Community6 Treehouse Students Who Successfully Changed Careers


Mary McPherson
writes on January 4, 2016

This is the perfect time of year to consider your career path (or lack thereof) and course correct. In some cases, a course correction may not be enough, and instead, it might make more sense to learn an entirely new skill and change careers. However, this is easier said than done. It’s not always easy to take that leap of faith and follow your dreams. But, seeing other people in similar circumstances can help inspire and reassure you that success is possible. Take a look at these awesome Treehouse students who each pursued a new career, and nailed it.

From Customer Service to Back-End Web Development, Nicole Found Success with Treehouse


On May 18, 2015, I lost my job in customer service at a software company, and it was probably the best thing that ever happened to me.

Nicole worked in customer service, but in her free time enjoyed personal nerddom, playing around with consumer technology and building things. Inspired by these interests, Nicole decided to register for an on-campus Computer Science course but quickly found the course structure wasn’t suited to her. Shortly after, there were several failed attempts to learn web development on a variety of educational sites. Then finally, Nicole discovered Treehouse.

With our unique learning style and curriculum, Nicole found the perfect learning environment. The only restriction was not having enough time to dedicate to her studies. So when she lost her job, the timing was serendipitous as she was able to take a few months off to commit to Treehouse and transition into a career in technology.

Nicole is now harnessing her coding skills and looking forward to building on her new career in web development. Inspired by her learning experience, Nicole also started a blog, La Vie en Code, to reach women and minorities and encourage them to take the first steps in self-education. What was originally a hobby for Nicole in her free time is now well on its way to being a fulfilling career, and she can confidently say she is the happiest she’s ever been.

Read Nicole’s full interview


Joelle Learned to Code and Discovered a New Career


Now I can sit down in front of a computer and turn an idea into something tangible…something profitable. It’s literally changed my life.

After years of working at a digital design agency surrounded by designers and developers, Joelle decided she was no longer fulfilled by her role as a project manager. It was time for her to expand her skills so she could finally grasp and understand coding. So 9 months ago she jumped headfirst into learning with Treehouse, while simultaneously changing her career path with an exciting new venture as Co-Founder of HookFeed. Within a matter of weeks Joelle was building websites. Today she now frequently contributes to client projects, is able to turn her ideas into something tangible, and most importantly loves her job.

Read Joelle’s full story


Scott Leveled up His Career at From Support Rep to Rails Developer

Scott Hudson

I currently work for a fantastic team that challenges me on a daily basis, and I couldn’t be happier.

Scott was tired of working long hours for little pay in a series of entry level jobs. He was a sales support rep for a software company at the time and decided he needed a career change. When an aptitude test suggested web development as an area of interest, Scott decided to give it a shot.

Without a computer science background, Scott struggled to learn to code with other resources. Then he came across Treehouse and began learning the basics from scratch, which started him down an exciting new career path.

Once Scott built up his skills, he began doing freelance WordPress work for clients. At the same time, he began working at automated digital ad agency platform, OwnLocal, as a support rep. As his front-end skills strengthened, Scott gained confidence and volunteered to help the engineering team with technical tasks. The team was so impressed with his skills, that Scott was promoted to full-time Rails developer.

Today, Scott is part of a fantastic engineering team that challenges him to apply his coding skills daily. He’s learning, gaining experience from his peers, working towards the next phase in his career and he couldn’t be happier.

Read Scott’s full interview


After 15 years as an Arts Professional, Alex Successfully Transitioned into the Tech Industry

Alex Kidston

Accessing Treehouse has been a perfect way for me to formalise my own learning and to prepare for what has proven to be a life-changing career change.

After 15 years experience as an arts professional, Alex was considering a career change. At the time, he was working as a professional freelance orchestral tuba player, and decided to learn to code to offer web design consulting to colleagues and organisations in the classical music industry.

As his list of clients grew, Alex decided it was time for a permanent career transition into the tech industry. But to do so, he needed to improve his coding skills. When a design agency recommended Treehouse, Alex decided to sign up.

