Success Stories

Alexander Zito-Wolf

Boston, Massachusetts

Primary alexander

Alex changed careers from sales rep to developer

Drawn to the endless possibilities of technology and it’s ability to change the way people document and live their lives, Alexander made the decided to pursue a career in tech. He joined Treehouse while working at a startup and spent lunch breaks and weekends learning to code.

8 months later, Alexander was working as a sales rep. Although he enjoyed his role, it didn’t challenge his creativity or newly acquired technical skills. Although it was hard to do, Alexander felt confident enough to quit his job and pursue a new career.

Less than a year after he began learning with Treehouse, Alexander became a developer at Education First, where’s he’s embracing the opportunity to use his creativity and flex his technical muscles on a daily basis.

We spoke to Alexander to hear more about his experience learning to code, changing careers and his plans for the future.

Treehouse represents a new generation of education. I firmly believe that everyone is a blank slate just waiting to have habits and passions etched onto them. Educational resources like Treehouse give people the tools they need to carve out their own unique paths.

What first drew you to the web industry?

I was first drawn to the web industry when I started working for a young video-blogging mobile application called Favecast. Even though the company eventually ended up shutting down, I remember feeling incredibly excited by the prospect of building something that people could hold in their hands and play with – something that could change the way they documented their experiences and lived their lives.

What work were you doing when you first joined Treehouse and what encouraged you to learn with us?

When I started taking Treehouse classes, I was working with the same startup out of an incubator in Kendall square. This was really lucky, because I was sitting next to some super talented people, and was totally unabashed about asking for help. I remember asking the now CTO of Yonder how to align my CSS styles for a side project I was working on. Coding during my lunch breaks and on weekends, bugging experienced guys at work, I was 100% confident that I was going to change my career.

You since landed your first full-time developer role. Tell us a little about how your career has evolved since learning with Treehouse and the work you’re doing now.

After about 8 months of learning front end development (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) on Treehouse, I was working full time as a salesperson for an education company in Waltham. I liked the industry I was in, but in my role, there was no way to be creative, no way to exercise my technical muscle. It was hard to leave, to give up a steady income and a role I was good at, but I knew inside that it was not a craft I wanted to be honing at 40.

I quit my job and applied up for an immersive course to learn full-stack web development. They offered me a merit-based scholarship due to my previous experience coding, which made the program far more affordable. There I learned the ins and outs of backend development and wrote servers in Node.js and Ruby on Rails.

Jump forward 3 months and I am working for Education First, developing in React.js and C# (the C adaptation that powers Microsoft visual studio). Things have changed so much but there are tons of common themes through all I’ve learned. It’s really important to be able to keep perspective and abstract concepts out to new languages and frameworks.

What has the value of a Treehouse education meant to you?

Treehouse represents a new generation of education. I firmly believe that everyone is a blank slate just waiting to have habits and passions etched onto them. Educational resources like Treehouse give people the tools they need to carve out their own unique paths.

What are your plans for the future, and what’s up next on your learning path?

My next adventure is to move internationally. It will be tough to leave family and friends in Boston, but I want to leverage my skills and use them to learn even more about the world and the people living in it.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with new students who are just starting out?

Start with small goals. Make them attainable. You can do anything eventually, but the incremental reward is how you reinforce good learning habits.

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