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General Discussion

29 Years Old - Ready to Finally Make a Change.

Hello everyone,

I'm here because I'm sick and tired of working a 12 hr night shift at a dead end job. I work as a night time cashier. I don't really want to go into the specifics of how I've ended up at this position at this age in my life but that's where I'm at right now.

I've always loved computers, gadgets and video games. Pretty much technology in general. I've always wanted to do something related to some field in IT.

Earlier this year I made two resolutions that I AM gonna keep:

  1. I'm gonna lose weight
  2. I'm gonna finally learn some useful skills that I can be proud of and that'll help me obtain a career/better working conditions.

I have been doing Weight Watchers since the first week of January 2014. I'm happy to say it's working so far :) I've lost a total of 17 lbs!

Now I am ready to start on the second resolution but I have a few questions.

  1. Do I start by learning the HTML & CSS Deep Dives; or do I go in the suggested order which has me complete an entire website project using both HTML & CSS. After that project then come the Deep Dives and Foundations. What is the proper way to go about learning web design and web development?

  2. I work 12 hr shifts 4 consecutive days per week and get 3 consecutive days off. How much should I be trying to do each day in order to see the most progress? Obviously, the days I'm off I'm able to dedicate a much larger amount of time to my goal.

  3. Does anybody have any advice on how to start freelancing? Some websites to start looking for some freelancing work that I can do from home once I feel comfortable enough that I can create something from scratch?

I apologize if this is a long thread but I highly appreciate those who take the time to answer any of my questions.

Looking to be a participant on here on the forums as well in order to network with others and to help pay it forward as I learn more and more.

Thanks, Fidel.

15 Answers

geoffrey
geoffrey
28,724 Points

I'm a bit in the same situation you know, I'm in Belgium, and work as customer care, normally I should be 3D real time artist, but here getting a steady job in this field is almost impossible. Unless you work as a teacher or if you move abroad. As I can't leave, I've chosen the first steady job I could get, which is customer care (helpdesk) even If I already wanted to study web development at that time when I signed my contract, but I couldn't, I had to get a wage quickly...

So I highly encourage you to pursue your dream, you know what's a shitty job, so you have all the motivation to learn something else, to reach your purpose.

First off, you've already done a great leap forward by registering on treehouse, because for sure, you have everything you need to learn webdesign/web developement. On my side, I've been following some evening classrooms during the evening in my city for almost 1.5 years, but honestly treehouse teaches me a lot more... Not to mention everything I need...

  1. If I were your, I would simply pick up a track and simply follow it. In the suggested order, that's the way I do. They explain everything so no worries. And if ever you change your mind, you can still go backward.

  2. It depends on the person, on my side, english isn't my mother language, so I sometimes take more time to understand things, but that's not often, because most of time, It's well explained. I as well take a lot of notes along the video, this takes time as well. But I want to be sure to understand everything so that's the way I do.It's obvious that the best is to involve a lot of time, you'll become good quickly if you work a lot. Practice is important but HTML/CSS isn't that much complicated. At least the basis. Listen to yourself as well, when you are fed up, take a break... That's a good advice :)

3.On my side I'm not doing some freelancing the webdev field yet, but in the past, as 3D real time artist I used to get jobs mostly from forums.

Thanks a lot the the encouragement on pursuing my dreams. For some reason I've always felt I was too old to start a brand new career. However, reading through some of the success stories and forum posts helped a lot to dismiss that fallacy. That coupled with the dead end job situation is the fuel for this journey.

English isn't my mother language either. I understand what you mean by having to take a little more time to understand certain things sometimes. With that said, what I've seen so far on this first project I'm doing is 110% clear. Nick really does an excellent job at breaking down everything into simple steps.

I'll just take the advice and follow the tracks as laid out and focus all my attention on doing and understanding the work.

geoffrey
geoffrey
28,724 Points

sorry double post.

  1. Do the tracks that Treehouse has laid out for you. Choose either the Web Design or Web Development track, depending on what you'd rather do (front-end or back-end, creative or technical?). The tracks are excellent career preparation courses with all that you'll need to know.

  2. Try putting in a couple hours a day, at the least. Take as many notes as you feel necessary - a dedicated notebook was the best decision I made while taking the beginning courses. However, any amount of time you can put in will be beneficial no matter what.

