Student Success Story

Mel Rumsey (They/Them)

Python Techdegree Student Success Specialist at Treehouse

Mel Rumsey profile photo

What were you doing before Treehouse?

Before my coding journey started, when it came to a career, I felt completely directionless. I had attempted college several times and kept switching majors. There were so many things that I wanted to do, but once I started learning them, I would lose interest. This was not only hard on my wallet, but sitting in a classroom was the worst. Traditional learning was always a challenge for me, and I just thought it was because I was not as smart as the other students.

After switching majors away from Biology, I either wanted to do coding or photography. Because I strongly doubted my own intelligence at the time, I took the "safe route" and went with photography. I was afraid to fail. About a year and a half as a product photographer, I discovered I was not passionate about the job. I just wanted to feel excited to wake up and dive into something that I loved to do.

This lead to some soul searching with my partner and we landed on the topic of coding again. This is when I discovered Treehouse. When I wrote my first line of code, the passion inside me finally caught fire. I was able to quit my job and fully focus on coding. I was learning so much and every day I was excited to wake up with Treehouse to see what I would learn next. Soon after, I was ready to take the next step and start the Python Techdegree!

Any tips for succeeding in the Python TD?

There are several tips that I always recommend when starting your coding journey, especially going into a Techdegree.

1.) Code Consistently

Learn as consistently as you can. It's better to learn an hour a day every day than for 5 hours one day a week. Learning consistently will make what you are learning easier to remember.

2.) Ask For Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone, even senior developers ask for help. When you ask a question and receive an answer, you will be much better off than having a question, not asking it, and being frustrated with yourself for not knowing the answer.

3.) Be Kind to Yourself

This is such an important tip as it will contribute to your overall productivity and will affect your learning journey. There might be days where you want to quit or days where you are stuck on a problem and cannot figure it out. But tomorrow is always a new day. If you are struggling, take some time for yourself. Do something that eases your frustrations, whether it is going for a nice walk, hugging your pet, or reading a good book. Then just come back to it. You might be surprised to find that when you step away to clear your mind the solution becomes easier to find with fresh eyes.

4.) Find and Build a Network

You are not in this alone. The Slack channel is an amazing and supportive place to ask questions and share your wins. LinkedIn is a supportive and uplifting social platform. Connect with people who share uplifting and encouraging content. Some days are going to be far more challenging than others, and having a support system to lean on was crucial for me.

5.) Try the 100 Days of Code challenge

This will keep you accountable to code consistently. Sharing your journey on social media will inspire other developers and will be a way for you to track your own progress.

What are you doing now professionally?

I am currently a Student Success Specialist at Treehouse for the Python Techdegree. Being able to guide and encourage other students who are sitting right where I was not too long ago is right where I want to be. Every morning I wake up excited and ready to get to work!

Where can we see samples of your work?

Python Programs

Game Development Website