This guest post is by Ethan Ferrari, a Treehouse student, designer and developer from Peoria, Ill. Ferrari, 30, started his own company, 309design.com, in February. He says he hasn’t had a chance to build the site yet because he has “more work than time. Hopefully I’ll launch that by May 1.”
For anyone who’s decided to learn programming, web design, or graphic design on their own, you understand the ludicrous amount of new information you need to learn and learn fast. As a self-starter in this field, you’re probably a smart cookie and a determined one at that.
However, no matter how quickly you pick things up, there is one crucial obstacle standing between you and mastery: not knowing what you don’t know! If you’re just starting out, this is going to sound silly. But just wait until you need to create a feature and you don’t even know what the technology is called that will solve your problem.
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If you’re a new designer or developer, chances are you’re not going to have a network built up around you of tech-savvy friends who can immediately point you in the right direction. Sure, you can Google your question, but what if you don’t know how to describe it? And even if you do, you’re going to spend hours browsing forums and using trial and error until something finally works.
While this process certainly brings you a deeper understanding of code, its opportunity cost is an incredible amount of time, not to mention frustration. And, undoubtedly, as you continue to learn, you’ll find that many of those solutions you unearthed weren’t actually best practices. If only you could get that same level of understanding without wasting the time.
Treehouse brings together all of the languages and platforms you’ll need to understand as a successful web designer and sticks them into one beautifully designed app. If Treehouse was just a list of the different technologies you’d need and what they could do, it would still be incredibly valuable.
Treehouse is a carefully planned, carefully organized system that will turn you from a creative person with a passion to learn into a person with the ability to create passionately. With Treehouse, we have something fresh, valuable, and most of all, needed; and I for one am incredibly grateful for their efforts.
More than a year and a half ago, I embarked on a what has now become my career, but I did it through teach-yourself books, Google, and StackOverflow. Am I proud of my progress? You bet. Am I still learning? Every day.
And with Treehouse, it’s the difference between an uphill battle and a gentle slope. I cannot tell you how much I wish I’d had Treehouse from the very beginning. It’s the community I never had, for all of the things I never knew I never knew. If you’ve stepped onto the path of becoming a designer or developer, do yourself a favor and get this app.
From one self-starter to another, I can guarantee you’ll be glad you did.