Welcome to Software

    Treehouse Review in 2020

    A bird’s-eye view

    Overview

    This Treehouse review is one of many in a qualitative analysis comparing popular Learn to Code platforms using 6 categories, each with 5 distinct grades. This is a bird’s-eye view, rather than a comprehensive dissection of Treehouse.

    Who is Treehouse Great for?^

    • Anyone who wants consistent quality in beginner-to-mid difficulty video walkthroughs of projects at a moderate pace.
    • Anyone interested in direct interaction with a teacher, and are comfortable paying US$200/month for it.
    • Anyone who wants very active discussion forums.

    Cost^

    3Most courses are less than US$40/month.
    Cost category and grading details

    Treehouse offers three tiers of membership, but the first two are very similar.

    • US$25/month for their Basic membership. You gain access to most project walkthroughs, and their active discussion forum.
    • US$40/month for their Pro membership, which gives you additional access to all project walkthroughs and workshops.
    • US$200/month for their Techdegree membership, which gives you access to additional project walkthroughs, quizzes, interactive coding challenges, a Slack channel for students, peer reviews, and blocks of time when a teacher will be available to answer questions.

    Teacher Feedback^

    5Projects are graded by a teacher. Direct access to a teacher is available within a reasonable timeframe.
    Teacher Feedback category and grading details
    • Basic and Pro memberships provide a consistently active discussion forum with very helpful students and experienced developers.
    • Techdegree membership provides real-teacher feedback through office hours where a teacher will be available to answer questions in real-time. Office hours are open for one hour 1-3 times per week. Their Slack channel provides even faster response from other students and experienced developers. Techdegree paths only cover a few roles, but they’re all in-demand.

    Range of Tools^

    3Most tools from the basket of tools are covered.
    Range of Tools category and grading details

    Treehouse’s high focus on quality makes it difficult for them to publish content covering a wide range of tools. The tools that are covered are covered well.

    Computer Science^

    2Basic data structures covered in some courses.
    Computer Science category and grading details

    Treehouse has just a few courses that cover basic data structures and sorting algorithms.

    Real-World Projects^

    5Real-world projects are presented with a description or walkthrough as a primary objective of courses -- by screened instructors.
    Real-World Projects category and grading details

    Treehouse’s courses are all typically project walkthroughs in some form. The instructors are all great; Treehouse must have a very strict vetting process.

    Beginner Environments^

    2Beginner-friendly coding environment available intermittently, but not available as the primary method of learning.
    Beginner Environments category and grading details

    Treehouse’s courses sometimes have intermittent, small coding challenges. These are contained within artificial environments backed by a few unhappy path tests providing helpful messages for beginners. These appear intermittently throughout courses.

    Final Words^

    Treehouse’s heavy focus on high-quality, real-world project walkthroughs aimed at beginner-intermediate students makes it a great place to start for the technically inclined. The only downside of this heavy focus on projects is that they lack courses that explore conceptual theories — just something to be aware of.


    Authors

    Twitter

    Sam Malayek works in London for Thought Machine, and uses this space to fill in a few gaps.