program at immersive bootcamp programs like General Assembly and Galvanize. Most recently I’ve moved my teaching online with the launch of The Web Developer Bootcamp, Udemy’s highest rated web development course.

Brittany Lee-Still

Student Experience Manager

Before joining Rithm School, I worked in the legal field and then switched career paths to animal welfare. After years of helping animals achieve happier lives, I was ready to do the same for humans! I love building relationships and supporting students as they enter a new and exciting era in their careers. Taking the dive into a bootcamp is a big decision, and it's a joy being there every step of the way to make sure our students feel prepared for what is ahead of them.

Lucy Basta

Head of Coaching and Community Success

In 2014 I transitioned out of healthcare and into tech. Over the next four years I grew to lead a team of 400 people at Apple, became a professionally certified coach (PCC), and studied Leadership and Management at Cal Berkeley. From there I joined a startup where I directly coached over 500+ software engineers to land their first roles in tech. In 2018 I co-founded WorkWell to intentionally create more diverse + inclusive seats at the table for people who may not have identified tech as a career path and needed the job search skills to cross the finish line. At this point in my career I’ve had the privilege of coaching over 1,100 people to land offers in both technical + non-technical roles. It’s an honor to now be at Rithm School supporting our students to land offers faster + on values-aligned teams!

Vanesa Dougherty

Lead Career Coach

As a former technical recruiter and now the talent and performance management lead for an entry-level software engineer rotational program, not only do I know how to help you get the job but also how to be successful once you are in it. I have had wonderful mentors who helped guide me through my job search process and career and now I feel moved to support others in the same way. I have spent the past year career coaching and am thrilled to be able to bring my passion for resumes, networking, and negotiations to Rithm School and our graduates. If you have ever wanted to ask a recruiter something - I'm your person!

Whitney Cole

Head of Growth & Operations

All of my career has been at the intersection of technology, education and people. I started out in customer success at Apple and people operations at 2U before moving into operations at an artificial intelligence Silicon Valley startup. After helping scale the team and client base there, I joined a small company coaching hundreds of job-seeking software engineers in the heart of San Francisco. In 2018, I co-founded WorkWell, where we created an empowered community of thousands of values-driven career changers and professionals through our events and job search accelerator. I am motivated by strategizing creative ways to grow a mission-driven business and am deeply inspired by witnessing people express their gifts and passions through their work.