CommunityAfter 15 years as an Arts Professional, Alex Successfully Transitioned into The Tech Industry

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Faye Bridge
writes on October 21, 2015

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.

 

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.

What first drew you to the web industry?

While studying and working in the classical music industry, I taught myself to build websites for teachers, colleagues, myself and chamber music groups that I ran.

What work were you doing when you first joined Treehouse and what encouraged you to learn with us?

I first joined Treehouse while working as a professional freelance orchestral tuba player in Dublin as a way to improve my skills. I had been doing individual web design consulting for colleagues and organisations and wanted to improve what I had to offer my clients. Treehouse was first mentioned to me in an exploratory meeting I had with the head of Dublin design agency, HiddenDepth, as an excellent way to accumulate learning and industry recognised accreditation.

Tell us a little about how your career has evolved since learning with Treehouse and the work you’re doing now.

After doing Treehouse courses for the better part of a year, I applied to the MSc Software Development course at Queen’s University in Belfast. This course was advertised as an intensive, immersive programme designed to produce industry-ready programmers inside 12 months.

What are your plans for the future, and what’s up next on your learning path?

While studying, I actively pursued gainful employment and attended as many employer events as possible. I found that I gravitated towards the tech consulting sector and was very impressed with Deloitte. After a 4-month intake process, I was a offered a Graduate Analyst role here at Deloitte’s Belfast Technology Consulting offices. I primarily work in the Delivery (testing) service line and am certain to face at least another year with a steep technological and business practices learning curve.

What has the value of a Treehouse education meant to you?

Treehouse has provided me with an invaluable way to be a self-motivated learner for all things coding. The MOOC platform is an ideal one for people in transition and the approach taken by Treehouse instructors and the teaching platform itself are both very open, clear and user-friendly. 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.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with new students who are just starting out?

Follow your interest and try to find out what you enjoy and what you are good at. Don’t be afraid to fail and learn by breaking things. Guide yourself through the material and use actual learning as the best measure of success, not marks or quantity.

To read more awesome student success stories, check out the Treehouse Stories Page.

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