Success Stories

Graham Morby


Even developers with 20 years of experience use Treehouse to skill up.

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Graham Morby is a developer who has been working in software engineering for the last 20+ years.

He started developing as a teenager with BASIC and AmigaBASIC when he was really into video games and building games. This initial inspiration got Graham into development and coding professionally.

Graham’s first job right out of school was hardware. Then, he got into front-end development at the age of 25 in about 2007.

After working in front-end development, Graham moved into back-end development using PHP.

Graham has been using Treehouse since 2013 to learn more about development and constantly pick up skills.

Let’s dive into why Graham, an experienced senior developer, is using Treehouse today and how he is taking his career into his hands!

Always prioritize learning

Graham chose his current company, Leighton, because they offered the best ratio of salary, benefits, quality of life, and learning opportunities.

After spending so much time working as a developer, Graham started to fear getting pigeonholed into one skill. This could be detrimental to his career as the industry is rapidly changing. If you don’t keep up with new technology your skills depreciate over time, which makes you less valuable in the job market.

When Graham entered his current role he expressed that one of the things he was looking for is the opportunity to study new skills. Leighton was happy to support this, and Graham knew exactly what to do! He went and signed up for the Treehouse Python Techdegree.

When offered an even higher paying job, Graham chose the company that offers the lifestyle and working culture that really has meaning. Leighton has their values in the right place, and that’s what makes it possible for Graham to grow and do great work as a developer.

Keep studying to keep up with changing technology

Even though Graham has 20 years’ experience with development, he still finds Treehouse useful because the industry changes so rapidly and the skill set required is so broad.

Graham is typically a JavaScript developer, and because of his deep experience with JavaScript, he recognizes that there’s so much going on in the JavaScript world that it’s impossible for one person to stay on top of it.

As the industry changes, the experience becomes less valuable, and relevancy becomes more valuable. Regardless of the traditional way to solve development problems, it becomes more important in the workforce today for people to be in touch with the common and latest ways to solve problems.

This is why it matters so much to be constantly studying with a platform like Treehouse. The chance to learn Python with Treehouse has got Graham totally excited about development all over again. Learning a new skill in a new area of development means he can stay in touch with what is happening and tap back into his creative side.

Using his new Python Techdegree skills, Graham built an app for scheduling the park spots at his office and updated his personal portfolio. These are the kind of activities that are fun and have a tangible impact!

Also, the Treehouse community makes it fun to study because the best part of development is building cool apps and helping people build cool apps. Being in the Treehouse Slack means you get to do fun things with code!

Treehouse has great delivery

Even for experienced developers who can easily pick up skills, Treehouse is the most valuable learning platform because it has great delivery. It’s easier to do a Treehouse course to learn a new skill than it is to read the docs or try to pick it up through trial-and-error.

It takes less time for a developer to pick up a new skill through Treehouse than through any other route. Regardless of the skill level of that developer, whether that’s experienced or beginner level.

A new learner might take 3 months to finish the Python Techdegree with Treehouse, but with Graham’s experience, he was able to finish it in 6 weeks. This is primarily because some of the Python Techdegree has CSS, HTML, and JavaScript, which Graham was able to do quickly because he’s already worked that extensively.

To actually get the most out of it, you need to really sit there and put effort into it.

It’s painful, but you need to understand the basics

In today’s development world, it’s easy to skip the basics of CSS because we have amazing frameworks like Bootstrap. This goes for other frameworks and languages as well.

Graham emphasizes that it’s deeply important to build a foundation in CSS or any other language before starting to use the frameworks.

As a growing developer, this will feel unintuitive. Yes, we agree, Bootstrap is easy and fun and has great results. But underlying Bootstrap is CSS and if you don’t understand it you’ll have difficulty with new frameworks as they come out in the future.

There may also be several edge cases where Bootstrap doesn’t apply, or you may come across something obscure and difficult to do with Bootstrap. You could have a lot of difficulties when you come across these cases if you don’t have a strong understanding of CSS. It could mean having to learn a ton of CSS while also balancing deadlines.

Take the time to learn the basics when you have the time. You’ll need it, and it IS important. You can’t copy and paste everything all the time when you become a professional developer.

If you really understand CSS, then you can easily pick up Tailwind, or whatever cool framework comes up because you understand the basics.

Use Treehouse to learn the basics when you’re starting out as a developer. It will be important!

The job market is packed full of opportunity

Graham has interviewed for 100s of jobs, and he’s interviewed people for 100s of jobs.

As far as Graham’s experience goes with the job market in the U.K., the recruitment agents will be sending you tons of job opportunities as you start to get more experienced.

After posting about completing his Python Treehouse Techdegree, 27 recruitment agents have contacted Graham to ask him if he wants to interview for a role for a Python developer.

The jobs are totally there! You’ve just got to put yourself out there and get as much experience as you can!

Being a beginner is hard but it’s worth it

If you’re graduating from a Techdegree right now it can feel like a hard world. Companies want you to be able to do everything all rolled into one job. They need React and JavaScript for Front-end. After that, Python, PHP, or Node for the backend. Then you need to know system ops, agile development, and scrum. You need all of these things, and they only pay £35,000 to £40,000 per year.

These kinds of job listings are happening because companies are under a lot of pressure to develop a lot of technology with very low resources. They’re looking for the most they can get for their money.

But that doesn’t mean that the job descriptions are completely accurate, or that a regular junior developer can’t get that kind of job! Most Job descriptions ask for more than what the final candidate actually has. For all the job hunters out there: keep applying! There will be a job for you!

When Graham first started he had Techdegree-style qualifications and he landed an internship role for the first 6 months of his career. This internship was completely unpaid, but the company was so impressed with him that they ultimately gave him a job and a ÂŁ5,000 bonus.

Graham created this opportunity for himself by offering to work for free even when no internship was posted.

Experience is key to getting ahead in the commercial world. You can write as many things you need to at home, but it’s completely different once you get into an organization and start doing it professionally.

Giving some time to organizations that are doing work that you want to do will get you that experience you need to level up.

When people look at your CV they want to see that you are committed, driven, your time management is good, you have experience, and you’re willing to go out of your way to go above and beyond. It doesn’t take long for a hard worker to prove you have those qualities!

The development world is busy and competitive. But once you go for it, the opportunity will be there! There is a huge shortage of developers out there, keep learning and you’ll definitely be able to find work!

Being a developer is a way of life

Being a developer isn’t about working 8 hours a day and then going home and playing video games.

There’s so much going on in the world of tech. To stay relevant you’ve got to be personally engaged with what’s going on in the world of development.

Sometimes that means putting in extra hours in the evening to catch up on the latest news. Sometimes that means doing a project for free to get the experience.

In Graham’s case, he focuses on taking roles that provide him learning opportunities. Even if they pay less, he knows that it’s deeply important to stay up-to-date with your skills, and learning new skills on the job makes him more valuable in the long run.

And of course, that means taking courses at Treehouse on the side whenever he can!

Study with us at Treehouse!

Regardless of where you are in your career, you could find a lot of value in studying with Treehouse.

If you’re a beginner at something, get into our Techdegree program and become job-ready in that skill.

If you’re looking for ongoing study, sign up for the courses library and take courses as you need them.

Looking forward to studying with you at Treehouse!

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Are you ready to start learning?

Learning with Treehouse for only 30 minutes a day can teach you the skills needed to land the job that you've been dreaming about.

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