As an advocate for social change, mental health, the arts and education, freelancer and non-profit organizer Lee Crockford had experience with multitasking taking on new challenges. He also had ideas he wanted to take online but didn’t have the financial resources to hire a web designer or developer. So instead, Lee decided to empower himself and learn to code. After struggling to learn from a mishmash of resources, Lee committed to learning on Treehouse as a pragmatic and cost-effective way of learning web design.
Since adding coding to his skill set, Lee has been able to build over a dozen websites for his non-profits, as well as launching side projects Future Postbox and Best Day / Worst Day. He uses each new project to apply, practice and expand his knowledge and is constantly finding new ways to utilize his technical abilities. Next up, Lee wants to dive into mobile development and expand some of his websites into apps.
We asked Lee to share his experience learning to code, building his first projects and his plans for the future.
What first drew you to the tech industry, in particular, web development?
To be honest, the reason I first took an interest in coding was due to a lack of money. I freelance and run several non-profit organizations. Many years ago when starting them all up, I didn’t have the funds to outsource or hire someone to create the necessary websites. So my initial interest in web development was a necessity, but over the years I’ve grown to love the challenge of coding.
What motivated you to learn to code with Treehouse?
After years of cobbling together tidbits of information from a mishmash of disparate forums and tutorials, Treehouse seemed like a really pragmatic and cost-effective way of learning a comprehensive base understanding. I think the first month of learning through Treehouse mainly consisted of me saying “Oooh if only I’d known that earlier!”
Treehouse seemed like a really pragmatic and cost-effective way of learning a comprehensive base understanding.
You recently completed an awesome side project called Future Postbox. Tell us a little background on the project and your experience building it.
What has the value of a Treehouse education meant to you?
It’s incredibly empowering to be able to set up a fully functioning, adaptive website from scratch for any business, campaign event or side project that comes along. I’d say I’ve created a good dozen websites for various endeavors. There’s also a huge financial value to being able to code for yourself – I have literally saved thousands in outsourced web development costs.
It’s incredibly empowering to be able to set up a fully functioning, adaptive website from scratch for any business, campaign event or side project that comes along.
What are your plans for the future?
What most excites you about the future of the tech industry?
Do you have any advice you’d like to share with students who are just starting out?
Prototyping is key. Start with the basics and experiment from there. Internalizing and understanding code doesn’t happen overnight, so I’ve found it really important to continually come back, refresh and reiterate the work you do.