NewsMeet Our Newest Teachers!

Ben Jakuben
writes on August 6, 2015

We are so excited to grow our team of Treehouse teachers and have four new teachers to introduce to you! These amazing individuals will help us bring more content to you in a few topics, as well as offer a brand new one.

Gabe NadelGabe Nadel

iOS Teacher, @InstantNadel

When did you first become interested in programming?

In 1999, I was in my senior year of college. Our economy was in the final climb to what would be the bursting of the .com bubble. Back then, you often heard pearls of wisdom like, “If you have the money to get an MBA, DON’T. Start a business instead!” I was always an entrepreneur at heart, so I did indeed start a business with a few close friends, designing streetwear adorned with young artists’ work. The clothes sold steadily, but very very quickly, it became obvious that we’d be making MUCH higher margins doing web and graphic design. As such, I started spending lots of time working in HTML, ActionScript and Photoshop. When our business didn’t take off as we’d hoped, my business partners and I all moved to New York City and took regular jobs with regular paychecks. My first job there was developing the website and managing the online business for a high-end porcelain company.

What drew you to Treehouse?

Treehouse content is fantastic and it made a great impression right from the start. In my early forays into iOS Development, beginning in 2009, I watched countless homemade YouTube tutorials, Stanford Courses…you name it. It is impossible for me to overstate how important they were to my growth as a developer and early successes. Now, at Treehouse, I have the opportunity to repay that debt in-kind with the support of a killer team. It’s also worth mentioning that I spent much of my 20s helping to found Charter Schools for New York City’s most underserved populations – Treehouse is just another way of getting quality educational resources to those who might otherwise not have access.

Tell us something about yourself unrelated to programming or technology.

From a young age, I was smitten with the mountains. I started skiing at age 5, rock climbing at 14. My buddy and I were climbing enormous cliffs together, before either of us had drivers licenses.

In 2001, a close friend and I decided to go trekking in Nepal. A third friend, known for being a smart-ass, “suggested” that we try skiing in Nepal, instead of just trekking. Despite having some of the tallest mountains in the world, almost no one – and especially no amateurs – had ever skied the Nepal Himalayas. We flew our mountaineering and ski gear halfway around the world, only to find that the people in Kathmandu thought we were completely nuts. Undeterred, we picked an 18,000 ft tall mountain several days trek from the nearest roads. All along the way, we trekked through villages, flanked on both sides by snowcaps, where no local had ever even seen a ski. After about a week of recon, acclimation and route finding (and eight hours of climbing that day), we strapped on our skis. It was dusk and we were both going more than a little crazy from the exertion and oxygen debt. Our descent was a harrowing mix of white knuckles and bliss and thankfully, we both arrived back at our base camp safely. All tolled, it was about ten days of arduous trekking for 45 minutes of skiing and hands down one of the best days of my life.

Check out Gabe Nadel’s latest material in the Treehouse Library!


Jeremy McLainJeremy McLain

C#/.NET Teacher, @Jeremy_McLain

When did you first become interested in programming?

In 1998 I helped set up my high school’s first ethernet network and subsequently it’s first Windows computer lab using second-hand donated parts. The task of doing technical support eventually fell to underclassmen and I moved onto learning how to program the things. I was hired as the school district’s network administrator assistant while still in high school and got my first programming job writing Visual Basic and VBA applications for school offices.

What drew you to Treehouse?

Teaching has always been one of my career goals but I never thought I’d get to do it full-time before I retired. Once I saw how amazing the people and work environment at Treehouse was I knew I wanted to work here. The more coders there are in the world the better the world becomes!

Tell us something about yourself unrelated to programming or technology.

I’m the proud father of three amazing, smart, and very rambunctious kids that are just like their dad.


Ben DeitchBen Deitch

Android Teacher, @BenDeitch

When did you first become interested in programming?

Sophomore year of college. A professor required everyone create their own website. I ended up creating basic Flash animations and was blown away by the amount of control I had over how it all looked and acted. I’ve been hooked ever since.

What drew you to Treehouse?

The quality of the videos was a big factor. More than that, being able to teach programming has been a goal of mine for a while. It’s something I get excited about, and Treehouse lets me share that excitement with others.

Tell us something about yourself unrelated to programming or technology.

I have a miniature Aussiedoodle (Australian Shepherd X Poodle) named James. He has a blue merle coat, weighs about 20 lbs, and loves belly rubs.


Chris RamacciottiChris Ramacciotti

Java Teacher, @christherama

When did you first become interested in programming?
I first became interested in programming while doing graduate research in bioinformatics. We were trying to simulate the signals that individual proteins send to each other within the cells of living organisms. We regarded each protein as “on” or “off” – a simplified Boolean model as opposed to the more complex reality of varying levels of activity. We would read piles of biochemical research to extract the rules affecting the activity of each protein. For example, protein A is active only when proteins B and C are both active. Rinse and repeat for 120 more proteins. Remarkably, we were able to produce complex behavior with this simplified Boolean model.

What drew you to Treehouse?

Having taught computer science in public high schools for 6 years, both in Omaha and in Chicago, I was continually frustrated by the constraints that are naturally present in a typical student’s schedule, available technology, and expertise of teachers. I wondered to myself what it would be like to teach students who were truly able to work at their own pace, while diving into exactly the content they’re interested in, which doesn’t have to be buried three years deep in a sequence of prerequisites. And then, a buddy of mine Tweeted at me about a @treehouse opening…

Tell us something about yourself unrelated to programming or technology.

Four years ago I started a nonprofit organization called Purple Wagon, wherein we take high school students to developing countries to volunteer for a few weeks during the summer. We usually teach, either at public schools or Tibetan monastery schools, and we’ve traveled to Kenya, India, and Ghana. We just returned from our 4th annual trip. I am grateful to have the opportunity to share these profound experiences with teens during such formative years of their lives.

7 Responses to “Meet Our Newest Teachers!”

  1. Zahscha on August 20, 2015 at 5:26 am said:

    Welcome! Looking forward to taking your courses.

  2. Glad to see such great talent being bought on-board at Treehouse. I look forward to seeing the new stuff they teach. Let’s show those traditional schools that we don’t need to pay their high tuition rates to learn the good stuff. Treehouse and bacon are the stuff that dreams are made of.

  3. Hey new teachers! Looking foward to take your classes.

    Best luck!

  4. .NET… I really hope you explain that one correctly, having written numerous C# apps, and web-apps up until MVC3 I abandoned this as a useless piece of technology, but like Java, I’m hoping you can revitalise my interest with some .NET 4.5, and newer MVC, entity framework offerings.

    • Ben Jakuben on August 10, 2015 at 5:22 pm said:

      C# and .NET have evolved really nicely as a language and platform. I think you’d really like MVC 5, assuming you have a good sample or course to learn from like we’ll have soon! We’ll start adding upcoming courses to our public roadmap (http://teamtreehouse.com/roadmap) soon.

  5. Welcome to the Treehouse Family! Can’t wait to check out your courses.

  6. Hey there new teachers welcome! Look forward to learning from you all!

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