Learning to code has become sexy in 2012. When Michael Bloomberg has made it his New Year’s resolution to learn coding fundamentals, you know that programming is no longer just the domain of awkward techy types with thick glasses.
This programming boom (probably aided by the increasingly fashionable tech startup craze) has caused the demand for coding education to skyrocket, and an industry of online coding schools has sprung up.
The big boy that everybody seems to be talking about is Codeacademy but their area of focus isn’t on iOS programming. With that in mind, I started looking for alternatives and found Team Treehouse.
While it’s not as famous as Codeacademy yet, their iOS programming section was enticing and I thought it would be a great way to pick up design and web development fundamentals on the side as well. I know basic HTML and CSS but I’ve always wanted to expand on this knowledge.
So I cheerfully signed up for Team Treehouse’s Gold membership (Currently $49 a month), and promptly proceeded to cancel my membership almost exactly one month later.
Was this because their product stunk more than an extremely pissed off skunk?
I’m glad to say that this wasn’t the case. I actually think that they offer a pretty decent series of tutorials but I’m just not the consumer that’ll get the most bang for his buck here.
After signing up, you watch the tutorial videos, take tests and complete projects based on the material you’re covering. When you’ve demonstrated competant understanding of the material, you’re awarded ‘badges’ which are retained in your user profile for as long as you’re a member.
It’s an interesting concept and the videos are fairly well done. I think the person who would get the most value out of Team Treehouse would probably be someone who was looking to get an overview of the different web development languages.
However, if you’re solely looking for an iOS development course, you’ll do better looking elsewhere. With regards to iOS programming, I found the training courses somewhat lacking. This was the main reason why I decided to cancel my membership as I felt I wasn’t getting enough out of the site to justify a $49 monthly subscription.
If you’re looking for a general programming education, Team Treehouse could work out, and they do seem like they’re trying their best to put out new material frequently. You never know – their iOS section could kick ass in a couple of months to a year.
However, if you’re only interesting in building iPhone apps, you’ll probably do better to start somewhere else.