CommunityAshley’s Story: From Currency Consultant to Front End Developer

Faye Bridge
writes on February 24, 2016

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Ashley Harpp first joined Treehouse while working as a currency consultant at the airport. Feeling she’d reached the peak of that career, she wanted a big change. Ashley always had a fascination for the web and wanted to learn to code. This was the opportunity for her to take the leap and learn the skills she would need to launch a tech career. At the time, Ashley and her husband were expecting their first child. Life was busy and she needed a learning resource that would fit into her schedule. Then Ashley found Treehouse.

Since then, Ashley has worked as a freelancer, a front end developer, launched a web design and development business and is now a proud member of the Wildbit team.

We asked Ashley to share her awesome story with the Treehouse community.

 

Ashley-wildbit-headshot

If you’re just learning to code, don’t feel overwhelmed. Be comfortable with the fact that you may never know everything. That in itself is the beauty of coding to me.

What first drew you to the web industry?

Good question! Computers have always been fascinating to me. I would always wonder, “how does the computer know to display this image?”, and “how in the world are these animations on this website?”. When I was in high school I took a class on Web Page design and loved it! Around this time, online programs like Treehouse were not available, so I would watch tutorials on Youtube.

What were you doing when you first joined Treehouse & what encouraged you to learn with us?

When I first joined Treehouse I was working as a currency consultant at the airport. I had gotten married, and I was quite happy. My husband worked as a Product Designer and I would often see him designing and writing code. I would always ask him questions, especially when he was coding. In time, I had started to reach my peak working as a currency consultant, and we found out we were expecting a child. I knew I wanted to learn to code. It wasn’t a question of what I would learn, it was simply a matter of when I could make the time to do it. I checked out a few other online code schools and selected Treehouse because of the engaging video selection. I still remember the “Smells Like Bakin” HTML site I made with the help of Nick Petitt. I learned HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and Sass — all thanks to Treehouse and a boatload of used books from Amazon.

After I became comfortable with HTML and CSS I started doing projects for friends and neighbors for little to no cost, just to gain experience. I learned how to work with clients, and bring ideas to life. Later, I joined forces with my husband, launching our own web design and development business. I landed a contract with a company in the UK as a Front End Developer and that was only the beginning for me.

You’re now working as part of the customer success team at Wildbit. Tell us a little about how your career has evolved since learning with Treehouse and the work you’re doing now.

I’ve always described myself as a lover of people who just so happens to code. I absolutely love working as part of the customer success team. While I like coding, my bread and butter is helping people. It’s been a dream of mine to have a job that allows me to dabble with code and help others at the same time. At Wildbit, I support product 3 products: Beanstalk, DeployBot, and Postmark. My job is to help our customers (generally developers) get the most of our products. My day to day activities may consist of walking someone through how to use Git for the first time, or writing helpful blogs and guides to get our users acquainted with the best development practices. Treehouse has definitely provided a solid foundation for me to continue to do what I love.  

Treehouse has definitely provided a solid foundation for me to continue to do what I love.

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

Treehouse has done so much for me. I’m afraid you won’t fully understand until you give it a shot yourself. I’m still using it to this very day. Granted, I don’t have as much time as I use to. Working a full-time job and having a family is a lot to juggle. But I will never take for granted the knowledge I’ve gained from Treehouse. Treehouse exposed the discipline that I didn’t know I had within. What I learned in a year and a half, I’m convinced I could not have gotten at college. Due to my learning style, and the desire to build my own projects, Treehouse was the best option for me.

What are your plans for the future, and what’s up next on your learning path?

Moving forward, I want to continue to help people by volunteering to help those who want to learn to code. I’d love to have a camp locally for kids who are even remotely interested in tech. This is really important to me because I wish someone had pushed me to do this sooner. It can be a little daunting starting out, but once you commit yourself, you’re limitless. As far learning is concerned, I’d love to continue to increase my knowledge of JavaScript frameworks such as Node.js, Ember.js etc.

Treehouse exposed the discipline that I didn’t know I had within. What I learned in a year and a half, I’m convinced I could not have gotten at college.


Is there any advice you’d like to share with new students who are just starting to learn to code?

If you’re just learning to code, don’t feel overwhelmed. Be comfortable with the fact that you may never know everything. That in itself is the beauty of coding to me. There are tons of resources, you just have to know how to find them. There are plenty of books, online forums, and programs like Treehouse you can reference if you are ever stuck in a bind. Just keep learning and have fun. Also, there will be at least one moment where you will feel completely frustrated, and want to quit. But remember, don’t give up! Use the problems you experience as stepping stones to becoming a better developer.

To read more awesome student success stories, check out the Treehouse Stories Page.

Ready for a career change? Sign up for a Free Trial with Treehouse!

4 Responses to “Ashley’s Story: From Currency Consultant to Front End Developer”

  1. breyana on March 31, 2016 at 11:13 am said:

    I loved reading ashleys story I’m 23 and felt truly stuck in life until i fell upon coding it opened my eyes to a new passion and I been having doubts if i can truly code im learning html css and javascript now although I am a beginner her words inspired me God truly places the right words in peoples heart. Im looking to learning more and NEVER giving up!

  2. I love to see stories like Ashley’s. Treehouse is a great resource for people who want to enter the web industry, and a way to cut down on the overwhelm, and learn things in the right sized chunks.

  3. Excellent story! I motivational inspiration! I’m making a career change from IT project manager to backend developer and I’m looking how to get my foot in the door.

    Congrats!

    Tyler

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