Success Stories

Aimee Knight

Savannah, Georgia

Aimee turned her scholarship into achievements galore

In the past Aimee had worked closely with developers and had been intrigued by coding. But it wasn’t until 2012 – encouraged by a developer she worked with – that Aimee applied for and received one of the 2,500 Treehouse Scholarships. With no previous coding experience Aimee dove into the Treehouse library. Just over year a later, with over 6,000 pointed unlocked, Aimee has racked up an impressive list of skills and accomplishments. She recently started an apprenticeship with a Rails developer, landed a contract with a local WordPress shop, and has been accepted to the prominent Makersquare bootcamp cohort. Aimee has found a new passion in programming, and now looks forward to immersing herself in the tech industry and feeding her appetite to learn more.

Why did you choose to learn with Treehouse?

I initially began with Treehouse based on a recommendation from a developer I’d worked with previously. I love that Treehouse encourages students to actually build tangible projects rather than relying solely on quizzes, or in-browser exercises. That way you’re encouraged to not just write code, but to incorporate an entire workflow with your text editor, version control, hosting, etc.

Tell us a little about your history with the web and what inspired you to learn to code.

I’ve always worked closely with developers in marketing and production management type positions, but the only code I ever wrote was a basic email template here and there. In late 2012 all that changed. When the developer for my employer’s site handed off the CMS to me saying “don’t touch anything outside of this” my fate was sealed. My curiosity and persistence, coupled with an increasing frustration with the surmounting website changes we were always needing led my on my path of no return. I started to stay up really, really late so I could mess around with the site while (hopefully) no one was looking. Within a few weeks I was completely hooked.

Persistence and determination will start to come naturally when you’ve found something you truly love to do!

What was your level of prior coding experience when you joined the community?

I really started as a complete beginner. Of course now I wish someone would have told me to try out some lessons as a kid! Unfortunately, until recently there hasn’t been much encouragement for girls to enter the field. While I do believe it takes a certain personality to learn programming, it’s not necessarily gender based. I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs personality profile a few times, and each time this was a field that showed up on my assessment.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I just started an apprenticeship with a local Rails Developer. Our client has an app that was built around four years ago so we’re updating it to Rails 4, improving its existing CMS functionality, and addressing some scaling issues. I’m also currently pursuing a second Bachelor’s in Information Technology at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and have been accepted into the Winter 2013 Makersquare cohort in Austin, Texas. In between school and my current apprenticeship, I work on a contract basis for a small WordPress shop doing some basic theme customizations.

Tell us a bit about your experience learning with Treehouse over the past year.

I followed what is likely the typical progression. I began with HTML, CSS, WordPress and JavaScript. Then went on to PHP and Ruby/Rails. The variety of content does an incredible job of feeding my appetite for more!

What have you enjoyed most about learning with us?

As I mentioned, the thing I love most about Treehouse is the fact that the curriculum lends itself to real world projects. I feel like Treehouse provides a solid foundation to dig deeper. I learn best by actually implementing an idea and being able to experiment with it, so I love not having the constraint of an in-browser lesson when working through the projects.

What are your future plans?

I want to expand on what I'm currently doing, so I will be looking to begin an internship or entry level Rails position. After my first degree, the ‘real learning’ truly began once I was actually working. Programming is fundamentally about problem solving, and I know the best way to grow as a developer will be to solve real-world problems. There are so many incredibly talented people in this industry, and I’d be thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from, and collaborate with a team of other developers.

Is there any advice you'd like to share with other Treehouse students?

Embrace the process. I believe it’s vital to be pushing yourself and learning every day. With that said, you’re going to fail a lot. That doesn’t sound positive, but I’m positive it’s true! Even when you’re working through a tough concept, the entire process of learning can be equally as sweet as a victory. Persistence and determination will start to come naturally when you’ve found something you truly love to do!

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