Community4 Inspiring Treehouse Students & Their Stories: Meet Walter, Ellis, Gloria and Jack

Faye Bridge
writes on March 27, 2017

While we were at SXSW earlier this month, the Treehouse team were honored to be able to catch up with some of our students. As an online technology school, it’s not often that we have a chance to meet students in person, so this was a very rewarding experience. As always, each student has a unique story and experience to tell, and we walked away from each truly inspired by all they’ve accomplished.

Meet Walter, Ellis, Gloria and Jack.

Walter Somerville


We first virtually met Walter back in 2015 when he shared his inspiring story of going from zero coding experience to full-time software engineer. Meeting him in person at SXSW was a happy coincidence when he recognized us by our Treehouse t-shirts. As it had been a few years since we spoke to Walter, it was awesome to hear how his career has evolved. After a few years of working as a software developer, Walter recently took a job as a behavioral designer and prototyper at a new company. As there’s been so much change for Walter, we’ll also be doing a full feature on this next chapter of his story soon.

Ellis and Gloria Woods

Ellis and Gloria

We gave our last two doughnuts at the Treehouse Voodoo takeover event to Ellis and Gloria. Meeting them both was a highlight of our final day at SXSW. Ellis has been learning with Treehouse for years and is continuing to expand his coding skills. His passion and enthusiasm for learning are contagious. We asked Ellis what he most enjoys about being a developer, “I can look at any problem and see a solution. Being a programmer and technologist gives me the freedom to have fun and at the same time solve problems both big and small. Plus, the skills I’ve learned can be applied to any area in life. Not just coding.”

It was truly such a pleasure to meet both him and Gloria and we were so inspired by their story that we’re going to be sharing a full feature on them in the upcoming weeks.

The skills I’ve learned can be applied to any area in life. Not just coding.

Jack Choi


Jack Choi was already a professional developer when he started learning with Treehouse, but found himself stunted by only being able to use the same skills, languages, and technologies. Going through the design track on Treehouse also helped Jack understand the role designers play in the industry, which helped him to better work with designers, and, in turn, be a better developer.

We asked Jack how learning to code has changed his life, “a surprising effect of knowing how to code is it changes the way I view the world day to day. From spotting inefficiencies and thinking of ways to improve in everyday life, to being comfortable with making mistakes, and more importantly, learning from them. To me, learning from mistakes is part and parcel of becoming a better developer and it is just as applicable to skills outside of programming: there is always something more to learn and I find it best to just go ahead, break things, put them back together, and have some fun doing so.”

Learning from mistakes is part and parcel of becoming a better developer and it is just as applicable to skills outside of programming.

As always, it was fantastic to meet more of our awesome students, and we’re excited to share even more of their stories. If you’d like to share your story with us, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you.

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