Ripley High School student graduates with web design degree at just 15
Most people go to a website expecting it to work perfectly and provide the information they are looking for. They want ease of use and quick response. Very few consider the process it takes to get there.
That’s where 16-year-old Trey Greer comes in.
Greer can design websites and he now has a degree to prove it. At age 15, days shy of his 16th birthday, he earned a Front End Web Development Technology Diploma through the West Virginia Coding Club and Treehouse, a nationally accredited certified technology company.
“Most people are in their 20s or older before they get a degree like this,” Greer said. “I really wanted to test myself and shoot to get it before I was 16. I did it right under the wire.”
Web design is a simple phrase that stems from a complex job called coding.
There are several computer languages used in web design. Greer masters three of the most important and learns a fourth.
“I used HTML for content, CSS for styling; Java is the interactive part,” he said. “Java is used in many computer games. Now I am learning PHP which is more geared towards website development.
The Ripley High School student got his start in coding in middle school.
“My dad and I were at school on a Saturday to learn about a grade report program and the principal stopped by,” he said. “Dr. Corena started talking about coding and showed me how to put my name in a program.
These three simple lines of code sparked an interest in Greer that led him to join the West Virginia Coding Club, which paved the way for his tech degree.
Dan McElroy, founder and director of the state’s coding club, said Greer was able to benefit from a partnership between the organization and Treehouse.
“There are over 300,000 participants in Treehouse programs,” he said. “Trey did a remarkable feat at a very young age.”
To graduate, Greer took about 12 months. Although he said most completed it in nine months, he had a little more difficulty.
“I did it in my spare time, on the weekends,” he said. “I still had to keep up with all my school work too.”
Obtaining the diploma required nine stages and a final exam. In the process, Greer said he was able to make some interesting plans.
“I designed a Wheel of Fortune-like game and an interactive photo gallery,” he said. “One thing that at first glance doesn’t look exciting was pretty neat. I produced an online recording, it was my first time coding something with simple text. »
Each step became more difficult and each project was reviewed by an experienced web developer.
“It was quite stressful honestly,” he said. “But what kept me going was knowing that the outcome would be worth it. That’s pretty much how I handled all the challenges I faced.
This dedication to achieving his goal is a trait that makes his parents, Reg and Amanda Greer, especially proud.
“Trey has always been very driven to achieve the goals he set for himself,” Amanda said. “We have high expectations for our children because we want them to do better than us. Seeing our two children accomplish so much so soon is mind-boggling. More importantly, we are proud that he is a great young man and chasing his dreams.
Amanda will soon benefit from her son’s expertise.
As part of a competition project for the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Greer and his partner William Matheny design a new website for his company. As a professional photographer, web design is especially important.
“His current site is okay,” Greer said with a smile. “But it can be so much better. We will help customer find what they need faster and organize things better with good colors. »
Color is very important in web design, says Greer.
“You definitely can’t pair yellow and purple because they’re opposites,” he said. “I go into a color wheel and find totally opposite colors, and they work really well.”
Greer hopes keeping his eye on a goal will lead him to his dream.
“I really want to go to Harvard to major in a computer science field,” he said. “It’s a prestigious school but what I liked was seeing how happy the students were to be there.
Future projects are constantly in his “mental mixer”.
“I always think there has to be a better way to do things,” Greer said.
Honing her skills and looking for ways to make people’s lives easier are two of her ultimate dreams. This technical degree is just the beginning.
“It’s kind of amazing that it all stemmed from those three lines of code in college,” Greer said. “This degree really shows that no matter where you’re from, even a small town in West Virginia, you can do anything.”