Have you been thinking about starting an online coding bootcamp? Or perhaps launching a new career in tech as a developer in the future? In that case I’ve got some good news for you: the Techdegrees at Team Treehouse are designed for exactly this purpose. They can help you get a jump-start into coding and web development regardless of your current level of experience. Since I’m simply a big fan of Team Treehouse, I’m sharing my thoughts on the Treehouse Techdegree programs with you in this post.
Just to be clear about it up front: everything I write in this review is based on my own experience and opinions about the Techdegree program at Treehouse. I simply wanted to share my thoughts about it with you to help you out in case you’re thinking about starting a coding bootcamp anytime soon.
The Treehouse Techdegree program is basically an online “micro-degree” for anyone interested in starting a career in coding and web development. What sets the Techdegrees apart from conventional online coding courses is their more dedicated and thorough approach to each topic as well as more extensive support for us students – that’s you and me!
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What is the Treehouse Techdegree program?
So what is Team Treehouse to begin with?
Basically, Team Treehouse is an online coding school where you can learn new skills in different tools and technologies for coding. Whether it’s web development, software programming or mobile app development you’re interested in, Treehouse can help you get started with learning the right tools and skills.
The Treehouse Techdegree programs take this concept one big step further. Each Techdegree program gives you an intensive, guided learning process. The contents will give you the tools you need in the future as a professional junior developer, regardless of your skill level right now.
Moreover, the contents of each program are all designed and produced by professional experts in their specific fields. Trust me, you’ll notice this in the quality of the lectures, exercises, and other contents when you get started with one.
So all in all, the Techdegrees are a great way to transform your motivation and drive into a powerful set of skills you can use to start a new career in the future.
Depending on how much time you can invest into learning, you can achieve your goals surprisingly quickly. If you have a clear idea about what you would like to do as a developer in the future, a Treehouse Techdegree could be a good option for you.
Hence, as with all micro-degrees, bootcamps, and coding courses out there, all that matters is how much work and effort you are willing to put in.
What’s included in a Treehouse Techdegree program?
The Treehouse Techdegree uses a typical combination of different teaching and learning methods:
- Video lectures & courses
- Interactive workshops
- Coding challenges
- Final exam
Keep in mind that you will have to be a subscribing member at Treehouse to be eligible for a Techdegree. If you’re not quite sure if Treehouse is your thing, use this link to get a FREE 7-day trial and give it a try!
Also, if you’ve already completed some of the content or courses required for a Techdegree, you don’t need to repeat them. Simply skip ahead to the modules you haven’t finished yet. This way, you can advance through the program a little quicker if you’re already a member at Treehouse.
Let’s take a brief look at some of the types of content.
Lectures and workshops
The contents and the tools used in the programs are clearly well thought-out and up-to-date. I personally was mainly interested in the Front End Web Developer Techdegree to boost my skills in creating even more modern and interactive websites for my clients (and for myself!). The curriculum definitely covered more than enough tools I was expecting to learn more about.
From the very first day of starting with the lectures, I noticed how the course structure was designed and executed in a way that allows anyone to learn a nice bunch of useful, in-demand skills regardless of their level of experience so far.
Quizzes and Exercises
After each unit, you will work your way through practical exercises that help you put your new skills to the test right away. All in all, the level of challenge is just right with the Techdegrees – difficult enough to feed your motivation and keep you going.
This really sets this coding bootcamp apart from a few others, where the exercises and challenges are often quite easy to solve. This often results in you feeling bored easily, which can harm your motivation along the way.
Sounds familiar? In that case the Treehouse Techdegree programs are probably a good option for you, too.
At the end of each Techdegree, you will have the opportunity to complete a 2-hour final exam with a Treehouse proctor. So, once you have finished your portfolio projects during the degree, this exam is what will seal the deal and earn you your Techdegree certification.
And what does the exam consist of? You will be doing a set of coding challenges and quiz questions while the proctor is monitoring your progress.
After the exam, it only took around a day and a half until I received my grade. Once you get your grade and you pass the exam, you will receive your Techdegree certificate. It isn’t an accredited higher education certificate, but rather a document saying that you possess the technical skills for that specific field. It is most definitely a nice addition to the set of portfolio projects you have finished throughout your degree!
