This is a guest post from Alexey Laduda about his experiences using Treehouse to build out his project, Urban Time Lapse.
It all started in the wonderful city of San Francisco, where creative ideas seem to float in the air as thick as the sea breeze. I’d just walked out of SF City College with a sound design certificate in my hand when I realized there simply was no work in my field available that could suit my creative thirst. I started searching for a new challenge.
Of course, because it’s San Francisco, there was plenty to be heard about the wonders of the internet.
The idea of turning an inspiration into a functioning, usable thing intrigued me. Everywhere I went, it seemed that folks around me were constantly excited about what projects they’ve got going on, about the apps they’re designing, and how they plan to change the world. I wanted in! Web design seemed like the best possible option for a career; high in demand, extremely creative, and always evolving, with new trends coming out nearly every day.
But starting out was not easy. After a few hyped up weeks of watching tutorials and reading a ton of ebooks, I realized what a broad set of skills I would actually need to start making my dreams into reality. Just before freaking out, having no idea where to turn, I spoke to some friends about my dilemma. I was advised to start from the very bottom and build my way up. That meant I had to get the dirty work done (html/scc/design) before moving on to any of the cooler, more exciting stuff like frameworks. My buddies help me put together a whole new list of forums, podcasts, and books, but most importantly, Teamtreehouse.com came in to the picture.
Frustrated by hearing about how to do things, but never having any guidance doing them, I dug deeper into the tools my new discovery had to offer. Turns out, I’d come across a true diamond in the rough! The site was intuitively organized, the videos were highly informative (but in simple, everyday English!), and I found myself able to follow along the courses with a little practice of my own at the same time! The teachers are amazing and courses built in a very unique way, with each lesson being a kind of adventure with a neat twist at the end. With each new thing I learned with Treehouse, I felt very inspired and motivated. What impressed me most about the folks at Treehouse was their willingness to respond to regular users like me. I mean, getting email from a founder to answer my questions was pretty amazing. It’s little things like these that make you feel like you are part of family where everyone cares and wants to help.
Treehouse Facebook group was another great source. The hundreds of people reaching out and helping to solve each other’s problems together as a community was amazing. Seeing people talking about their projects made me realize that it’s time to really get my feet wet with my own website.
UrbanTimelapse.com is made to fulfill one’s desire to discover the world, one city at a time. The idea came at the very moment when I finished watching a timelapse video of my hometown. Seeing my city through the lens of timelapse photography felt mind blowing. Hundreds of memories were brought up instantly. I discovered a beautiful tool to help me show where I am from and discover places I wanted to go. Digging deeper, I found an enormous community behind the videos. I thought, there’s a wonderful chance to bring curious and creators together in one place and I’d like to give it a shot.
UrbanTimelapse.com is built with Twitter Bootstrap on Backbone.js framework, with Parse.com as a database, and is hosted atHeroku.com It took me a great amount of time to build the prototype that you can see now, and not without help from my mentors. It is thanks to the folks over at Treehouse that I overcame the fear of getting started on this wild online adventure. Without them I don’t know how long it would take me to get going.
So far I’ve only gotten a positive feedback and I’d really like to continue developing the project. Seeing all the timelapse videos scattered around the web and not being noticed only urges me to continue evolving. I want to implement search functionality by city or country, make user accounts where photographers can share their own videos and follow other photographers they like, add more information about cities, and more. I’ve got plenty of ideas for which I’d be more than happy to team up with a Treehouse student who’s interested in and would like on the development side or give some advice.
Cheers and thanks for reading! See you in cyberspace.