Scott Cook: From Unemployed to Enjoying the Developer Lifestyle
We recently had the opportunity to meet Treehouse student and full-time front end developer, Scott Cook. You can watch Scott’s full interview at the end of this post.
Growing up in Indiana, Scott knew many people who worked in the steel mill industry, a major source of jobs in the area. It never seemed like the right fit for him, however, and he strived for a career where he could enjoy the work, “that makes all the difference in the world, just enjoying your day-to-day work.”
In 2011, Scott decided to fulfill a lifelong dream and moved to the West Coast, where beautiful Southern California became his new home. He enrolled in college to study Computer Science but soon found himself frustrated with the quality of the program. There was a lack of front end development courses, professors taught outdated content and Scott didn’t feel he was learning real-world skills that would prepare him for a future career. Eventually, the frustration and burden of college debt outweighed the benefits, and Scott made another nontraditional decision and dropped out of college. With limited job opportunities, Scott ended up working in retail.
Fast forward to 2015, Scott found himself laid off and reevaluating his career path. It was time to find a rewarding job that he felt passionate about, and unemployment gave him the time and motivation to find it. A friend recommended learning to code on Treehouse, and as soon as Scott began, he was hooked. Coding gave him the “happy medium of being a programmer and being someone that’s creative”.
For 6 weeks, Scott studied full-time, 7 days a week. He excelled at Treehouse courses and applied his skills to projects that build his coding confidence. Once he completed the front end development track, an opportunity arose to apply for a position as a full-time web developer at a local company. He applied for the position and was swiftly offered the job.
We asked Scott what advice he’d share with aspiring developers who are learning to code, “If I had to sum it up, I would say discipline is the secret to learning code. You have to do it every day. Whether it’s for 10 minutes or 8 hours. It’s about persistence and discipline. Don’t be afraid to make some mistakes and ask for help when you need it.”
Today, Scott has settled into his job as a developer. But it’s not just the fulfillment of a rewarding career that has changed Scott’s life, he’s enjoying the flexibility his career has given him. “The turnaround from what I was able to do working retail, to now that I have a good salary job as a front end web developer, is incredible. Now that I can explore and travel, and do all these great things, it’s really allowed me to expand myself as a person. I have the capability to do all of this because I have a solid job and good salary, which is great, but experiences are even better.”
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