CommunityJustin Gained the Skills and Confidence to Quit His Job as a Waiter and Become a Full-Time Front End Developer

Faye Bridge
writes on September 30, 2015

Justin wanted to start a business and every business needs a website, so he thought: why not learn how to build my own? He began learning from books and attended a community college, but to keep up with competitors, he needed to rapidly become an innovative and adaptive developer. Then Justin began learning with Treehouse.

6 months later, Justin felt comfortable enough with his web skills to take the plunge and embark on a career in tech. First, he quit his job as a waiter, then began to do freelance web design and taught a high school HTML and CSS class. Once he was confident his skills were optimized, Justin applied for and landed a Front End Developer position. Today, Justin couldn’t be happier with the work he’s doing and is looking forward to his career evolving into the future.

We caught up with Justin to hear more about his learning experience with Treehouse and the process of transitioning into his first career in tech.

Learning from Treehouse seriously gave me job freedom, I feel as if I can apply for a position anywhere in the world or I can be my own boss.

What first drew you to the web industry?

Around the end of 2013 I was interested in starting a business and I realized every business needed a website. I thought to myself creating a website couldn’t be that hard, could it? Then I ordered a basic HTML book from Amazon.

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

I was launching a Crowd-speaking platform with my friends. Our only competitor in the industry was already well established so we knew we had to become really innovative developers, quick. Luckily we found Treehouse and tried to complete as many courses and tracks as possible.

After 6 months of learning with Treehouse, you landed an awesome new programming job. Tell us a little about how your career has evolved since learning with Treehouse and the work you’re doing now.

After 6 months of learning with Treehouse, I enthusiastically quit my horrible Italian restaurant serving job. I began to do freelance web design, taught an HTML & CSS class for San Clemente High School and once I was really comfortable in my skills I sought out a Front End Developer position. I got the job which in Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, and I couldn’t be happier.

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

Well, after I finish all the Treehouse tracks I expect I’ll be ready for a career upgrade. So I’ll either ask for a more senior position at my place of employment or look for a better opportunity. I’ve been hearing a lot of good stuff about coding bootcamps so I want to attend one of those.

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

At my community college, I felt like I was acquiring knowledge that wasn’t applicable in a real world environment. That’s what I think is the biggest value in Treehouse, Treehouse provided me with the skillset to create applications that sell in the business world. Learning from Treehouse seriously gave me job freedom, I feel as if I can apply for a position anywhere in the world or I can be my own boss.

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

  1. My advice to new students starting out is to be a copy and paste guru. Eventually, you’ll understand the code you copy and paste, haha.
  2. If you believe that coding isn’t for you, you’re wrong. It’s applicable to everyone because you can literally discover a job in every field in the modern world that uses computer science. For example, I absolutely love medicine and one day hope to create graphical user interfaces for biochemists to view and manipulate chemical structures.

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

8 Responses to “Justin Gained the Skills and Confidence to Quit His Job as a Waiter and Become a Full-Time Front End Developer”

  1. gavin andrews on October 12, 2015 at 5:14 pm said:

    This is my best friend, and I am so proud of him. We should all follow our dreams the way Justin has.

  2. Congratulations on his success. I hope for his better future….! Not that easy to run for your interests. Inspired us all. Thank You.

  3. Sorry, but I think you wrong in saying that coding is for everyone. Not everyone will understand it and not everyone will be able to quit their day jobs and be able to survive like you have. Coding isn’t for everyone.

    • I tend to agree with you. Being a developer requires a certain mindset. You can learn the technical skills, but if you don’t have that mindset you will constantly hate your role in the design process.

      If you are of that mindset, though, you should do as the author encourages.

      I have learned much from sites like Treehouse, that would have taken two years and five figures of expense to learn in a classroom setting. But it is not easy to be good at programming and development when you are freelancing. Things are changing so quickly that it is impossible to learn enough, fast enough, to stay current when you work alone.


  4. Very inspirational! I recently quit my full time job to do what I love as well. I am making it work and getting better with it everyday. I hope to be at the same level as you soon!! Congrats!

  5. Norman Craig on October 2, 2015 at 1:36 am said:

    You are where many of us want to be! Thanks for the inspiration

  6. known this dude since high school. he’s a straight genius. can’t wait to see what he accomplishes cause i know it will be big

  7. Very inspirational. I hope that becomes my story when I get a job.

    Thanks for the tips! I feel like I do a lot of copying and pasting, I am understanding more and more of it, it does take time though!

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