Success Stories

Nick Bulbeck

Edinburgh, U.K.

Nick Bulbeck

Confidence is everything - if you think you can do it, you can do it.

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.

Start A Free Trial
Two people working together on a computer

Nick has just become an application developer in Edinburgh thanks to tons of hard work, confidence building, and studying with Treehouse.

Nick built up his confidence by engaging on the Treehouse slack and getting lots of practice when it comes to debugging and looking at code. This confidence and flexibility was the main component in Nick being able to land his new job as an application developer.

Being confident is 100% of the job. If you think you can do it, you can do it.

Read more to find out how Nick landed this awesome job, and the steps he took along the way!

Confidence is everything

Nick had done a 16-week intensive coding course previously, but he still wasn’t feeling confident when it came to large commercial “technology stacks” - the complex sets of software tools and programming languages used to build major business applications. Nick had worked in COBOL some years ago, but being autistic, he struggled to build much of a resume in the first half of his career. He still had a case of imposter syndrome when it came to applying for meaningful paid roles.

Treehouse played a critical role in building up Nick’s confidence to be able to confidently say “Yes, I can handle debugging and working with several different kinds of issues in code”.

Nick took the Full Stack JavaScript Techdegree course and will graduate in 2022. For the years leading up to his graduation, he volunteered as a community support member in the Treehouse Slack channel. He helped over 300 other students debug and fix their code during this time.

“I’ve done well over 300 peer reviews. In fact, I like doing peer reviews so much that they’ve even become a bit of an excuse to procrastinate on doing actual study! But doing them has really given me the space to become a developer, instead of just someone who’s trying to learn to code”.

This experience working with other students gave Nick the skills he needed to confidently work with others on code.

Get on to the Treehouse slack as often as you can

Working as a developer is all about interacting with other people about code. You’re never alone at the workplace. Coding is all about working with other people to get things done.

When Nick discovered the Treehouse slack channel with the Full Stack JavaScript Techdegree, it was a whole other dimension of education for him. He really felt it was a big selling point of the program.

The more practice you can get with working with other people the better. It will make you a better developer and it’ll make you better at fitting in with other developers. This is important as teamwork and getting along with others is a significant part of getting the job done.

Being a developer is difficult - not all of the teams and companies out there are great places to work. The Treehouse slack channel is a really good community of developers and provides a great learning environment.

It’s even more challenging to help someone with their code than work with your own. The Treehouse slack channel has really brought up a lot of interesting bugs. Some of these bugs would take a long time to come across in your own programming, but if you get the chance to look at them through the slack channel you get a ton more exposure.

Some of them are really interesting and take a lot of digging and googling. You wouldn’t get this kind of exposure if you were just studying on your own.

As well, some students have really good code! By helping other students Nick got exposure to a lot of ideas he had never thought of before. Getting exposure to those cool tricks helped Nick become a better developer.

From junior developer to application developer

Nick’s previous role was as a junior developer. As a result of the Full Stack JavaScript Techdegree at Treehouse, Nick was able to move into a non-junior role.

The Treehouse JavaScript Techdegree gave Nick the chance to develop a portfolio and build new skills. Nick linked to this portfolio from his resume and it helped him to get the interview at his current company.

Portfolios are extremely meaningful when applying for jobs. Use the Techdegree to give you the problem set you need to develop a portfolio.

Don’t be scared to leave a bad job

Nick got a job about 4 years ago as a developer but it was a really bad fit. Nick had all the skills to be a great developer at the time and he easily got accepted into the role of Junior Developer at a big company.

However, the company and the role didn’t work well for Nick. An onboarding process is especially important for autistic employees, but there was none, and this made it impossible for him to learn the very complex stack of technologies they used. It was a really difficult choice, but eventually, Nick chose to leave that job. This turned out to be the right decision in every way.

Soon after quitting that company, Nick started Treehouse. One of the main reasons Nick started with Treehouse was because the Treehouse workspace was so easy to use. He could easily code in-platform and not worry about setting up his development environment.

