Success Stories

Nicole Tamminga

Ashland, Oregon

Primary stories nicole tamminga

Nicole and Troy: A mom and son team learning to code

When her son Troy decided to pursue his passion to become a programmer, Nicole volunteered to embark on the learning adventure alongside him. They’ve been pair learning on Treehouse since, and after mastering the basics, Nicole launched CodeMoms.org to document the experience. Through committing to 2 hours of coding a day —with a goal of reaching 500 hours by the end of the year— Nicole and Troy are both learning the valuable skills they need to embark on careers in the tech industry.

When my son, Troy, graduated from high school, his passion was to become a computer programmer. A four-year college could help him reach his goal; however, in today’s technological revolution, online classes and resources are giving students a new portal to independent learning. At a fraction of the cost of a traditional degree, students can now tailor their education into a personalized curriculum. With an ambition to learn code, Troy found Treehouse was a perfect fit.

We discovered that students who learn code with a partner (pair learning) are more likely to stay with it and succeed. So I volunteered to learn with Troy. We set up a workstation with two Macs in the living room and started taking classes together. I soon discovered that I was really enjoying coding too. I am an artist and a stay-at-home mom, and now see the possibility of re-entering the workforce with what I am learning today.

Pair learning is a bit like having a workout partner at the gym. We help each other solve problems and discuss topics we are learning. It also keeps us motivated and structured. In January 2014, we set a yearly goal of learning 500 hours of code, which breaks down to about two hours a day. We both have busy schedules, so this two-hour commitment works for us. When he’s not doing code, Troy is exploring the world through other MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) classes in subjects like math, history, social sciences, and art to develop a well-rounded education.

Thanks to Treehouse, Troy and I are on the path to becoming future computer programmers... He is learning skills that will help him move into a satisfying career; and I am discovering new skills that will bring me back to the workforce.

Treehouse has been a wonderful experience for us. The instructors and material are engaging and we enjoy learning by doing. We also like the flexibility and freedom it provides: we set our own hours, go as fast or slow as we need, and choose tracks that match our goals. The lessons are clear and understandable, and when we struggle with a concept, we find plenty of support in the Community.

After taking classes with Treehouse, I have launched a website called codemoms.org. The goal of my website is to practice what I am learning and to inspire other moms, dads and kids who are new to code that learning online can be done successfully. It just takes the desire, the time, a lot practice (and note taking) and determination.

Thanks to Treehouse, Troy and I are on the path to becoming future computer programmers. At two hours a day, it might take a while, but this pace will provide the endurance for us to reach our goal together. He is learning skills that will help him move into a satisfying career; and I am discovering new skills that will bring me back to the workforce.

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