Over the next year, Alex immersed himself in learning Web Design with Treehouse. He then applied for a master of science in Software Development course at Queen’s University in Belfast. Based on his skill level and coding abilities, Alex was awarded a place on the program.

Alex continued to supplement his university courses with Treehouse and soon found himself confidently taking the next steps into the tech industry. Today, Alex is a Graduate Analyst at Deloitte’s Belfast Technology Consulting offices. He still considers himself a self-motivated learner for all things coding and is embracing this next part of the learning curve.

Read Alex’s full interview


RJ Made the Switch From Accountant to Front End Developer


I’ve come an incredibly long way since the days of being an accountant. I love what I do now, it’s the perfect combination of art and technology, and I get to work in amazing environments with incredible people.

A few years ago, RJ McLain was a recent college graduate working as an accountant but found himself hating every minute of it. Then an opportunity arose at work for RJ to help implement new software to upgrade the company’s systems. Ironically, the software replaced him, but the experience introduced him to a keen interest in software and tech.

At his next job, RJ saw another opportunity to improve the efficiency of a company by replacing outdated processes with customized web-based software. This was RJ’s first opportunity to take on his own tech project. The only issue was he had no coding experience.

Treehouse provided RJ with the learning resource he needed to master his coding skills. Before long, he decided to dive further into the tech industry. In contrast to the years before as an accountant struggling to land job interviews, RJs new resume and skills attracted dozens of recruiters and companies.

Fast forward to today and RJ has come a long way since the days of being an accountant. He’s successfully transitioned into an entirely new industry, worked with two of the fastest growing companies in Chicago, and is now working as part of the awesome team at Merge Design + Interactive, where he couldn’t be happier.

Read RJ’s full interview


Rob Switched Careers from Financial Services to WordPress Developer


[Treehouse] is by far the best investment that I’ve made in my adult life. I value Treehouse the same way I value my 4-year degree.

Rob was introduced to WordPress during college and was immediately drawn to its user friendliness and community. Post college, Rob graduated with a degree in business and was working in financial services. He started to hear more buzz around learning to code and the number of online resources available to do so and decided to give it a shot.

Rob worked his way through a few resources but struggled to fully grasp the coding concepts and how to apply them. Then Rob discovered Treehouse. The platform taught Rob in a way that helped him not only learn new skills but also how to put them to use in the real world.

As Rob’s WordPress skills expanded, he took on small projects from friends and family. Then, he was given the opportunity to develop a website for one of the largest Industrial Machine Companies in Houston, Texas. The project was a huge challenge, but one that Rob took on confidently and successfully completed. Since then, Rob’s career as a WordPress developer has been thriving.

Read Rob’s full interview

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6 Responses to “6 Treehouse Students Who Successfully Changed Careers”

  1. Lokesh Jammi on November 19, 2016 at 5:51 am said:

    Firstly congrats guys for driving your carrier in good road.
    I love to read success stories like this and specially these stories inspired me a lot, and i’m also interested to start my new carrier by learning web-development @treehouse

  2. I enjoy reading these success stories because it makes me feel like my transition to front-end web development will happen someday.

    Would it be possible to include some of the Treehouse classes or tracks that these student took to help guide those of us that are trying to do the same? I have been taking Treehouse classes on and off for about a year now but don’t feel like I’m near the point of making the jump. It would be helpful if I had a better idea of the specific steps that others took to do it. Thanks!

    • Mary McPherson on January 11, 2016 at 9:09 am said:

      Hi there! You can actually check out the profiles of the students by clicking on the hyperlinked names. That way you can see all the badges earned.

  3. Great to read some positive stories to kick of 2016 – hope all the people mentioned above are now loving there new jobs within the website design industry!


  4. The story of Nicole is exactly what I needed to read right now. I’m transitioning out of hospitality and customer service and entering into web development, which is what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s unsettling to not know if what you’re doing is a sound decision, so this article was a really well-timed confidence booster. Thanks, Treehouse. You guys rock.

    • Mary McPherson on January 5, 2016 at 8:00 am said:

      Good luck Brian! There has never been a better time to make the jump than now. You have so many tools at your disposal and a really supportive community. Keep us updated on how you’re doing!

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