In his freshman year of high school, Ricky built a basic website for a friend running for class president. By the time he joined Treehouse, he still only had a basic knowledge of HTML but knew he wanted to master web design and development and that Treehouse’s focused curriculum was a perfect fit for him.
Ricky was still a student but dedicated his free time outside of class to learning with Treehouse. His hard work and skills were soon recognized and he was promoted to moderator in the Treehouse Community.
Shortly after, Ricky landed his first client job building a website for a local company. At the same time, he worked on personal projects to build up his portfolio. Soon, Ricky was a full-time senior in high school with a steady flow of clients approaching him with new projects. Ricky then started a summer job as a junior system administrator to further apply his new skills.
Today, at only 18-years-old, Ricky is an experienced developer with and expanding freelance business and is even in the process of building his own social media site. He’s undecided on the specific career path he’s going to take but knows he’ll continue to work in the web industry and he’s looking forward to the future.
We caught up with Ricky to hear more about his experience starting out in the industry and his plans for the future.
What first drew you to the web industry?
I was first drawn to the web industry when a classmate asked me to build a website when he ran for class president during my freshman year of High School. I slapped together a basic website with a table layout and a few colors. It wasn’t pretty, but my class went wild.
What work were you doing when you first joined Treehouse & what encouraged you to learn with us?
When I joined, I didn’t have a job. I had no skills at all except for a basic knowledge of HTML gained from stumbling around the Internet trying to figure out how to build better websites. I found Treehouse and immediately knew its focused curriculum, quizzes, and Community would guide me to finally understanding how to build websites.
You recently landed a new job in the industry. Please tell us a little about how your career has evolved since learning with Treehouse and the work you’ll be doing in your new position.
I got my first job shortly after joining Treehouse and after following some courses there built a website for a local company. I then built several personal websites to flesh out my portfolio and soon I had people coming to me for work while I was only a senior in high school. My summer job was a mix of a junior system administrator and IT helpdesk. I provided our users with solutions to their varying computer issues and help kept our servers up and running. Right now I am doing freelance web development on the side working on several websites for different clients. My most recent website is for Diligent Home Inspections, LLC and I am working with a friend to launch our own social media site.
What has the value of a Treehouse education meant to you?
Treehouse enabled me to become a voice in the web development community as a moderator and gave me the confidence to actively pursue my career path. I now feel comfortable working on large projects and answering questions from other developers. I am 18 years old, but I started at 15. It is great being able to listen to a developer, make a useful suggestion, and have them double take at my age.
The guidance from the teachers and Community has helped build me into the developer I am today.
What are your plans for the future, and what’s up next on your learning path?
My future is still quite open. I am going to college for computer science so I can experience the variety of amazing careers in that field and meet other students who share my goals. During college, I hope to get an internship a large company where I can work on web development. My immediate plans are to build a social media website with a friend using what I learned at Treehouse and adding an impressive piece to my portfolio.
Is there any advice you’d like to share with new students who are just starting out?
Dive straight in! Don’t worry about mistakes, don’t worry about learning everything, don’t hesitate to admit you don’t know something, and never stop learning. I was terrified before my first post in the community, but soon it came naturally. I started looking for people to help and before I knew it I was asked to be a moderator. I learned a great deal just from answering questions.
To read more student success stories, check out the Treehouse Stories Page.
Thanks for introducing with Ricky. A great inspiration for newbie designers.
Having worked with Ricky for three years, what is not truly reflected in this article is Ricky’s willingness to help others in the field and his insatiable positive appetite for trying new things. Congratulations, sir!
Thank you Ms. McNett! You flatter me. It was truly a pleasure to work with you and the rest of the Science Research team.
Great job, Ricky! Congrats on your freelancing successes. 🙂 This was a great read for me, particularly because sometimes we forget that even the most basic of web design/dev skills are enough to WOW people, and especially clients who can’t do it themselves!
Keep up the good work!
Thanks Nicole, it means a lot that you took the time to read about me. I will do my best to keep up the good work. Thank you for the motivation.