Student Success Story

Dustin Usey (he/him)

Frontend Engineer at Neora

Dustin Usey LinkedIn profile photo

What were you doing before Treehouse?

Before Treehouse, I was a truck driver for an oilfield company in North Texas. Having my CDL and experience in the oilfield, I assumed that I would be in either of those fields for the rest of my life. I loved what I was doing but I always knew something was missing. It's kind of like that nagging voice in the back of your head that you just don't ever act on...until you're forced to. I ended up hurting my shoulder pretty bad at work one day. It was so bad that I was unable to continue working. Looking for a new job seemed impossible as I was unable to pass any physicals due to the severely limited mobility in my shoulder. I knew it was time to listen to that voice in the back of my head. That's when I met Treehouse! Without an ounce of coding knowledge, I jumped in and fit right in. (Like seriously, I didn't even know what HTML was!)

Any tips for succeeding in the FEWD TD?

I have a few tips that helped me get through the FEWD TD!

  • One of my favorites was that I liked to create my own small, side-projects after or before each unit-project to make sure I understood the material well. These were super helpful with fully grasping the concepts taught in the previous lesson as well as helped me get familiar with things like syntax, bugs, troubleshooting, and even reaching out for help from my peers.

  • Speaking of peers, one of the most incredible learning tools offered in the TD is the ability to review your peers' work. This was absolutely crucial in my journey to learning frontend web development. By doing this, I was able to see how other students tackled problems, built projects, and squashed bugs. There are so many ways to achieve the same thing and peer reviews is what I would say made me such a well-rounded developer. Working together with your fellow peers not only gives you access to new perspectives, approaches, and ideas but when you help someone else, you’re reinforcing what you already know.

  • Lastly, I would say actually reading through documentation. If it's an MDN page or documentation on a Library, reading the documentation adds another layer of comprehension in my opinion. If something didn't make sense, I would read as much on it as I could. There are many ways to explain how one particular thing works and there may be better sources of information out there sometimes. Being a professional "googler" is a huge part of a developer's tool kit!

What are you doing now professionally?

I am happy to say I am in my first full-time role as a Frontend Engineer for a wonderful company in my area! I work closely with our Digital Marketing team as well as the IT team in my day-to-day responsibilities. I am also in charge of a small team of developers that handle our company's main website content. While the majority of my work is building the frontend for software we use internally like company dashboards, visual data sheets, and portals, I get to also help/oversee the content for our main website and customer websites. I absolutely love what I do and it shatters all expectations I previously had of what working in a full time frontend developer role would be like. The best part is the peace of mind knowing I listened the voice in the back of my head and changed my life forever. All without going into debt, might I add.

Where can we see samples of your work?

2020 revamp of the WebApp Dashboard project:

Original WebApp Dashboard Project:

Employee Directory using an API:

Game Show App: