Meet the Team


Elaine Queathem

CEO, Co-Founder

Elaine has been involved with technology her  entire life, but when working for a small software technology company in 2009, she became acutely aware of the shortage of qualified programming resources which were essential for a small company to grow and thrive. Now, several years later, she is in a position to begin to help people develop those important and sought after skills. That’s why she founded Savvy Coders.


Alex Pearson

VP Learning, Co-Founder 

Alex is one of the co-founders of Savvy Coders and the primary author of the course curriculum. It’s Alex’s mission to help others grow as developers through formal instruction, personal mentorship, and contributions to the software development community. He currently works as a Senior Software Engineer/Application Team Lead at Volley Labs.  You can find out more about Alex at


Dezerae Abelon

Director of Operations

Dezerae Abelon has spent much of her life living abroad in Europe and enjoys the excitement and challenges that travel and new experiences bring.

With a strong background in international business operations and a Masters in Organizational Change, she brings to the table a yearning desire to inject change for the better and bring the opportunity of Savvy Coders to those who want to make a difference. She is a recent coding graduate and uses her experience as encouragement to others who want to join the field.


Manav Misra


Manav graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Missouri S&T. He has worked in the engineering field including sales in the past. About 7-8 years ago, in an effort to launch his own business he started researching how websites are made. It seemed interesting so Manav got an Associates of Applied Science, graduating with honors, along with some certifications in Web Coding and Java Programming. Since that time, Manav has worked mostly as a freelance-consultant but also as a project manager for small groups. He’s been exposed to many aspects of web design, marketing and UI. He has been working on JavaScript projects (mostly Vue) and in addition to teaching at Savvy Coders in St. Louis, serves as adjunct faculty at SWIC. He is also chair of SWIC Web Advisory Committee.


Heather Thacker


Heather is a full stack developer in Nashville. She frequently attends local meet-ups, and enjoys data analytics, software architecture, and CSS. A Tennessee native with a liberal arts education, Heather was a professional baker for five years before attending a part-time bootcamp. Her love of developing an end product and analytical problem solving are the foundation of her career. When not coding, Heather practices yoga and hikes with her dog.


John Cotton


John is a full stack developer living in Chattanooga. He is passionate about open source and mobile. In addition to developing software and teaching others, he programs electronic music, produces documentary films, and spends the rest of his time outdoors. John has endless creativity, which he combines with a passion for teaching others about coding to create a dynamic and fun learning experience. A little known, fun fact about John; he won an Emmy Award for his work on From The Streets to The Stage: The Journey of Fredrick Davis, a PBS documentary.

github: thejohncotton