Learning to code with teamtreehouse.com

As a sys admin I’m not too bad at writing pretty complex shell scripts and the like, but I’ve never done too much web development, CSS or Javascript. I maintain the SysAdminMan website and wanted to learn more about CSS and Javascript.

Looking round at some of the online training available I decided to go with teamtreehouse.com. I think probably the most important thing is to find a solution that suits your style of learning. Treehouse use a mixture of videos, quizzes and coding tasks. You watch a series of videos about a subject, take a few multiple choice quizzes along the way and the write some code at the end.

The videos are quirky and lighthearted. Some of the presenters are a little better than others, but all of the videos that I’ve watched are of a high quality. They tend to be around 4 to 7 minutes long, so it’s pretty easy to dive in and out when possible.

The coding challenges are probably the most interesting thing (which actually didn’t work for me initially but they fixed that). You are presented with some existing HTML, CSS, Javascript etc and asked to make changes using the information learned on the video. After making the changes you click ‘Check my work’ and it tells you if you’re right or wrong.

The tasks are split in to maybe 8 or 10 small changes that you need to make to the code. It works really well. An area that I think could be improved is that when you don’t do it correctly you don’t get much feedback about what you’ve done wrong. Some of the feedback is confusing too. It would be better to have more detailed and useful feedback.

That goes the same for the quizzes too. If you select the wrong answer it would be nice to know why, and an explanation to go with it.

They have lots of different courses available, with more ‘coming soon’. The website can be a little confusing as far as the material available and what you’ve completed. I think it’s supposed to have a ‘quirky’ feel, but sometimes is just confusing. It needs some sort of overview of what you’ve completed and what’s available. There’s a notion of ‘unlocking’ more content, which just seems confusing and unnecessary.

The library available includes web design, programming (Ruby, PHP, Javascript …), business, iOS and Android.

The cost is $25/month and I’d happily recommend it to anyone.

2 thoughts on “Learning to code with teamtreehouse.com

  1. Michael

    hey, i was curious is teamtreehouse still working? When i whent to there site it appears most of it’s down at the time of this writing, thanks for any information…

  2. matt Post author

    Hi Michael,

    It looks OK to me. What bits are you seeing as down?

    Cheers, Matt

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