Using Treehouse opened tons of new doors for Nick as he started learning new skills and talking with new people. It was great to talk to people who didn’t see the world the same way as his previous company.

The wrong role at a great company

Next, Nick ended up at a great company but he wasn’t working as a developer. Nick got hired on to be a technical writer for a company that needed better user guides for its products. It felt like it was the right company but the wrong role. One of the main reasons the tech author role wasn’t a great fit for him was because the user guides were really an afterthought; they were so much less important than the products themselves that the job wasn’t that exciting or meaningful.

As a result, Nick felt there was low job satisfaction at that job and he continued his path towards becoming a full-stack developer.

Lifelong learning with Treehouse

Nick had some experience in programming, but the industry has changed significantly in recent years. Between 1999 and 2007, Nick held a job working with COBOL, but after a successful career with that company, he decided to make a change.

When Nick came back to Tech in 2017, he realized he needed to gain some new skills to be able to work in tech today.

A web developer working now has an entirely different skillset from when Nick first started to work with computers.

“There are surprisingly many people around my age who are returning to tech after a gap. (That’s even more true for women, who are more likely to have taken a career break.) And we all find that the industry has changed a great deal while we were away!”

Treehouse is the perfect fit for people who are looking to be lifelong learners in tech and development. Everyone needs to acquire new skills, even the most experienced developers who have been working in the field for years.

Switching from back end to front end, or vice versa will always require a bit of studying. Nick used Treehouse to bridge this gap between his past successes and future successes.

Finding the right job on a local job board

Local job boards will have less competition than global ones that are trying to pull talent from every corner of the Earth.

Go to your local university and local coding schools and network at their events. If you look through all of the listings you’ll find there are several companies in your local area that are hiring. It’s more likely you’ll be able to get into a company in the area that you’re living in than anywhere else.

In the most recent round of job applications, Nick only did one job application. Over the years he’s done many job applications, but this time, Nick was in the right place at the right time.

Nick was able to find a great job opportunity with a local company in Edinburgh through a connection he had made with a local coding school.

There is so much opportunity

Don’t believe anything the recruiters tell you. Recruiters will tell you that you need a better resume. Recruiters will also tell you that you don’t have the right skills for a specific job, so you shouldn’t apply.

Some of these ideas matter when it comes to highly competitive roles. However, the reality is that most roles don’t have that much competition. There is so much opportunity out there.

For example, there are tons of jobs that are available that don’t even use recruiters to find new people. Also, there are tons of jobs that only one or two people apply to.

There are hundreds of different kinds of job boards, ones with high traffic and ones with low traffic. There are job boards at universities, there are job boards online. There’s big companies, and small companies, and everything in between.

Get out there and start applying! It could take more than 100 job applications, but you will definitely be able to find a job in tech.

You can easily transition from one language to the next

Once you learn how to code in one language, you have what it takes to code in several languages. You don’t need to pick the right Techdegree, you just need to pick one Techdegree and be really good at it. Then, that skill will translate to other things.

In his new job Nick will be working with a different language from what he studied. The core of the tech stack in his new job will be C# and .NET. Nick’s core coding skills he learned when studying JavaScript and node.js apply to coding in C# and .NET, so he’s already set up for success! A couple of Treehouse courses later, and he’ll be ready to code in C# and .NET!

Salaries mark up fast

The typical going rate for a junior developer is about 35,000 USD a year. Someone who graduates from a Techdegree can expect to get that salary in their first role right out of boot camp.

Then, you can expect markups to start coming quickly. The average person tends to get their first markup of salary at around 6 months of experience. Keep going and keep working towards getting it done!

Keep writing code

Keep writing code and keep learning new things! There will always be more to learn, and we're all in the same boat. There isn't a single person on the planet that knows everything there is to know about coding and technology.

Sign up for treehouse courses, and keep an ongoing pattern of learning more about code as you apply for jobs.

Man working on his laptop

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.

Start A Free Trial
Woman working on her laptop