Learning to Code

Treehouse have nailed education. Ryan Carson’s faculty of teachers conjure up detailed, light and engaging videos which you can play at a speed to suit.

The videos are broken up regularly by quizzes and code challenges to keep you engaged, check the knowledge is going in and provide an instant reward stimulus. Rewards are vital for priming neurotransmitters for learning, and forming habits that stick.

Badges, points and a green ‘well done’ tick for getting answers right may not seem like actual ‘rewards’ in the traditional sense, but they’re enough to trick your brain into ‘feeling’ rewarded, which is enough. Every habit needs a cue and a reward, says Charles Duhigg in his book the Power of Habit. Cue my Treehouse addiction…

Countless days evaporate as I sit absorbed in a course on double playback speed, bolting through quizzes, getting as high as a slot-machine junkie — only I’m winning every time and when this binge sesh is over, I’ll be more skilled than I was yesterday. I’ll be making things I couldn’t make last week.

Last month I enrolled on the new Treehouse Front End Development Techdegree program. 12 graded projects spread across six months with a final proctored exam. At the end, I’ll have a qualification from Treehouse and a portfolio of unique projects I created and a network of contacts from their student Slack channel.

This is the future of education. In a results and data driven world, the days of universities are numbered.