Community4 Students Who Juggled a Family and Learning With Treehouse

Mary McPherson
writes on January 18, 2016

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Just because you have a family doesn’t mean that you can’t also prioritize your learning. In reality, you can set an awesome example for your kids by making your dreams a reality through hard work. These Treehouse students went all in, and it paid off!

Bryan Knight Landed a Life-Changing Career As a UI/UX Engineer For a Startup


I can truly say that Treehouse had a huge hand in me changing my life and the life of my entire family.

In April 2014, Bryan was a father of five working as a lead Concierge for a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip and making $43K as the sole provider for his family. He worked full time at his job, but knew that he wanted a significant career change. In the past, he had worked in Real Estate making a good salary but had been uninspired and unmotivated by the work. This time around Bryan was determined to find the balance between making a good living and having a passion for what he did.

In the 90s, Bryan briefly attended college for Management Information Systems, where he was introduced to programming. He loved his programming classes, but didn’t enjoy the rest of the curriculum and dropped out to join the United States Air Force and life continued. 16 years later, faced with another career crossroad, Bryan decided to pick up where he left off with programming.

He chose Treehouse and launched himself into the courses. 10 months later, after dedicating his free time to learning, Bryan landed his first job as a UI/UX Engineer. 6 months after that, he moved on to work at a local startup where he now develops the UI for a daily fantasy sports application. The work is not only inspiring for Bryan, it also came with a significant salary increase, which in turn has given him the opportunity to move his family into their dream home. But for Bryan, it’s not about the money. He now gets paid to do something he’s passionate about, which has given him the opportunity to change his own life and those of his family as well.

Read Bryan’s full story


In Less Than Four Months Kavitha Learned Swift and Released Her App in the App Store


I chose to build apps because I wanted to create something tangible that my children can use and even help me design. My children love playing games on my iPhone so I thought that would be a perfect place to start.

Kavitha was a stay at home mother of three when she decided to rejoin the workforce. Although she’d had a prior career as a finance analyst, Kavitha decided it was time to embark on a career that aligned with her fascination with programming. Inspired to create something tangible that her children could engage with, Kavitha joined Treehouse and began learning Swift. In less than four months, Kavitha learned Swift, designed, created and successfully deployed an educational app for children, Math Blast Off to the App Store. Kavitha is now working on her second educational app, while embracing the experience of following her passion for coding and bringing her app ideas to life.

Read Kavitha’s full interview


Treehouse Fits into Mary’s Busy Schedule as a Mother of Four While Working Full Time

The most significant aspect of Treehouse is its affordability, but a close second is that it is both self-paced and professionally structured and guided.

As a homeschooling mother of four, Mary found herself fed up of working a full-time job that she no longer enjoyed. With an increasing interest in learning to code she considered attending a coding bootcamp, but found they didn’t fit into her busy schedule or budget. Then Mary found Treehouse. Able to work at her own pace, anytime, anywhere, Mary has been confidently working through selected Tracks and is now well on her way to developing web-based software solutions for nonprofits and launching web applications of her very own.

Read Mary’s full interview


Melanie Went From Owning a Bakery to Traveling The World With Her Family as a Freelance Web Designer


I started a few years ago with Treehouse and now I feel like the industry is recognizing the education you get from online learning resources. It’s amazing that people are able to get so far with their education without putting themselves in debt.


Melanie Pellegrino owned and ran a bakery while her husband worked on the Web. From observing her husband and his lifestyle, Melanie was drawn to the flexibility and constant evolution of the web industry. Instead of being tied down to one place, he was able to work remotely from anywhere and Melanie strived for a career with the same freedom.

With no prior coding experience, Melanie began learning with Treehouse. Soon she was hooked by the innovation and challenge of coding and excelled with her learning. Today, Melanie has since launched a freelance web design business, worked with over 20 clients and has another web business in the works.

What’s more, Melanie is now successfully running her businesses from across the world. With both Melanie and her husband able to work remotely, the Pellegrinos – joined by their 2-year-old son – are currently traveling the world for a year.

Read Melanie’s full interview


Are you ready for a career change and want to learn to build websites or apps? Sign up for a Free Trial with Treehouse!

7 Responses to “4 Students Who Juggled a Family and Learning With Treehouse”

  1. Sam Atkinson on January 25, 2016 at 9:16 am said:

    Wow, great to know I’m not the only one juggling kids and trying to fulfill my dreams of becoming a freelance web designer. Thank you for this blog. Really, sometimes I have thought I was insane trying to do this while juggling my family and the frustration of having to stop learning or can’t get back on Treehouse for a couple of days because of schedules. This is really encouraging and motivating.

  2. Well if you want to transcend in your career or maybe change fields and on top have a family there’s no other way than to bite through it all.

    Had the same example myself.

    And all the bitting through makes sense and it pays of in the end.

  3. Learned so much on treehouse and I’m happy other people are also benefiting from this awesome community

  4. Nice to hear!!. Gotta go Treehouse nice job done

  5. ok, all this looks a bit overwhelming, i feel like i want to do it all, but exactly how does this work? is there a certificate? how long does one track take? can i do multiple sessions at once? if there is anyone to speak to over the phone feel free to contact me @ 956-884-8547

    thank you

  6. Congrats to them! Now what are their tips for others doing the same thing. I have a two month old. I have one year exp 28th development now but I feel like I am just spinning my wheels in the mud.

    • Bryan Knight on January 25, 2016 at 1:41 pm said:

      Just keep taking whatever time you can to study and do work. Write at least one line of code per day. It will seem discouraging and like you’ll never get to where you want to but just keep going. I have felt those same feelings but you have just keep going. Keep building stuff and it’ll come faster that you think.

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