Treehouse Fullstack JavaScript Techdegree: Week One

Treehouse Fullstack JavaScript Techdegree Week One

Thoughts on Week One Treehouse JavaScript Techdegree

Well, I made it through the Treehouse JavaScript Techdegree week one without too many problems. In fact, the biggest problem I had was staying engaged while slogging through lessons on topics that either know very well or have studied many times before.

That being said, the videos were well made and presented the information in what I felt was a logical and orderly way. If I were new to this material I think that I would have picked up very basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript quite well.

The Good

There was a lot to like about the Treehouse JavaScript Techdegree week one:

  • Short lessons, usually focused on one concept at a time
  • Plenty of repetition, and the ability to replay a lesson if you’re confused
  • JavaScript basics taught with a simple game (this was fun)
  • IMHO JavaScript ramped up JUST ENOUGH for people new to it
  • Hands-on mini-projects throughout the course
  • Early introduction to Github – although I think using the desktop app is a missed opportunity to get people using the command line
  • A great introduction to Slack course
  • Great student communities in the Slack channels
  • Links to articles discussing imposter syndrome, learning strategies, and more, were a nice addition

The Bad

There are a few things I didn’t like about the Treehouse JavaScript Techdegree week one, although most of them come down to personal preference.

  • While I appreciated the small course on the Atom text editor, how in the world can this video not be updated to reflect the recent dominance of Visual Studio Code?
  • While taught well, I thought the HTML/CSS Basics course was a little too basic. I’m not sure if this is because of my experience with the subject matter, but I just felt like it skimmed a bit too much, and the final “website” you build is too wimpy. Again, for a TOTAL newcomer, this may not be this case.
  • While I liked the Slack channel, I was less enthusiastic about the questions area of the courses. It reminds me of Stackoverflow where answers can range from really terrible to passable to covering things that haven’t been covered in the course. Look, I get it – everyone is at a different level, but some of the tangents in the student submitted answers could lead someone to greater confusion.

The Final Project

For the Treehouse JavaScript Techdegree week one final project, we were instructed to create an app that displays random famous quotes each time a button is clicked.

To me, this is where the course really shined bright! The instructions were clear, with plenty of callouts to helpful sections of the course or outside information if you got stuck. The included study guide was also helpful and I imagine that it would have helped a beginner want to dive in and write some code.

I also like the inclusion of “stretch goals”. New coders need to code, and there is no better way to do it than to stretch yourself and tackle something you are not entirely comfortable with.

I was going to post some screencaps of the project instructions, rubric, etc., but thought better of it. Don’t want to give anyone an unfair advantage 🙂

I submitted my project, and I am anxiously awaiting feedback. I’ll let you know how it goes.

the Treehouse JavaScript Techdegree week one
Click the image if you want to experience the wonder of my amazing quote generator.

A Brief Overview of Everything From Week One

Introducing the Random Quote Generator

Introducing JavaScript

3 Ways to Build a Habit of Learning

JavaScript Basics

Practice JavaScript Basics

JavaScript Loops, Arrays and Objects

Practice JavaScript Loops, Arrays, and Objects

Start the Random Quote Generator Project

Battling Imposter Syndrome

Introduction to HTML and CSS

Share Your Techdegree Projects With GitHub Desktop

Introducing Text Editors

Overview of Project 1: Random Quote Generator

Reusing Code in a Techdegree Project

A Random Quote Generator