  3. There are some great business courses on Treehouse, including a project called How to Freelance instructed by Pasan Premaratne. I'd also look at the project called Careers Foundations so you can get a better idea of what it takes to get a job in the field of web design/dev. If you want to work on projects at home, scour Craigslist or join a freelancing site like oDesk or Guru.com and take it from there.

Well I'm planning to do both tracks. I want to be able to do both the design and technical aspects when building a website. Even though I lack creativity, I like learning how things work. So even if I decide to lean more towards web development, I'm thinking it should come in handy that I know a bit of design as well.

Thanks for the tip about a dedicated notebook. I'll give it a go and see if helps me retain even more of the information. I'm also planning to do some flash cards using the Jenki Method (spaced repetition).

Also, thanks for the links! Bookmarked for when I'm feeling ready enough.

Marcus H
Marcus H
4,267 Points

All I can say is good luck on your new path brother, I'm 33 and in the exact same position as you. I started around 1 month ago and am learning steadily, there is so much to get through but it's fun and quite an enjoyable learning process, get stuck in.

Hey there Marcus,

Makes me feel better knowing others around my age are going through a similar experience. I've only completed a few stages but you're right. It is fun and enjoyable. Rewarding even. Last night I completed 2 stages and I couldn't wait to come back for more.

I think the idea of creating something out of nothing is what really brought me here. Even though I don't yet have an actual idea/project of my own.

Thanks for the words of encouragement and good luck to you too!

Fidel S. Good luck! You can do it man. I am in the same boat as you here. I am almost 31 and struggling to get a better career. Treehouse is a great place to learn and study. I am personally interested in the Web development courses, so i started with those. I liked your idea of using a notebook,thats a good idea i want to implement more.

The hardest part for me has been just sticking with it all. Sometimes it can be daunting and seem impossible. So when i feel that i try and take a day off or watch some of the careers videos to relax a bit and just listen more. Also the treehouse blog has almost daily articles to read for inspiration and knowledge.

Don't give up! We can do this together and create great things very soon.

Garrett

Liviu Tudor
Liviu Tudor
7,061 Points

awesome words man !!!! really..

Liviu Tudor
Liviu Tudor
7,061 Points

Hi there, Put me in... I am also 33 years old , some Photoshop skills ( basic ones) and willing to make it on the front-end-development.... startinh here on Treehouse almost on the end of December and keep going.... sometimes, like in the past 2 days i fell like I dont learn anything....but we must keep going forward. Now making Web-Design track and after I will make the Web-Dev Track.... hopefully after I will be able to code a medium website from scratch...

You ar enot alone here.... keep it up !!!

geoffrey
geoffrey
28,724 Points

Indeed, It's not easy. I can understand you have from time to time the feeling you don't learn anything. It 's happened to me as well and I think It's normal. We don't become front-end developer so quickly, It requires a good amount of time to reach it.

If I were you, once you've finished a track or whenever you want, I would take a break and I would start a project, your own project. This way you'll learn more and you'll see as well that you 've indeed learnt many things by coming here. This way you'll have probably to face some issues that you will have to solve. It'll reinforce your learning.

There is as well the fact we often want to reach our aim quickly... which isn't good because if we aren't aware of the fact that takes time, we can quickly loose motivation.

So yes, guys, keep it up.

Liviu Tudor
Liviu Tudor
7,061 Points

yea man ....i know what you are saying..... :) i wish i could build an amazon-like website over night... :) i want to start a very very simple personal website ( with max 3 pages) but i am curently very old on PS skills... :) I will keep track of treehouse... maybe when i will advance i will go pro with it.. just invested in some gear : mb pro + 24" external display....so since life is tuff in Romania .... it was an effort.. regarding the method i am aware that i have to pass thru some sections again , maybe 3-4 times and that the exercises will teach me more and more.... :) share your thoughts too.. :P

geoffrey
geoffrey
28,724 Points

By very old on PS skill do you mean with photoshop ? If so, It's mostly needed to do some design researches but not especially needed to sharpen your html / css & JS skills. You could just wireframe your personal website and then code it. However, if you want to focus as well on design, that's going to be a good exercise. For the mac, same here I wish I could buy one but that's out of budget. I just use a "simple" desktop computer with dual boot system windows/linux and at the moment this one does the job. To come back on the subject, yes I often review things I've already seen, or look for information on google to solve issues I could have on projects, that's part of the learning process, the more you fail the more you'll succeed later. :)

