Success Stories

Tom Cawthorn

London, United Kingdom

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Tom went from knowing nothing about code to a professional web developer in 6 months

In January 2014, Tom found himself an unemployed university graduate contemplating his career. He had a degree in Zoology but had firmly decided he had no interest in pursuing a career in the field. This left Tom with the need for a new and drastically different career path. When an epiphany brought Tom to the idea of becoming a web developer, he joined the Treehouse community to learn the tech skills he would need. After only 6 months of focused learning and expanding his interest in the web, Tom felt confident enough to begin applying for developer positions. Within less than a month, he was hired as a full-time front end and PHP developer. Tom now has a career he loves and is still able to dedicate time to building on his experience and knowledge.

I went from knowing nothing about code to a professional web developer within 6 months, using only Treehouse as my educational tool.

It's January 2014. It's cold. It's dark. I'm unemployed. I'm bored. I had graduated from Leeds University with a BSc in Zoology and found myself in that period of 'bumming-around-looking-for-jobs'. Amongst the uncertainty, I could at least rely on one thing - I didn't want anything to do with Zoology. For starters, this was a strange degree choice because I don't have any particular fondness for animals. I mean they're okay I suppose. Except spiders. And snakes. And earwigs. Actually nature makes me uneasy in general (especially when seaweed brushes past my legs in the ocean) but somehow, I got by for three years. The search for an alternative career path was hard.

It was the 5th of January when an epiphany struck. My parents had decided to refit our two upstairs bathrooms. I was tasked with house-sitting while the plumbers worked. This was fine by me! It would be a refreshing break from lazing around doing nothing. But then I realised this was all that was required. Confined to the kitchen (by nothing other than British social awkwardness), I sat and stared at my computer. I can't recall my exact thought process, but it took less than an hour to decide I was going to be a web developer.

I searched. I read. I discovered Treehouse.

Treehouse is totally fantastic for so many reasons, but one thing stood out for me in particular. The way in which their teachers deliver courses is totally awesome. Somehow, it feels like they're building a personal connection with you - not bad for a one-sided conversation! This was super important because it pulled me up from quite a depressing period. Step by step, badge-by-badge, I worked through the Treehouse libraries and filled my brain with loads of useful web stuff. I found the Community incredible because it immediately connected you with others at a similar place and experience level. It's also a great place to learn from more experienced developers and now, as a moderator, I can start to return the favour.

At the 6 month mark, I started applying for jobs. Before the end of the month, I was employed as a front end/PHP web developer. Amazing. A few months down the line and I'm starting my own project enty.co.uk - an online race entry manager - written in the PHP framework Laravel. I was only introduced to Laravel through Treehouse courses with Hampton Paulk. Since then I've been growing my knowledge of PHP frameworks and plan to contribute to the code base in the near future.

So to Treehouse I say thank you. Your courses sparked intrigue and resulted in hours of enjoyment. I went from knowing nothing about code to a professional web developer within 6 months, using only Treehouse as my educational tool.

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