Kyle Truong

Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Age: 23
Job title: Web quality assurance professional

Without any other strong passions to guide him, Kyle Truong figured he’d default to what his parents wanted and become a doctor. Unfortunately, when he graduated from college with a biology degree, his grades weren’t good enough for medical school.

That’s when panic started to set in. “My mind was all over the place, and I didn’t know what to do,” he recalls. He applied to nursing school and was waitlisted for a year. In a way, that was a relief. He knew tuition would be expensive and take years before he could get into the world and start working. And he still just wasn’t all that excited about a career in healthcare.

Kyle fell into a sales job at an insurance brokerage. At a time of high unemployment, he was thankful to have any job at all. And while he performed well at the company and the pay was decent, he didn’t enjoy it. He knew this was not a long-term fit. But what next?

He was on the online community site Reddit and read about “a guy who had no coding experience and was hired as a software developer, so I thought, why not give it a try.” He’d always been into computers and gaming, so this didn’t come totally out of left field. In fact, he took a programming class in high school and regretted not continuing with it.

He started his online learning journey with another provider that offers tech courses exclusively, but a friend using Udemy seemed to be learning new skills faster, despite spending less time on it. Kyle, who was initially skeptical of Udemy, “got really into it. If I had it to do over, I would’ve started using Udemy a lot sooner.” He’s taken courses on Python and Django as well as Javascript, NodeJS, and AngularJS, learning more and more about making great websites.

Meanwhile, back at the insurance company, Kyle built his first website for a coworker who was starting her own business. This motivated him to keep going with learning on his own. And it gave him the courage to quit the job he disliked so much. Despite his lack of formal training and relatively short time doing web dev, he got hired on trial basis by a web and mobile app company and is working toward a full-time role there as a MEAN stack developer intern. And he’s seeing more such opportunities open up to him; another company got in touch to talk to him about a front-end developer position.

Now, he’s put himself on a learning schedule to make Udemy courses part of his regular routine and plans to create his own web app next. His vision is to be working for himself in 5 years or so and has no doubts his timeline is realistic. Not only does Udemy provide access to exactly which courses he needs, he can also interact with instructors like Anthony Alicea, who’s been in the field for more than 10 years and has considerable knowledge to share with someone like Kyle.

“When it comes to web development, anything you need to know can be learned online, and Udemy lets you do this a lot easier,” Kyle says. “In two months on Udemy, I gained more of the practical knowledge and experience employers want than if I had gone through a standard four-year degree program.”