Victor Ollervidez discovered a passion for the creativity of coding in middle school. But it wasn’t until college when Victor began his degree in multimedia that he was able to focus on learning to code and aspiring to work on the Web. However, once Victor began attending classes he found himself frustrated with the out-dated web development courses and turned to self-teaching online to supplement his learning. A tutorial on CSS-Tricks then led Victor to Treehouse and soon he had fallen in love with front-end development.
Over the upcoming months, Victor embraced his interest and harnessed his coding skills. Once he was confident enough to apply those skills to a career, he applied for a web developer position with his city government. Not only was Victor selected as the top candidate for the position, after his first interview he was hired.
Today, at 23-years-old, Victor is excelling in his role as a one-person web development team. The opportunity gives him the chance to code daily and challenge himself to further his skills. Victor is also embracing the opportunity to continue learning new programming languages and looks forward to the future of his career on the Web.
We caught up with Victor to hear more about his learning experience, the work he’s doing now and his plans for the future.
What first drew you to the web industry?
What first drew me to the web industry was MySpace! Back in the day – I’m talking middle school – that was my first taste of HTML, and inline CSS. I would do minor modifications to my profile and show it off to my friends. They eventually started giving me $5 to do minor modifications to their own profiles and for some odd reason I actually had fun trying to make pretty things happen with a mix of HTML tags and CSS styles. Earning $5 – $10 didn’t matter. I just enjoyed coding. Life eventually got in the way as I was growing up so I stopped learning. But what really fascinated me about coding was that I could make something usable and beautiful from a bunch of lines of code. It’s like how our bodies are made up of hundreds of thousands (or millions) of different elements and DNA strands that are all put together to make the beautiful human body. That’s the way I felt about building with code.
What work were you doing when you first joined Treehouse & what encouraged you to learn with us?
Before joining Treehouse, I was going to college to earn a 2-year degree in multimedia. I was also working at the same college I was attending as a Financial Aid Technician, which I did for four years; two years while I was in school and the two following years when they made me full-time.
Getting a web developer role where I live is extremely difficult and I couldn’t really apply to jobs in places like Austin, TX because I didn’t have the experience required for most web development jobs. What encouraged me to learn with Treehouse was that I was not happy with what I was learning in school. I was taking intro to web development classes, intro to visual basic programming, and a couple of graphic design classes. The HTML class I was taking was teaching us how to build table based websites, which I knew was a big no, no. So I got back on it and started teaching myself up to date web technologies mostly through CSS-tricks. I was following along a PSD to HTML/CSS course Chris Coyer was doing when I came across an ad for Treehouse on his website, and that’s where the love affair with Treehouse started for me.
You were recently selected as the top candidate for a web developer position with the city government. Tell us a little about how your career has evolved since learning with Treehouse and the work you’ll be doing in your new role.
Yes, I was recently selected as the top candidate for a web developer position with the city government. I was super stoked when I got the interview and nearly couldn’t believe it when they called me to offer the job. My daily tasks at my new job include: building WordPress websites for different departments within the city and meeting with department heads and directors to go over what they want to see on the website. I pretty much do everything myself except for the server administration. I thank Zac Gordon and his courses for everything I know about WordPress. I had already dabbled with WordPress before Treehouse, but never went deep into it. After learning with Zac, I’m now comfortable with customizing WordPress themes.
In my opinion, without Treehouse I would not have had a chance at landing the web developer role. I was pretty much self-taught when it comes to coding, but the interactive tutorials and the way the Treehouse teachers explain the material really helped me fully understand the web languages I thought I already knew. I’d especially like to thank Nick Petit, Andrew Chalkley, Zack Gordon, Guil Hernandez, Dave McFarland, and Randy Hoyt.
What are your plans for the future, and what’s up next on your learning path?
The next thing I want to do is work for web development agency in Austin, TX or out of the state or work from home freelancing. I want to sit and just write code with cool people so if anyone with an awesome agency sees this hire me! To be completely honest I want to learn everything, I want to be a full stack developer one day. But for now, I’m looking forward to learning Ember.js, Gulp, Ruby, and Rails.
What has the value of a Treehouse education meant to you?
I thank Treehouse for making fall in love with front-end development.
Is there any advice you’d like to share with new students who are just starting out?
The best advice I can give to people just starting out with web development is to not try and learn/everything all at once. I did that and it got me nowhere. You try to learn so much you end up forgetting it all. So just learn the basics and master them, then move on to more challenging languages. Also, copy and pasting never hurt anyone! Well, it would hurt if you’re writing an essay for school but in the web industry try and be a copy paste hero. Once you learn one language learning another one isn’t all that scary.
To read more student success stories, check out the Treehouse Stories Page.