Success Stories

Graham Davidson

Birmingham, England

Primary stories graham davidson

Graham acquired the life changing skills he needed to propel his career forward

After venturing down a series of career paths, Graham chose to finally pursue his passion for the web and immerse himself in web development. Although he was already building websites when he joined the Treehouse community, Graham was searching for a resource he could rely on to build the educational foundations he needed to maintain up-to-date skills in the ever growing and expanding tech industry. Through the wide variety of Treehouse courses and projects Graham has worked on, along with the help of the collaborative and supportive community, he’s been able to satisfy his thirst for knowledge, expand his skill set, and level up his career as a digital developer.

What drew you to Treehouse?

I think Treehouse came along at exactly the right time for me - although seriously if you chaps had invented it 10 years earlier my life would have been so much easier. I joined my current position back in 2011 and lived in a world where semantic code meant very little and I was using inline CSS for fun. I vividly remember an edition of Net Magazine landing on my desk with a DVD attached which included Think Vitamin tutorials (Treehouse in the early days). The first time I watched Nick talking through HTML and CSS I was hooked. Bite-sized learning for the things that were actually going to make a difference to my day-to-day seemed almost too good to be true.

What kind of work were you doing when you first started learning with Treehouse?

When I first started with Treehouse my sites were so far removed for what I am producing today. Sometimes it pains me to look at them, but other times its nice to see how far I have come by using the courses at Treehouse coupled with my on the job learning at Plus One Creative.

Treehouse not only provided a great learning foundation for what I do on a daily basis… I now have friends across the globe, who I would never have met had it not been for Treehouse. I definitely would not be where I am today in terms of development both personally and professionally if it wasn’t for this community.

What inspired you to get involved in the web industry?

Ever since the days of Spectrums with their rubber keys I have had a fascination with computers (it probably harks back to sci-fi and the cool things that computers could do on Star Trek, etc.), but back then the Internet didn’t exist. Long story short, I tried everything from being an accountant, marketing manager, business development manager and ran my own print and design agency dabbling in a few web projects, which was over 10 years ago now. Coincidentally, web development is something I sort of fell into as I had my fingers very badly burned with print work and it seemed to be something that I could do from home, and I was lucky enough that my current employer liked the skills I had at the time and took a chance on me.

Tell us about a project you’re working on at the moment.

One of the great things that Treehouse has brought me is the opportunity to collaborate with some great people. As a side project, I am currently helping my good friend Stephanie Schetner launch her new business as a coach. It blows my mind that she is in America and just uploads her files to basecamp and I make the HTML and CSS happen from the UK.

How has Treehouse helped get you to where you are today?

Treehouse not only provided a great learning foundation for what I do on a daily basis. It also has a great support network both in terms of staff and more importantly the other community members. I now have friends across the globe, who I would never have met had it not been for Treehouse. I definitely would not be where I am today in terms of development both personally and professionally if it wasn’t for this community. Also, after a rocky past without the new skills and levelling up of my career, I wouldn’t have been able to save enough money to get my wife's engagement and wedding rings out of a pawnbroker that had them for two years.

What does the value of a Treehouse education mean to you?

Put very simply, Treehouse makes me love what I do. It is totally cliched but if you love doing what you do it does not flow like work. I know so many people that hate their jobs and cannot wait for the weekend. Treehouse has given me a direction and a passion for making things. For me it is about creating something that did not exist before, letting it out into the world, and being proud of the level of craftsmanship that I have been able to evoke into the project.

What are your plans for the future?

After some deep thinking and with a little help from the Paul Boag series on running an agency I have decided I want to specialize as much as I can in one area and have my star currently hitched to the JavaScript wagon. There is something so satisfying about the logic of code and the absolute right or wrong answer that really appeals to me. But who is to say this road will not open my up to other experiences with other languages. That's the great thing with the web - there is always something new to learn or try. With Treehouse skills I have also done a little bit of public speaking which was terrifying but enjoyable at the same time including presenting at the FOWD factor in London to 400 people.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with the Treehouse community?

I have what you would call an eclectic mix of skills, and perhaps not those of your typical web developer having been both a marketing manager and business development manager in the past. Failed businesses led us to being bankrupt and essentially living on a caravan park, however with my change in career and without question the help of Treehouse, we are turning things around. We now have a permanent home and I have a great career and these two things are in no small way attributed to Treehouse. I recommend it to everyone I ever talk to about websites.

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