20-year-old Jordan Watson loved technology, which led him to a course in computing and IT. When the course introduced Jordan to web design, he immediately knew he wanted to make websites and enrolled in university to study web design and development.
Although Jordan did well in his first semester, he found the curriculum fell short of his expectations to learn up-to-date and job-ready skills for the tech industry. So Jordan sought out an additional resource to supplement his learning. He found Treehouse and began with Android development. Soon he’d learned the skills to build his first app. Next, he began using Treehouse to focus on expanding his front end development skills.
After a few months, Jordan felt equipped with the skills he needed to graduate early and embark on his new career path. He landed a front end developer role and has been flourishing in the position ever since.
As the industry is constantly changing, Treehouse still plays a valuable role in Jordan’s learning. For now, he’s focused on continually improving his front end skills, but is also looking forward to expanding into iOS development in the future.
We caught up with Jordan to hear more about his learning experience and how his career has progressed since learning with Treehouse.
You never really stop learning when you are a developer. There’s always something new to read about or discover and with Treehouse there is a nice platter of things to choose from to help you improve.
What first drew you to the web industry?
I have always been a lover of technology. This is what pushed me to apply to college in a Computing and IT course. Within the course, there was a web design based module which showed the very basics of web design and instantly I knew wanted to make websites. After completing that course, I then furthered my education in college and progressed onto an Interactive media course where I learned how to design for the browser and code in languages such as HTML & CSS.
What work were you doing when you first joined Treehouse & what encouraged you to learn with us?
It was Android development which drew me to Treehouse back in March 2015. I was tasked to build an Android app as one of my assignments at University, but felt I didn’t know anything about Android as the lectures I’d attended were a little muffled and unclear at times. So I joined Treehouse in hopes this would draw me closer to understanding Android development. Mobile development was not my career focus but it was an interesting subject to explore and delve into. This is where I learned the MVC development approach.
Once I signed up to Treehouse I got started on the course Build an Interactive Story App, which inspired ideas for my app assignment and incidentally got me over the finish line with a pass for the assignment.
You’re now a front end web developer. Tell us a little about how your career has evolved since learning with Treehouse and the work you’re doing now.
I’ve learned a lot on the job and have the advantage of working with a close-knit team of developers – front and back end – that are willing to help and share their knowledge. Treehouse has allowed me to continue learning things outside the workplace. For example, recently I have learned a lot on SVG animation, which I’ve applied to my workflow.
You never really stop learning when you are a developer. There’s always something new to read about or discover and with Treehouse, there is a nice platter of things to choose from to help you improve.
I definitely feel my time in college and university has benefited me in many ways, it showed me the theory of marketing techniques, such as SEO in web enabled business. But Treehouse gives you that industry level standard with courses that are easy to follow at your own pace, while encouraging you to take what you have learned and apply it to your daily work.
What has the value of a Treehouse education meant to you?
Treehouse is without a doubt an example of good education with teachers that are remarkable. They are clear and concise with their teachings, and the course videos are put together professionally making each and every step easy to follow. There are a lot of industry-ready skills to be obtained on Treehouse. They help get you past the first difficult stages of learning a language and push you on to learn different development languages.
What are your plans for the future, and what’s up next on your learning path?
Is there any advice you’d like to share with students who are just starting out?
Studying at a university will get you ready for the basics of web development but as far as frameworks, content management or new emerging technologies, that’s where the struggles lie. You may not get what the industry expects from you in college or university especially as it’s hard to distinguish some job requirements.
If you ever find yourself in the situations where you don’t understand something, always ask for help. Whether that’s in a Community forum like Treehouse, other developer forums, or – if possible – in the workplace. I’ll admit nothing makes you feel dumber than reaching outside your comfort zone and trying to learn something new, but you have to keep at it!
I also suggest picking what you enjoy doing whether that’s front end development, back end development or web design. To learn any given skill, focus on it, improve on it and never stop learning.
To read more awesome student success stories, check out the Treehouse Stories Page.
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