Treehouse Gave Lansana a Jump-Start to Excel as a Self-Taught Software Engineer

While at college and working in retail, Lansana Camara decided to commit to a new career path. Extensive experience with computer games at a young age had led Lansana toward an avid interest in technology. But it wasn’t till this point that he realized the only way he was going to find true joy in his work was to combine two of his passions: technology and helping others.

With zero coding experience, Lansana signed up for Treehouse’s free trial and began learning to code in his free time. By the end of the trial, he had already made astounding progress with his coding knowledge and was confidently paving the way towards a new career.

After two more months with Treehouse, Lansana landed a web internship at the Marketing Department of his college. Combining his experience and continual learning, Lansana then moved to another internship at a startup. Fast forward six months and Lansana is now a full-time Software Engineer at an exciting tech startup, where he’s challenged daily to strengthen and expand his coding skills.

However, Lansana is only just getting started with his career and has bright ideas for the future. In his free time, he’s taking part in a mentor program to help him refine and launch a startup idea. In addition, he’s building a self-improvement platform to help others find the greatness in themselves and guide them towards making positive changes in their lives.

We caught up with Lansana to hear more about how his career has evolved and his plans for the future.

Lansana

The value of Treehouse, in my opinion, is something that simply can’t be taught with formal education. It taught me how to teach myself. A skill like that is priceless.

I was first drawn to the web industry back when I was in the tenth grade in high school. At that point, I had been almost a decade into a game I was majorly addicted to, namely Runescape. Runescape taught me a lot about computers in general, ranging from learning how to hack user accounts and how to monetize something (I am not too proud of the former, but it did happen). The reason tenth grade was unique is because I learned how I could sell my in-game items for real life money. That year, at 16 years old, I made around $10,000 from online gaming. From that point on I had a really big interest in the web because I saw the opportunities it could bring people.

After working numerous retail jobs and deciding that I couldn’t live the rest of my life under the command of people who didn’t care much for me, I started looking for ways to “create my own path”, if you will. After a lot of reading and researching, I concluded that the only thing that I could find true joy in every single day of my life is technology and helping others. So that’s the path I took.

I stumbled across Treehouse on a YouTube ad when I was watching MIT Comp Sci lectures (just for fun), but ignored my gut telling me to click on it the first few times. After a while, the ads kept coming up and I thought “why not?” and clicked. That click paved the way for everything that I am today.

When I signed up for the free trial, I had ZERO knowledge of any HTML/CSS/JavaScript or PHP, let alone the various frameworks. By the time my free trial had ended, I had spent about 12 hours a day coding and learned so much that I decided to continue on with the monthly subscription (even though I was a broke college student and barely had enough to eat). A few months later, a friend told me about a web internship at the Marketing Department at my college and I decided to apply. I got the job. They paid minimum wage, but I didn’t care. I was in heaven. I learned a lot of cool things and I was doing what I did in my free time at home, but this time for a paycheck, all thanks to the great start Treehouse gave me.

Fast forward 6 months and I just got a position as a Software Engineer at a tech startup. I work with HTML/CSS and JavaScript (Angular/node.js) daily, and in my free time I use PHP (Laravel framework) and the previously mentioned languages for my own personal projects. The engineering position is extremely challenging because of the enforcement of good practices and various other factors such as design patterns, but I am learning so much every day.

The value of Treehouse, in my opinion, is something that simply can’t be taught with formal education. It taught me how to teach myself. A skill like that is priceless. My advice to students just starting out is to get out a dictionary and look up the word “grit” – you’ll need it. Once you have that, everything else falls into place.

I have many plans for the future. I work out five times a week and want to take my fitness and strength to a level that will allow me to inspire and help others get into shape. I’m also in a program mentored by Terrence Yang, Founder and CEO of Yang Ventures. I came to him with a startup idea a few months ago and he’s been helping me since. While doing that, I am working on building a self-improvement platform in my free time. I have a dream that one day people who are stuck in the hole I was in a couple of years ago will be able to use it to find the greatness within themselves. That’s what I really work towards every day.

To read more awesome student success stories, check out the Treehouse Stories Page.

The post Treehouse Gave Lansana a Jump-Start to Excel as a Self-Taught Software Engineer appeared first on Treehouse Blog.

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