Just last week, Treehouse unveiled its plans to contribute $3 million in scholarships to future developers, and today the Web-based learning platform is announcing its new iOS and Android curriculum.
“Treehouse is now offering courses on both iOS and Android development,” the startup says. “Students will take a project-based approach that will demonstrate every step of building real iPhone and Android apps.” The two new courses, take students through the process of making a “Crystal Ball” app, or an animated, shake-responsive app.
Teaching through small, bite-sized projects sticks with the Treehouse method, a method which CEO and founder Ryan Carson says helps them get anyone from zero development knowledge to an advanced stage — and most importantly, land them a job. And in case you haven’t noticed, mobile development is something of an exploding industry at the moment, and any developer worth his or her salt would be wise to flex some muscle here.
“Mobile has always been in the works,” Carson tells me. “Everything is going mobile and there’s tons of money to be made in making apps. Site and Web development is still important, but most things have a mobile component now too.”
While everything about online learning is fresh and new (and undeniably trendy; the last year has been filled with a rash of online development education platforms), Treehouse still relies on real teachers, not crowdsourcing, for its curriculum. The company has a full time teaching staff, and they aren’t remote workers: Part of the job description is packing your bags and moving to the Orlando office, where Treehouse films its video lesson.
“Teaching technology is kind of the Wild West,” says Carson. “People aren’t sure how to accredit it yet, and a university degree isn’t indicative of whether you’re good at computer science or not. I have a computer science degree and no one should hire me as a developer. What we’re doing is disrupting the trade school and university system.”
Treehouse has made significant efforts not only to essentially provide a development school at an affordable rate ($25 or $49 a month) but to focus on job placement as well. The service now includes a job placement team, something that Carson says they’ll be focusing on more and more. “We’re just starting out formally placing people in jobs, and we’re heard good things.” He says the team will have more concrete numbers on its effectiveness in the near future.
The renewed mobile focus certainly can’t hurt Treehouse students’ job prospects, though, in a world increasingly turning to smartphones. The lessons are available today and videos can be watched for free. But in order to participate you’ll need to sign up for a monthly Treehouse plan.