Daniel was working as a personal trainer and fitness manager but had reached a point where there was no room for growth in his career. So he set out in search of a brand new career path. Even though he had no previous coding experience or knowledge, Daniel had a keen interest in technology and decided to begin learning the basics of HTML and CSS in his free time. Finding himself in need of a more interactive learning experience, Daniel joined Treehouse and found himself quickly immersed in solidifying his new skills.
In only 6 months, Daniel succeeded in confidently building those skills and was able to completely switch careers to one that he loves. As a full-time front end web developer, Daniel enjoys more flexible hours, a better salary, the opportunity to continue learning and an exciting career path ahead.
We caught up with Daniel to chat about his career change, the work he’s doing now and plans for the future.
What first drew you to the web industry?
I was previously working in the fitness industry. I didn’t see much room for growth and I did not have a rewarding feeling every day for what I was doing. I had always enjoyed technology and computers but never knew any more than the average computer user. I began just brushing the surface with some basic HTML and CSS. Since then, I have not looked back.
What work were you doing when you first joined Treehouse & what encouraged you to learn with us?
When I first joined Treehouse about 6 months ago I was still working as a Fitness Manager and doing personal training. In my free time, had already begun learning a little HTML and CSS but wanted to begin learning from videos as it fit my style much better than simply reading. I stumbled upon Treehouse and loved it. The videos and instructions do an excellent job teaching, using good examples, and making the learning fun. The badge system was also very fun. Eventually, this inspired me to make my own little single page application to display my Treehouse achievements. Treehouse got me so excited about learning to code that I began dedicating a lot more time to learning.
You recently landed your first job in the industry as a front end web developer. Tell us a little about how your career has evolved since learning with Treehouse and the work you’re doing now.
My career has evolved enormously because I literally switched my career entirely. I went from personal training to a web developer. There are so many benefits to making this switch. I have more flexible hours allowing me to even work from home a few days a week if I prefer. I also have better pay, and there is much more room for me to grow into bigger and better positions while also getting to learn more. Also, I simply enjoy programming! It’s such a thrill to be able to create things with what I once thought was a bunch of text and gibberish. I currently work in Washington DC as a Front End Developer. My team and I mainly create new content, debug, and help maintain a website for a government agency. I also have the luxury of learning many new things in my job and I love learning!
What has the value of a Treehouse education meant to you?
Treehouse has been one of my main go-to sources for learning and I have to give them major credit for helping me get where I am now. They continue to keep me excited about learning and do it in a way that it is fun enjoyable. They have also had some courses that really help me gain a deeper understanding of the subjects that I was learning. I really like all of the instructors and their teaching style.
What are your plans for the future, and what’s up next on your learning path?
I want to continue to learn as much as I can and grow in my career. I definitely want to broaden my learning to commit to more back-end programming languages and libraries as well. I also want to continue to work on fun side projects like my Treehouse badge application and just have fun with them! Still being very new to programming, I feel like I have so much more opportunity to learn, grow, and make so many cool things!
Is there any advice you’d like to share with new students, who are aspiring developers?
The first thing I would say to any new student is “don’t give up”. I came from a background with zero programming experience and a degree in Exercise Science. I stuck with it and within 6 months I got a job. There will definitely be plenty of times where you will encounter new learning material and feel so confused. Go through it multiple times or maybe step away from it for a little, but don’t give up.
It will take a lot of work, but it is totally possible to get a developer job, even if that is not your background. If it is something that you want, then work for it and you can get there. Start by learning and work on some projects finishing them to completion. Create a portfolio to display your projects and learning to show employers your skills. Don’t ever stop learning, and just stick with it. It may take some time, but you can get there.
Finally, I encourage everyone to network, especially in the developer community. I had a few people I knew that I was originally able to use as mentors to get some starter guidance and tips from. This was huge because I had no idea where to start. It can also be very helpful when looking for a job to have references and people that can help say some good things about you or put in a good word for you. Keep on learning and good luck!
To read more awesome student success stories, check out the Treehouse Stories Page.