But what if you don’t pass? No worries! You can schedule a new exam for later – just make sure you take some time to study and go into the next exam prepared!
How long does a Treehouse Techdegree program run?
How much time should you be able to commit?
Based on my experience and feedback from others, each Techdegree program has a slightly different length.
However, the absolute minimum for each program is 3 months. This is because each Treehouse Techdegree program includes 9-12 different projects and you can submit one project every 7 days for review.
Thus, completing and submitting your projects would take a total of 9-12 weeks. But, as I mentioned, this is the absolute minimum time you should expect to commit to each program.
As a reference, here are the estimates from Team Treehouse for each of the curricula:
- Front End Web Development: 150 – 190 hours
- Python Web Development: 190 – 230 hours
- iOS Development: 220 – 260 hours
All in all, the time you’ll need to finish a program depends on your personal situation. With a full-time job, for instance, I’d say 6-12 months would be quite realistic, depending on your schedule.
The different Treehouse Techdegree programs
Currently there are 4 different Techdegree programs available.
Each of them focuses on a highly in-demand set of skills in the wonderful realm of coding and web development. Let’s take a brief look at each of them:
1: Front End Web Development – $199/month
With this Techdegree, you will learn how to build basic websites with plenty of interactive elements and functionalities. The program is suitable for beginners, too, since all you need is a computer that connects to the Internet.
The Front End Web Development Techdegree introduces you to the following tools and technologies:
- HTML and CSS
- User experience (UX)
- Responsive design
If you’re interested in web development and you’re highly motivated to learn, this program will provide you with the necessary skills to start a career as a Junior Front End Web Developer, for instance.
- HTML and CSS basics
- Git and GitHub
- Node.js basics
- React basics
- SQL and MongoDB
- Bootstrap 4
That’s quite a list of different tools and frameworks – this program will not get boring, trust me!
3: Python Web Development – $199/month
Python is definitely one of my personal favorite programming languages and tools for web development. It it also one of the most sought-after skills in the tech job market. Moreover, Python is one of the easiest and intuitive programming languages to learn as a beginner.
The Python Techdegree focuses on building web apps, teaching you a wide selection of awesome skills, including:
- Basic and advanced Python concepts
- Databases and testing in Python
- Intro to HTML & CSS
- Flask framework for web apps
- Django framework for web apps
- Heroku for deploying your web apps
All in all, you will walk away with a great set of skills to build on in the future as a Junior Python Developer, for instance.
4: iOS Development – $199/month
If you are more interested in creating apps and tools for iPhones and iPads, this Techdegree is the perfect choice for you. Since it basically focuses on a single technology, you will learn a more in-depth selection of skills compared to some of the other Techdegrees.
The iOS Developer Techdegree includes a total of 10 projects based on skills that professional iOS developers use on a daily basis. The contents and structure are designed for only one purpose: to give you a head start into actually starting a career as a professional iOS Developer. Pretty cool, huh!
What’s great about the Treehouse Techdegree programs
Surely, each program comes with a bunch of cool things that will keep things interesting for you and help you reach your goals faster. Here are just a couple of points I think provide the most value to you and me as students:
1: Real projects for your portfolio
This is by far the coolest thing about any Treehouse Techdegree. All programs or paths include 9-12 real-life projects. They let you practice your new skills and put them to good use right away.
And when I say real-life, I mean these projects include challenges you will face in your daily work as a programmer or a software developer. Therefore, they make a great starting point for building your professional portfolio from day 1.
So by the time you’re finished with your Techdegree, you will have acquired a strong foundation of applying your skills to practical projects already.
Thus, you will not only receive a Techdegree certificate at the end of your program, but you will also walk away with a nice portfolio to showcase your new talent to potential employers.
Remember: your future employer will most likely not give two bollocks about what kind of a degree or certification you have. What really matters is what you have built, created, and worked on so far. If you have a great portfolio to present, you are more likely to get the job than someone with a college degree but no practical experience or projects to showcase.
I mean, I learned coding and web development by myself as a hobby at first. I was working as a Business Analyst back in the day. My Master’s Degree in Economics is not exactly something I would slam on the table at developer job interviews.
So I don’t have a paper saying I can do what I do. But I have plenty of projects to show to my clients – and that is how I make my living these days. Amen.
