After losing his job as a Web Content Strategist, Jonathan decided to make the most of unemployment and learn to code. Jonathan signed up for Treehouse by recommendation of a web designer friend.
While learning to code in his free time, Jonathan was still searching for a new job in content strategy but, unfortunately, was only able to pick up a few small jobs. Jonathan soon found he wasn’t happy with the work he was doing. However, the realisation then came that coding had become a passion, so why not aim for a career that involved coding every day?
Soon, an opportunity for Jonathan to apply his coding skills to HTML email development presented itself. He interviewed for the position and was hired. Over the upcoming months, Jonathan challenged himself and built on his coding skills. 9 months later, he was given a new opportunity to combine both HTML email development and his front end skills. Today, a year after Jonathan first joined Treehouse, he couldn’t be more grateful and happy with his career. What was a dream a year ago, has become a reality.
We caught up with Jonathan to hear more about his learning experience and how his career has evolved over the past year.
What first drew you to the web industry?
I was really drawn to the web industry when a friend showed me a map he designed for his website. I was so amazed that I asked him how he made it and he explained he had done it using code. I had read a book in the past about HTML but what he had designed was so much more advanced. That experience began the journey for me.
What work were you doing when you first joined Treehouse & what encouraged you to learn with us?
Previous to my learning experience with Treehouse, I was a Web Content Strategist. Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of my control, I had to look for other opportunities of employment. I decided to make the absolute most of my unemployment by learning how to code. The friend who designed the map recommended Treehouse, so the next day I signed up.
You currently work in a position that incorporate both HTML email development and front end development. Tell us a little about how your career has evolved since learning with Treehouse and the work you’re doing now.
It has been quite an interesting ride. 2014 was an eye-opener for me. While I was learning code, I simultaneously was looking for another job in content strategy. I probably applied to 50 places and only heard back from 7 of them, to which I did not receive the job. It was very depressing. I picked up a few jobs to make ends meet, but I wasn’t happy. Coding had become my passion. I knew that in order for me to be happy in a career, I was going to have to code. Sure enough, in December a friend reached out to me with a job that required someone with HTML and CSS skills. I was interviewed and a few weeks later I was hired.
The position started out with editing HTML email files for clients. I wanted to prove myself to the company so researched everything I could on HTML email development. I learned about table structure, inline styling, how different email clients behave, and how Microsoft Outlook enjoys making life difficult (that last bit is a joke for anyone in HTML email development).
It wasn’t long before the company allowed me to utilize these skills and my position changed to HTML email developer. I did this for about 9 months before another door opened that would not only allow me to use my skills as an HTML email developer but would also allow me to work on front-end projects as well. I decided to take the opportunity. I couldn’t be more grateful and happy to be at this point in my career. This was all a dream a year ago.
What has the value of a Treehouse education meant to you?
My Treehouse education means a lot to me. It is where the foundations of my experience begin. My friends and family are very proud of what I have accomplished and this reality would have never happened had I not taken the time to learn. Education of any kind, whether you have a degree or not, is extremely valuable.
What are your plans for the future, and what’s up next on your learning path?
Is there any advice you’d like to share with new students who are just starting out?
Work hard and keep at it. If there is something you don’t understand, take a break, and come back to it with a fresh set of eyes. It helps.