Liviu Tudor
Liviu Tudor
7,061 Points

i really need to sharpen more and more on Photoshop .... also i didnt know any html or css... just started from scratch here....now making the web-design path...i will get in some pointo Photoshop and Design and i think that those will help... just trying to keep calm and on the track .... the "mac" thing was very big for me.... now i have a nice set-up here for working.... :) i add-ed you on twitter btw... we keep in touch bro....

Let's all make our dreams come true... ;)

Glad to see you have a good setup bro. It makes things so much easier and professional looking. I followed you guys on Twitter also, so we can keep this momentum going here at Treehouse.

geoffrey
geoffrey
28,724 Points

Ok, thank you Liviu, same here, added Jeffrey & you.

Nice thoughts here guys! I am almost 32 and still pushing through Treehouse courses. I'm trying to do a little each day to keep up a good routine and not get distracted. Forum's like this one keep me motivated as well. :) My goal is to leave my dead end job this year and start as a developer or work on freelance projects. Its encouraging to read so many posts from similar people who are struggling to work and continue our passions in web dev. This keeps me going it really does.

Keep it up guys.

Liviu Tudor
Liviu Tudor
7,061 Points

for this si what we all wish for..... evolve userself and write good codes , design great sites and build things for the world , we also wish for a secure financial status according with the work that we make from the comfort of our house, favourite coffe-shop etc.

Maybe we can all just help eachother !!! no ?

I agree with you Liviu Tudor. Just keep doing what our passion is and things will happen for us eventually. We will be successful.

I'm willing to help whenever I can. Lets all keep in touch. I like the positivity here.

Liviu Tudor
Liviu Tudor
7,061 Points

this is great... this is what forums are build, internet invented ....to make us reach our goals .. to help !!!

we shall all keep contact !!!

like a brotherhood :P

long live the treehouse :)))

exactly man.

keep in touch with me on Twitter or email. :)

Liviu Tudor
Liviu Tudor
7,061 Points

i will bro'' keep things up there !!!

Marcus H
Marcus H
4,267 Points

Keep practicing and you'll get there, even when you think you haven't learnt anything you probably have and it will show later on. I've been working on the design side of things a lot lately but will get back into coding side pretty soon. I started out trying to build a website but realised my design skills were very bad so started to learn about design. I love the design side of things now and would just do that if I could, I've just started a bit of freelance work so anything is possible with practice and perseverance because I was pretty damn bad at the beginning. Here's my Dribbble profile, I'm still a work in progress but am much much better than I was.

https://dribbble.com/mshanda

As for the coding side, I'll have to let you know as I haven't spent enough time learning and have kind of wasted my membership but my plan is to concentrate on the building side from now onwards.

Awesome stuff man!

geoffrey
geoffrey
28,724 Points

Yep nice designs, honestly these ones look slick & pro. I like a lot the logo you created, the one for the "Tina's Dance Academy".

Liviu Tudor
Liviu Tudor
7,061 Points

Marcus you made very very god jobs there bro.... really... I wish I could make those type of designs in my life !!!! fantastic job ...

Marcus H
Marcus H
4,267 Points

Just takes time and practice, that is it.

Marcus H
Marcus H
4,267 Points

Thanks for the praise guys, makes all the practice and learning worth it when I hear positive things about my work. I'm nowhere near some of the people on Dribbble but as along as I keep going I'm sure there is still much to come from me. Also I think I better jump back into the coding as I've been neglecting it big time :)

This is a very nice book to learn the basics from and was the first one I read, I will always recommend this book first to everybody.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Non-Designers-Design-Book-Edition/dp/0133966151/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

This is the newest edition but you can pick up one of the older versions used if you don't want to pay full price (which I did).

Liviu Tudor
Liviu Tudor
7,061 Points

your work ROCKS man ... also ...i have a new threath here : https://teamtreehouse.com/forum/how-we-should-use-the-lessons-what-method-do-you-suggest

maybe you will share some of your own methods of learning :)

thank you