This morning when I was browsing over several WordPress news items and deciding upon which topic to inform our readers here at WPHub.com about, I came across an article by Jolie O’Dell of VentureBeat with the headline, Online code-teacher Treehouse is now serving up WordPress.
For those of you who have never heard of TeamTreehouse.com, the company specializes in providing technology education online and offers Web Design, Web Development and iOS Development classes; with an online video library eclipsing 600 training files. The instructional service extends to students throughout the world, including employees from companies such as Disney, Zappos and MailChimp.
In the article, O’Dell (pictured) wrote that Treehouse’s announcement “comes almost one month after Treehouse launched its PHP courses — perfect timing, since WordPress itself is a PHP product.” In an exclusive interview that VentureBeat secured with Treehouse Founder & CEO Ryan Carson, the online firm’s leader relayed the importance of controlling technology through code, stating that “no one will be able to succeed in their job in the future without that basic skill set.” The chief executive added that WordPress course professor Zac Gordon is “one of the world’s best WordPress teachers.”
A Treehouse promotional video currently hosted on YouTube shows Carson (pictured) making his sales pitch to prospective clients. “The goal is to take you from knowing nothing to everything,” he says with a smile. Using cost efficiency as a major incentive, Treehouse argues that instead of investing in a $100,000 to $200,000 education in order to gain coding expertise, you can graduate from the online school’s training program for roughly $300.
Perhaps the most impressive claim comes at the end of the video, when the company’s founder says, “Then at the end, if you’re looking for a job, we’re going to be able to take you and put you in an amazing job.” How about THAT for a return on investment… especially during a period when there are a growing number of unemployed grads coming out of massively respected educational institutions?
The Online Education Concept
The concept of receiving an education online has been around for well over a decade. In fact, there are websites such as OnlineDegree.com and others that serve young adults who are in the market for an associate or bachelor’s degree obtained from their “dream school.”
However, there are many individuals and companies (namely in the technology sector) that are looking to invest in specific skill sets that directly correlate to code manipulation. The result is a thriving niche market in which the short to medium term success of schools like Treehouse will likely depend on maintaining an edge over competitors, tuition structures and knowledge base quality instead of having to worry about uncertain demand; at least for the next few years.
A quick look at the Treehouse registration page shows that the company gives clients a simple choice of purchasing either a “Silver” or “Gold” package, with the difference in price coming from workshops, premium interview content and member project feedback.
How Advanced Are The Courses?
In a separate article published by TheNextWeb.com, Design Editor Harrison Weber (pictured) wrote, “These WordPress courses aren’t really intended for the sort of people who reach tech blogs daily. If you’ve used WordPress before, set up your own installation or even developed your own theme, you’re not going to learn anything from beginner-style lessons. This move instead shows an interesting decision on Treehouse’s part: to build out a full stack of technology content, covering everything from creating it to simply getting things running.”
That in itself is a solid point by a well respected coder with a significant amount of hands-on experience. This in turn leads me to believe that the end-result of online training courses will be a continuing reduced learning curve from beginner to general competency level.