CommunityHow These Ambitious Students Became Self-Taught Developers

Every month we’re honored to speak to Treehouse students about their incredible accomplishments since learning to code. Some students began learning with us as complete computer programming beginners, others used Treehouse to turn a coding hobby into a career. All of them do have one thing in common: once they learned to code they were able to embark on new careers as full-time self-taught developers. Each student has a unique—but equally as inspiring—story. Here are just a few of them to illustrate what you can accomplish and how your life can change when you learn to code.

Meet Chris, Priscilla, Jim, and Jeffrey.

Chris became a self-taught developer in 3 months

Chris Dabatos

Chris Dabatos bounced from job to job in an attempt to find the right career fit. Eventually, he found himself working as an audiovisual executive assistant, but with very limited future career prospects. He decided it was time for him to find a new direction that would give him control over his career and his future. That’s when Chris was introduced to coding and the new and exciting career opportunities that came with it. Whatsmore, becoming a developer didn’t require him to go back to university for a degree.

Chris didn’t have his own computer, so he learned with Treehouse during his free time at work. After 3 months of hard work and dedicated learning, Chris landed a junior developer position. Less than a year after that, Chris was promoted to the main developer at the company. Since then, Chris has started his own YouTube Channel to document his life and career progression as a developer and help encourage others to learn to code. Read more of Chris’s story here

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Priscilla balanced becoming a front end developer with being a full-time mom

becoming a developer

Priscilla Luna first became interested in the dynamic tech industry in Austin, TX. She decided to begin learning to code online but found herself overcome by imposter syndrome and put coding on hold. 3 years (and a long list of jobs later) Priscilla still hadn’t found the right career for her and was a busy stay at home mom of young twins. Even though it was limited free time, Priscilla decided to seize it as the perfect opportunity to overcome her fears and return to learning to code.

As a full-time mom, Priscilla had to be incredibly well organized, driven and determined to fit learning into her busy everyday life, but her hard work paid off. 6 months after completing the Treehouse Front End Developer Techdegree program, Priscilla has a jobs she loves working as a Front End Developer for Teleflora. Read more of Priscilla’s story here

Jim went from self-taught developer to web development director

self-taught developer

Jim Syphokham had always been interested in technology, but was intimidated by programming and didn’t had the confidence to consider a career as a web developer. Instead, Jim chose a very different path after high school, expecting a college degree to secure him a good career. However, after graduation, he quickly learned the reality that that’s not a guarantee. For 2 years he struggled to find a job related to his degree and eventually found himself working in an unrelated field.

At that time, Jim chatted to a friend who ran a web design business and had taught himself to code. Inspired by the conversation, Jim decided he had found a new potential career path. It took 7 months of dedication and tireless learning, but with the support and encouragement of his friends and family, Jim was able to build up his coding skills.

Soon after, Jim landed a job as a junior developer at ROI Online, and it has been an exciting career evolution ever since. Today, two-and-half years later, Jim is now the web development director at ROI Online and manages a team of developers. Read more of Jim’s story here

Jeffrey went from a service job to full-time developer


Jeffrey McKim worked 70 hour weeks in a service job and reached a point where he was exhausted and in need of a significant career change. That’s when he was first introduced to coding bootcamps and a potential career in web development. Unfortunately, the $10,000 cost of a bootcamp and the time commitment wasn’t an option for Jeffrey. So he chose to learn to code online instead of a bootcamp or going back to college for a degree. Self-paced learning turned out to be the right fit for Jeffrey. There were challenges and moments of frustration on the way, times when he wanted to quit, but Jeffrey was determined. Before long, he was building websites and began freelancing, which built him a portfolio of projects. A year and a half after he first began learning to code, Jeffrey landed his first job a as a full-time developer. Read more of Jeffrey’s story here

These are just a few of our amazing students’ inspiring stories. To read more, check out the Treehouse Stories Page. Have your own story to tell? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

4 Students Who Changed Their Careers & Lives with Code

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