CommunityFrom Nanny to JavaScript Developer in 6 months: an Interview with Techdegree Student Ashley Clifton

Faye Bridge
writes on May 11, 2016

This week we introduced the Treehouse Techdegree, a new comprehensive program for students to master the career-changing skills they need to become a developer.

There are over half a million well-paying jobs in the Tech industry waiting to be filled, and what’s more, you don’t need a Computer Science degree to fill one. If you’re prepared to challenge and dedicate yourself, you can learn the in-demand programming skills needed to land a position in the industry and launch a rewarding career.

Take Ashley Clifton, one of our early Techdegree students for example. Ashley was a nanny for 5 and a half years before she decided to pursue a new career and enroll in the Techdegree program. 6 months later and halfway through the program, Ashley landed a position as a JavaScript Developer at a magazine.

We asked Ashley to share her experience and career transformation with us.

Ashley-Clifton

Ashley Clifton

What really drew me to the Techdegree program was I saw how it would take the guesswork out of my education. I’d have a game plan and come out with well-rounded knowledge and portfolio that was verified and validated by an organization and people that I trust.

What encouraged you to learn with Treehouse and choose the Front End Web Development Techdegree?

Once I decided I was interested in coding, I just started learning bits and pieces from wherever I could find relevant and current information. I started to worry that I would wind up with many education gaps or that I would be studying from outdated information without realizing it. I tried and considered a number of different learning sites, but it was an easy choice once I discovered what Treehouse had to offer.

What I really appreciate about Treehouse in general is they cover topics and structure their lessons in such a way that I don’t have to worry about either of those concerns. Paired with the fact that it’s tailored perfectly to my learning style, my education has been thriving from the get-go.

When I started looking into web development as a career, I knew Front End was what I naturally gravitated towards. I’d already been studying with Treehouse when the Techdegree program launched, so I decided to give it a shot. I had already taken a number of the courses on Treehouse that I needed in order to complete the Techdegree, so that was a definite plus. If I’d gone anywhere else for any sort of degree or certification, I would have to sit through all the basics again.

What really drew me to the Techdegree program was I saw how it would take the guesswork out of my education. I’d have a game plan and come out with well-rounded knowledge and portfolio that was verified and validated by an organization and people that I trust. The fact that I could still go completely at my own pace was very appealing to me, and I signed up in high hopes that it would give me the foundations needed to land my first job within a year — which is exactly what it did!!

After 6 months of learning with Treehouse, you landed a full-time position as a JavaScript Developer. Tell us a little bit about how your career has evolved during that time.

After only 6 short months of studying, I landed a job as a JavaScript Developer for Car and Driver Magazine. I love the position and was able to quit nannying to begin a whole new career, which has been a huge goal of mine for a long time. I’m over the moon with excitement.

For this new position, I am learning quite a bit on the job (Treehouse being my favorite online resource, of course). I’ve been nannying for the past 5 1/2 years, so it’s a whole new environment for me. What I’m actually doing for this position is scripting automated end-to-end tests, which is not something covered in the Techdegree program, so I am excited that I’m able to expand my learning even further. I still plan on pursuing more of a Front End position next time around, but I’m excited to add any new skill sets to my toolbox that I can as I build my career.

After only 6 short months of studying, I landed a job as a JavaScript Developer for Car and Driver Magazine. I love the position and was able to quit nannying to begin a whole new career, which has been a huge goal of mine for a long time.

What has the value of a Treehouse Techdegree meant to you?

I love that when I’m done with each project, I get to turn it in for review so I know that it’s done correctly and up to par. Having the Techdegree student community there was a huge asset to me. I was able to connect with students that were farther along than I was who were willing to help me whenever I got stuck or had a question about something. Even the Treehouse staff make themselves readily available to students. Everyone is so encouraging and helpful; it really feels like a community.

Having the Techdegree projects under my belt is ultimately what opened the door to this new job in the first place! I know someone who has worked for Car and Driver for awhile now and I was able to show him a few of my Techdegree projects. Upon seeing them, he asked if I would be interested in a possible job opportunity. Next thing I know I’m writing up a resume. The rest is history.


Now it’s your turn to learn the most in-demand programming skills and start on a new career path as a developer. Learn more about the Treehouse Techdegree and explore the certifications we offer.

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