2: Feedback on your work
That’s right – you’ll receive actual project reviews and feedback on your work. Each project that you submit will be reviewed by other Techdegree students.
Hence, you will be graded by your peers. They will give you valuable, constructive feedback on your work to help you improve even further.
Furthermore, you will of course have the chance to review other students’ projects, too. Why is this a good thing? Quite simply because when you’re reviewing someone else’s project, you will learn three very useful skills:
- How to review and critique a coding project
- What other ways there are to solve a specific problem
- How to improve your own problem-solving skills
Thus, you will not only review and critique, but also learn new ways of tackling coding challenges. Neat!
3: Access to an exclusive Slack channel
While you’re working through your Treehouse Techdegree, you will have the opportunity to connect with like-minded fellow students within an exclusive Slack community.
You can easily get help from others when the road gets a bit rocky. And of course give back to the community by answering other students’ questions.
Since there are always more than one way of solving a specific coding problem, the Slack channel is a great place to share your thoughts with others. You will also see how they tackled the same problems you’re working on.
4: Challenging assignments and exercises
Now, what often bothers me with online coding courses and bootcamps is that the exercises and problem sets are often either way too easy or extremely difficult to solve. So I often feel like I’m not learning enough or I keep losing my motivation (and sometimes my temper!) if I have to struggle with a problem set for a very long time.
Of course, this is just a personal perception. All of us need a different level of challenge to keep us going. What might be easy for you could be a total nightmare for myself and vice versa.
But what I really like about the assignments throughout each Techdegree is that they are all quite challenging. However, never to the point where I would feel defeated or start to lose my motivation. Just focus on your video lectures and workshops and you’ll be fine.
Summing it up: Should you start a Treehouse Techdegree?
All in all, the Treehouse Techdegree programs simply provide you with a variety of high-quality contents with a guided learning process. Hence, it’s not a guarantee for a new job in the future – that’s in your own hands.
Let me just list the pros and cons I found most relevant about the Techdegrees:
- Streamlined and guided learning process: the contents are well structured, so you don’t have to think about what to learn next after finishing one topic
- Flexible schedule: you can learn at your own pace, whenever you find the time for it
- Projects for your portfolio: by the time you finish your Techdegree, you will already have a nice collection of projects to showcase in your portfolio to potential employers
- Feedback on your coding projects: the ideas and feedback from others are invaluable to your leaning curve
- Chance to peek into other students’ projects: seeing how others solve coding problems gives you more insight into different ways of working and problem-solving
- Certification: although not an accredited certification, the Techdegree final exam is still a great last milestone to achieve. It is most definitely a nice bonus to show to potential employers in the future in addition to your awesome, new portfolio.
- Price: with 199$/month for around 6-12 months is quite a heavy price tag – which, however, will most likely pay itself off surprisingly soon afterwards
- Standardized degree contents: every student has an identical curriculum, so there is not much room to specialize in any specific area of a specific degree
- Not a “proper” coding bootcamp: the Techdegree is somewhat of a hybrid between MOOCs and coding bootcamps. You will get valuable feedback from the community, but no 1-to-1 “bootcamp” time from an actual Treehouse mentor.
Should you start a Treehouse Techdegree?
Yes, if you’re looking for a way to put your coding motivation and drive into good use. You will surely learn a bunch of invaluable, new skills regardless of which Techdegree program you choose.
Yes, if you have a clear idea about what area you wish to specialise in in the future. A Treehouse Techdegree is a great way to acquire skills in that specific field. As I mentioned above, the tools you will learn are in high demand in the job market. And you will build a great portfolio around those skills throughout the degree.
Yes, if you know the basics but you are looking for a structured, guided way of learning and building real-life projects for your portfolio. The guided learning process is what I like the most about bootcamps and online coding “microdegrees”. So even if you have no idea about web development, for instance, you can still start the web dev Techdegree and do a really good job with it. Therefore, a Treehouse Techdegree could be the perfect choice for you if you are just starting out with coding.
To make things easier for you, here’s a link for more information about the Techdegree programs plus a FREE 7-day trial to get you started.
Have you tried a Techdegree at Team Treehouse already? Or perhaps another coding micro-degree or a bootcamp? Great! Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!