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Technology is advancing at a pace that is seemingly hard to keep up with. Things are moving so quickly, and they are showing no signs of slowing down. Information technology (IT) is a growing and expanding industry, and as the world around us becomes more digital, that industry is gaining prominence as a sought-after and much-coveted career path.
The programs, platforms, languages, operating systems, and developmental tools of the future are being engineered and developed, even at this very moment, by some of the most brilliant minds in the business. Do you have what it takes to become a part of that unique bunch? These professionals are the movers and shakers of the technological world. They are able to take an idea, and turn it into a reality. If you are interested in beginning a career in IT – whether you’re straight out of school or are considering a career change – Treehouse is a good place to start.
Treehouse is an interactive educational platform that can help you get a foot in the door, whether you are a beginner or a professional. It has courses on a wide range of topics relating to business, web, and mobile development. If you are thinking of becoming a freelancer, starting a business, building an app, or simply enhancing your technical skills and knowhow, Treehouse may be perfect for you, and is worth checking out.
There are many Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) websites around. Some of them are made up of actual courses, which are filmed in educational establishments and institutions. An example of such a site is Coursera.com. In a similar vein, Lynda online courses are taught by people who are often experts in their respective fields, though the classes are not necessarily filmed in educational establishments.
Other MOOCs base their content on users-turned-teachers, and let anyone teach, providing they are up to the standards of the MOOC in question. An example of such a MOOC is Udemy classes.
Finally, there are MOOCs who employ in-house teachers and instructors, and who believe in investing money in the production, in order to end up with a polished video series which is not only educational and informative, but also engaging and well-presented. Treehouse is such a MOOC.
The Treehouse Project
Treehouse was concocted in 2010 and officially founded in November 2011 by Ryan Carson, who still functions as Treehouse’s CEO. The purpose of the “Treehouse Project”, as it was known, was to provide affordable technology education to people all around the world. Treehouse’s main office is located in Orlando, Florida, with a second office in Portland, Oregon.
Treehouse offers hundreds of courses for beginners, intermediates, and advanced users. It employs a ‘bite-size videos’ kind of policy, with many course stages being less than 30 minutes in length. By using smaller increments of time, Treehouse is able to offer a course-structure unlike any other. A flexible learning schedule helps students get the most out of the courses they are enrolled in.
The first stop is the library. Treehouse’s library is the website’s complete catalog. It includes recommended training videos, and it lists courses, categories, workshops, bonus content, conferences, and upcoming releases. The library can be browsed by topic, type, or level of difficulty. There is also a search bar where students can search for a specific course, conference, or teacher.
There are 16 main categories in Treehouse online courses. The courses in each of these categories can be broken down by skill level. Furthermore, every category has the option of a beginner’s track. These tracks are guided paths, a kind of playlist of courses which is built by Treehouse’s teachers for maximum educational value. These tracks are meant for students who are interested in learning a new skill from scratch, and they are highly recommended because they have no prerequisites whatsoever.
Another way for complete novices to get their foot in the door is by enrolling in courses which are part of the Treehouse Club series. The Club is the place for schoolchildren, as well as those who are new to the IT industry. It provides a solid foundation of computer principles and basics of programing. Overviews of languages such as Java, HTML, CSS, and others are available in the Club.
On occasion, Treehouse’s teachers will record workshops. These are available for pro subscribers. Some of these workshops are broadcasted live, and they are put in the library for the benefit of students who are not able to tune into the live broadcast. These workshops provide students with tips, tricks, and tutorials in different fields, and add a lot to the student’s learning experience. There are currently 115 workshops in the library.
Bonus material is available for pro subscribers. It consists of series of videos on a specific topic, and it often covers cutting-edge technological advances in whatever field the bonus material is in. There are currently 15 bonus series in the library.
Conferences are another pro perk, and they are talks which are given by industry experts and leaders. There are currently 29 conferences in the library.
The upcoming releases section displays courses which are in the works. This section includes many courses – from ones designated for imminent release, to ones which are still a couple of months away from being uploaded.
Community and Workspaces
There is a vibrant and helpful community at Treehouse, located within a section aptly titled ‘Community’. This helpful section, which is arranged in a forum-like fashion, provides students with the best way of getting in touch and talking with fellow students, as well as a place in which they can get their questions answered. Treehouse’s community section makes it easier to make connections with like-minded students, who are following the same educational journey, and are walking down the same path.
Another wonderful feature which Treehouse has is a section titled ‘Workspaces’. This unique learning tool makes coding easier than ever before. Workspaces is a browser-based code editor, designed to let students work alongside the different courses they are enrolled in. The editor supports a variety of environments, including Python, Java, and Ruby. A student can have up to 100 separate workspaces, and a storage limit of 50 MB.
Treehouse maintains a blog, which updates fairly regularly. The blog is broken into four separate categories: learn, community, industry, and news. Almost every day, new content is added to one or more of the blog’s sections. The blog is chock full of trends, tips, and techniques. It is the website’s way of sharing news, innovations, and updates with its students.
