CommunityScott Leveled up His Career at OwnLocal From Support Rep to Rails Developer


Faye Bridge
writes on October 6, 2015

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.

We caught up with Scott to hear more about his experience transitioning careers and the work he’s doing now.

Scott Hudson

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

What first drew you to the web industry?

My foray into web development isn’t a particularly unusual or interesting one: I was simply tired of the entry level jobs that were available to me at the time. I was working a ton of hours and making very little, learning few real high-level skills, and constantly under pressure to perform well or be let go. I took an aptitude test that recommended web development as an area I would enjoy working in, so I gave it a shot. Once I was committed, I knew that I could absolutely be successful in this industry with a little guidance and a lot of hard work. That’s where Treehouse came in.

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

I first began learning to code while working as a sales support rep for a mid-size network management software company. I saw the sales engineers well-versed in all things networking making as much as the sales reps without having to keep a quota, so I went out and bought a CCNA study guide and began learning the basics of networking. I found it to be very difficult to learn without having a computer science background or an actual network to tinker with, so I made the switch to web and started learning HTML, CSS, and JavaScript using Treehouse.

You now work as a rails developer at a startup. Tell us a little about how your career has evolved since learning with Treehouse and the work you’re doing now.

While taking the Treehouse courses, I started doing freelance custom WordPress work on the side to earn a little extra money. By this time, I had moved to my current company, OwnLocal, as a support rep handling customer interactions. I grew confident enough in my front-end skills to volunteer myself for some of the smaller technical tasks that were on the engineering team’s agenda, thus freeing them up to work on tasks better-suited for their experience level. Soon enough, I was poking around Rails apps trying to figure out the asset pipeline. I was promoted to the engineering team full-time to work on our Rails apps, as well as golang for some of our services.

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

It’s changed my life in ways I could never have imagined. The opportunities that I’ve been given since learning to code can’t be quantified. It’s not always easy working in tech, but overall I’m so much happier now than I was before learning to code.

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

I currently work for a fantastic team that challenges me on a daily basis, and I couldn’t be happier. We’re growing at a tremendous rate at the moment, which poses many unique challenges that we face almost every day. For now, I’m watching far more experienced people solve these problems to gain experience for the future. More specifically, data management and highly-scalable web apps are what I plan to work on for the next phase of my career. Long term, who doesn’t want to start a company and see where it goes?

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


  1. Learning this stuff is HARD. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t have the opportunities we do. The first year was the hardest for me because I had to get used to things like error handling and bug hunting. Struggling at first is very normal, don’t be discouraged.
  2. When I started learning to code, I was an incredibly impatient person, which isn’t a helpful character trait for learning this stuff. I had to make serious changes to the way that I approached my coding obstacles in order to succeed personally and professionally.
  3. Find what types of coding skills make you happy and pursue those first and foremost, this was so important for me. I would get really frustrated at times learning JavaScript, so I would put it away and go back to working on a bootstrap project for a couple of days before coming back to trying again. And whenever I did this, I would get a little bit further. Finding something that you can always go back to working on when things get tough is so important to long-term success, IMHO.

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


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5 Responses to “Scott Leveled up His Career at OwnLocal From Support Rep to Rails Developer”

  1. Nice Congrats Scott! This kinda reminds me of my story.
    I went from retail sales associate > graphic/web designer> ui/ux designer> developer

    All due to treehouse 😀

  2. Great advice for students, Scott! That’s some grade-A, valuable insight 🙂

  3. Great work to Scott for making the transition! Definitely the right move, the right time 🙂

  4. Scott, first off: congratulations! Second, our backgrounds are fairly similar, though I was working as a CSR in software. My aim is Rails engineer… we should talk! 🙂

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