Success Stories

Sebastien Barrau

Miami, Florida

Primary stories sebastien barrau

With his new Rails skills, Sebastien was able to fully bring his project, htmlsig, to life with improved features

After trying other resources to learn web development, Sebastien signed up for a free trial to Treehouse. By improving his skills in his own time and focusing on Rails courses, Sebastien was able to apply his new skills towards building the second phase of his long-term project, htmlsig.com, a JavaScript email signature generator. With the improvements Sebastien was able to make, htmlsig was relaunched in November 2014, and obtained 200 paid subscribers in its first month. Sebastien is still learning with Treehouse and working towards adding additional features to htmlsig.

What first drew you to the web industry?

I remember it clearly: I was still in my home country of Haiti and my sister got me a subscription to PC Magazine. In the first issue there was a coupon for 5 years of web hosting and a free domain name. I used this and the free forum PHP App Invision Power Board and launched an online community forum for my friends, this was before Facebook, Myspace and Hi5 and the site did very well.

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

I was interested in learning about iOS development so tried a free trial to Treehouse and completed the beginner iOS courses. I then signed up for an account and started exploring the other available courses.

Tell us about your awesome project, Htmlsig.

3 years ago I built htmlsig.com. Htmlsig was a simple JavaScript email signature generator that had a form for your information and a live preview, you could use this to build an email signature on the fly in your browser then copy paste it to most email clients. At that time, users could not save their signatures and had to redo them a few times before they got it right. During those first years I received a lot of good feedback and also feature requests on Twitter from users that would require something far more powerful than a static site.

Our website relaunched in November 2014… and by December we had over 200 paid subscribers and over 50,000 signatures created. Without Treehouse I don't think I would have been able to fully bring my idea to life.

Fast forward to 2014, after completing the Build a Rails App on Treehouse and with the help of a friend I was already building the second phase of Htmlsig. The website relaunched in November 2014 with a lot of new features including saving and managing email signatures for small to large companies and by December we had over 200 paid subscribers and over 50,000 signatures created. Without Treehouse I don't think I would have been able to fully bring my idea to life. The Treehouse videos were very easy to follow and the pace worked great for me.

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

I’ve tried a few other websites to learn web development and found the Treehouse videos a lot easier to follow. Treehouse has helped me improve my skill set on my own time.

What are your plans for the future, and what’s up next for Htmlsig?

I’m currently taking some other Rails courses on Treehouse and hope to use them to extend the features of Htmlsig.

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