Community4 Students Who Changed Their Careers & Lives with Code


Faye Bridge
writes on January 16, 2017

This time last year, we began some encouraging conversations with Treehouse students who were at different stages of learning to code. Some were just getting started, others were deep in their courses, but all had one thing in common: the aspiration to change career paths and work in the tech industry. They each had very different career backgrounds—from a teaching assistant to a currency consultant—but had all chosen to learn to code while continuing to work full-time.

So where are these students now? As the months passed we kept up with their progress. As of the start of 2017, we’re proud to say that all of those students have made their career switch and are now achieving incredible things as developers. Each of their stories is different—but equally as inspiring—which is why we asked if we could share some of them to illustrate what you can accomplish and how your life can change when you learn to code.

Meet Ashley, Pablo, Joe and Steve.

Ashley: From Currency Consultant to Developer

When Ashley first joined Treehouse, she was working as a currency consultant at the airport. Having plateaued in her job and expecting her first baby, Ashley decided it was time for a brand new career. Ashley was fascinated by the creativity of coding and building websites, so she decided to set the goal of learning to code. In a year – without a college degree or any previous coding experience – Ashley was able to accomplish that goal. Initially, she applied her new coding skills as a freelancer and built an impressive portfolio of projects. Since then her career has grown rapidly and she is now a proud member of the Wildbit team. Read Ashley’s full interview here.

Pablo: Finding a Rewarding Career as a Developer

When Pablo graduated from university, he was faced with a challenging job market and soon realized his traditional business degree wouldn’t land him the worthwhile job he wanted. A few years later, Pablo was working as an administrator at a non-profit. The organization was in desperate need of a new website, so Pablo decided to take on the challenge to learn to code and build it for them. The project was a success and sparked the beginning of a significant career change for Pablo. He began to see the web industry as an opportunity for an intriguing and well-paid career. Pablo excelled through Treehouse’s beginner to advanced courses, building solid coding skills. Pablo’s career has evolved drastically since then. First, he worked in the marketing department for a tech company, and now he’s a full-time web developer at a creative agency. Today, Pablo has not only found the career he was striving towards but is now being paid to do something he loves.  Read Pablo’s full interview here.


Joe: The Risk & Reward of Becoming a Developer

A few years after university Joe Cuanan found himself in a steady career but drawn to making a significant change in direction towards making a difference in the world as a developer. Taking the risk to prepare himself for a career and industry transition was a daunting one, but Joe had always valued education and the limitless opportunities that came with it. He was confident that with dedication and the right learning resource to keep him on track, he’d be able to achieve the career switch. When he joined Treehouse, Joe was working as a project manager. After only 6 months of learning to code, he transitioned into a new career as a front end developer. Read Joe’s full interview here.

Steve: From Teaching Assistant to Front End Developer

London-based Steve Brewer was working as a teaching assistant and was hesitant to change careers as it felt like a waste of the education and experience he’d invested in teaching. Then Steve decided to try out Treehouse while he was out of school over the summer. By the time he returned to teaching, Steve was faced with a crossroad in his career. The cost to obtain the degree he needed to become a teacher was high. Already in debt from his education, Steve wasn’t willing to make that sacrifice again. Instead, he chose to continue learning to code. A few months later, Steve came across an opportunity to combine his skills from working in education with a career as a developer. At the interview, Steve confidently showcased his portfolio and enthusiasm for front end development. The company was blown away and not only offered Steve the job, but an increased starting salary. Today, Steve is doing something he loves each day, and what’s more, he’s now making 50% more than his teaching assistant salary. Read Steve’s full interview here.


We hope you find these students’ stories as inspiring and valuable as we do. Now it’s your turn to start your own coding story of success. Provided you’re ready to put in the time, hard work and effort, there’s nothing stopping you from rising to the challenge.

“One of my favorite parts of being a developer is being able to create something that didn’t exist before that makes the world a better place.” – Joe Cuanan, Front End Developer

Make the commitment to learn to code this year and begin your new career in tech.


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