Starting learning to code with Team Treehouse

So, contrary to what I said in my previous blog post about what my next steps would be, I decided to move on to Team Treehouse (they sent me an email for a free month).  Team Treehouse is similar to sites like Codecademy and Code School in that it’s interactive.  However, unlike Codecademy, it uses video lessons to teach and then uses quizzes to reinforce the knowledge.

I decided to do the “Become a Web Developer” Learning Adventure, which covers everything from HTML/CSS to Git, Ruby, jQuery, JavaScript, CoffeeScript and relational databases.  So far I’ve completed the first section which was “Build a Simple Website”.  In this, I got a refresher on HTML, and ended up making a one page website for a cupcake shop using CSS.  It gave me a good primer on grids which is something I haven’t really worked with before.  Content-wise though, I found it to be a very basic level course that took me about an hour.  I skipped many of the videos and jumped to the quizzes because I’ve done enough HTML in my life to squeak by.  Sublime Text helps me with any syntax I’m not 100% rock solid on.

One thing I really like about Team Treehouse is the videos.  The instructional videos are surprisingly high quality and high budget.  They use onscreen writing of code along with little diagrams or other visual displays to walk through important concepts.  The learning is concise, professional, and so far bug-free.  The text editor for the quizzes is slightly slow, and I don’t feel that the course actually tests you on ALL of the content so I’m not sure how good the absorption will be when I am learning something brand new to me.

You can see my profile here.  It has all the standard gamification elements like badges.  It also has an overarching video adventure that unveils a story as you progress through the courses, which I’m assuming encourages retention from all the people with good intentions who don’t stick with a program.

I’ll update as I go throughout the program.  If you want to sign up, click this referral link so that I get a free subscription. =)

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