The Treehouse Show is another way to stay up-to-date. It is a weekly video, which shares information on the latest in web design and web development. It is a sort of “what’s new?” which any student can view, and that way students can stay in the loop on a regular basis. Treehouse's view on education is that in order to succeed, an IT professional needs to stay on top of what’s going on, and constantly keep that finger on the pulse.
There is also an option of receiving a newsletter via email. Student can choose to sign up for this newsletter, which provides the reader with the latest news and tutorials on design, coding, business, and other topics.
Instructors with Real-Life Experience
As far as the actual teaching is concerned, the Treehouse teaching team is comprised of highly skilled and experienced instructors. These individuals, who are mostly employed by Treehouse, share their knowledge and expertise with Treehouse’s students. These people are experts, each in his or her own fields.
Treehouse insists that its teachers have real-life experience. An academic degree or IT certificate will not cut it. Credentials are great, but in the real world it is experience that is necessary, more than anything. Treehouse’s team of educators makes up a curriculum that is unlike any other. It is a curriculum that is hands-on oriented, from the beginning. The goal is not to simply teach. The goal is to get students ready for an actual career. Treehouse’s courses build knowledge from the ground up, and they allow students to go from zero knowledge to job-readiness. This is done at the student’s own pace, and at the student’s leisure.
Subscriptions to Treehouse are split into two: basic and pro. With a basic subscription, a student has access to 1000+ videos, and has the ability to complete courses on any subject that exists within the course library. A basic subscription also lets students into the Community section, and gives them access to workshops. A pro subscription includes all of the above, but also grants students permission to view bonus content and conference videos, as well as download videos. Payment can be made monthly or annually. When choosing annual billing, students receive a certain number of months for free.
Treehouse also provides a special subscription plan that is geared towards businesses, institutions, and organizations. Managers can bring tech education to their workers, and help employees sharpen their skills or learn entirely new ones. ‘Treehouse for Organization’ is a highly customizable environment, where there are personalized departments and administrators. By using the admin dashboard, managers can track the progress of their employees across multiple teams, and see how they all rank against one another. This subscription gives users access to all courses, workshops, and conferences. Among Treehouse’s clients are Twitter, Square, Disney, AOL, and Airbnb.
A relatively new subscription plan, available since January 2015, is aimed at students. It is a plan which includes a significant discount, and students with the proper paperwork (valid student ID card, current student grades or records) may apply for it.
Treehouse is available in App form for iPad and Android systems. Students have the ability to have a mobile learning experience, and many of them take advantage of it. There are students who have completed entire courses and learning tracks, while commuting back and forth on buses and trains. Learning on the go is something which Treehouse really believes in, and it strives to provide its students with the best.
Points and Badges System
Ultimately, Treehouse’s mission is to help students make the most of themselves. Treehouse is here to help people achieve their goals and dreams, and to help shape the world that we all live in. Education is the key to a better future, and Treehouse believes that it should be a fun and engaging experience. By using a points and badges system – in other words, by gamifying the learning process – Treehouse is able to keep things interesting and fresh. Quizzes, code challenges, leaderboards, and other interactive devices are used in order to reach students and motivate them.
Completing a Quiz: 6 Points
Completing Code Challenge: 12 Points
Receiving a New Badge: 30 Points
Completing a Project or Deep Dive: 60 points
Completing a Learning Adventure: 150 Points
But, the fun doesn’t stop there. Students who are looking to acquire new skills are often looking for new places to work. As part of its mission and long-lasting commitment towards its students, Treehouse offers support, guidance, and courses which can help students find their next career. The ‘career resources’ page provides students with the ways and means of achieving their goals, and finding a new career. From career-starting learning tracks, through portfolio building and resumé writing, to networking and interview skills.
Treehouse wants to see its students succeed. That is the bottom line.
The website has over 122,000 active students, who log in from 190 countries around the world. Treehouse employs about 100 workers, and it has a 4-day work week policy.
Treehouse began like any other company, but then removed its managers in 2013. The company lets its employees choose the projects they are interested in working on, and uses a forum-like system for inter-office communications. This contributes to a happier and healthier work environment and greatly reduces burnout, which translates into a higher quality of output, improved performance rates, and a satisfied team of dedicated workers who honestly care about what they are doing.
|Basic||Annual||$250/year (10 paid months + get 2 months free)|
|Pro||Annual||$490/year (10 paid months + get 2 months free)|
|Basic||Annual||$90/year (10 paid months + get 2 months free)|
|Pro||Annual||$250/year (10 paid months + get 2 months free)|
When signing up for a basic or pro membership, students receive a 14-day free trial. This allows students to begin their journey, review the different courses and tracks, and then make an informed decision as to whether Treehouse is the place for them. Students who are not satisfied may cancel their subscription at any time during the trial period.