Learning to Code? Check Out These Awesome Treehouse Features!

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Learning programming skills has become commonplace and, in many cases, necessary for certain jobs.  Responding to this demand, efforts to teach a beginner to code have been popping up in different forms all over the world.  From free online tutorials to expensive boot camps cost up to $20,000, there are a myriad of options to choose from. One of the most popular such endeavors is a website called Team Treehouse that offers high-quality tutorials and workspaces for an affordable price (starting from $25/month).  If rave reviews about Treehouse’s Front-End Web Development track and teaching style aren’t enough, you can even try the platform for free for 2 weeks before deciding whether it is the right place to invest your $25. Considering the average web developer in the United States makes $81,670 and the industry is predicted to grow by at least 20% in the coming years, the investment is probably more than worth it. If you aren’t convinced yet to give Treehouse a try, check out these awesome features:

Tracks

There are 8 available tracks on Treehouse: Web Design, Front-End Web Development, Rails Development, iOS Development, Android Development, PHP Development, WordPress Development, and Starting a Business.  Each track teaches units of information including languages (like HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, Ajax, Ruby, etc.) and allows you to work through examples as you watch the tutorials.Treehouse Tracks           Treehouse Co-Founder Ryan Carson’s favorite feature within the Tracks is the Scheduler.

“Once you pick a Track, you can choose how long you’d like to take to complete the Track. We then calculate how much time you should spend on Treehouse every day and then help keep you on schedule”

 

WorkspacesTreehouse Workspaces

As you follow along with the videos, you can also code along in a workspaces window that allows you to preview your work at any time.  There is no downloading or desktop work necessary.

Forever Expanding Library

One of the best things about Treehouse is their ever-expanding library of tutorials.  Even if you get through all of the tracks, there is always new content being added to its library that you can use to improve your development skills whether you are a novice or expert. Just in the past few weeks, they have come out with several new tutorials, from Git Workshops to Android Animations.  Its candyland for an autodidact!

Forums and the Gamification of Learning

Many online learning platforms employ the use of gamification as an incentive to continue to learn, and Treehouse is no exception.  Users earn points and badges that lead to reward videos that tell fun stories and are great mini-breaks before getting started on the next track. Another one of Ryan’s favorite features falls into this category:

“…getting your answer marked as “Best answer” in the Forum. You get extra points!”

The forums not only provide a space for students to interact as they learn and help solve each other’s issues, they also play into the gamification aspect of Treehouse to inspire users to remain active. Treehouse GamificationSo after reading about all these great, ever-growing features, are you reading to become an awesome developer?  Sign up for your free trial here!

 

“With Treehouse and a little imagination, you can go anywhere…” – Author Unknown

Short courses with Udacity

Hello, World!

Have you ever wanted to learn about a new technology, but not worry about the time commitment of a full-length course? Well, not you can! Udacity just announced their second “mini-course”, a MOOC that is structured just like all their other courses except that it only contains 2 or 3 lessons and can be completed in about a week.

The videos in these courses take on a very personal vibe, showing one person “teaching” another. These make it seem less like a lecturer bestowing knowledge on you (the unknowing student), but more like a friend sitting down with you and showing you something new.

2048Make Your Own 2048

The game 2048 went viral earlier this year. Called the “latest addictive game”, this course walks you through how to modify it (for example, change the numbered tiles to photos) using the source code. 

  • Use developer tools to look at and download all the code that goes into the game
  • Learn the basics of HTML, CSS & (coming soon) Javascript, which make the game to what it does
  • Modify some files to customize the game

Note that right now, only lesson 1 (of 2) is available.

udacityshortWebsite Performance Optimization

In the age of instantaneous access to information, consumers want webpages to load as fast as possible. Slow websites can even lose customers and business, studies have shown. This course teaches you how to optimize websites for speed.

  • Investigate the differences between how mobile and we browsers display information
  • Experiment with tools that measure performance

 

Head on over to Udacity and check out these courses, and then get started on an Accredible evidence page to show off what you make!

 

Happy Learning,

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