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General Discussion

Good practices / Bad habits - Trehouse training

Hi

I was asking myself how can we gurantree that Treehouse porvides us with good practice habits in every single area. For example, in CSS how can we guarantee that the videos provided here will not teach us even one single miskate or bad habit to follow in web design?

I mean are video in Treehouse revised by the experts and by editors?

I'll tell you a small example:

In a video about Headers and Footer of a table. Nick was saying in beginning of the video that he is going to talk about (Headers, Footers, and bodies in tables) but he only talked about Headers and Footers. This is a small mistake of the author (maybe he forgot to tal about that) but why this happens? Isn't there a quality people who revise those things?

If a mistake happens in this way (in forgetting to tell something) that could be OK. But what if in one of the videos I learnt a wrong thing for example just because this was the author style or knowledge?

4 Answers

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
9,767 Points

The example you've given is kinda unrelated to your concern. The videos are series so chances are, the following video will talk about the next part of what Nick introduced.

As for your concern, the videos are made by experts. These guys are the guys that we aspire to be half as good as. I've done a lot of learning here and I'm yet to try to implement something I've learnt and found it to be wrong or a bad practice. Everything that Treehouse teaches will pass W3C validation which is a pretty good indicator it's correct.

However, learning is about understanding a subject. Once you've learnt something, then it's up to you to build upon it and develop your own understanding to suit how you work best.

Kevin Korte
Kevin Korte
28,135 Points

First, to say you're never going to see a mistake when learning coding is ridiculous. We are humans, we make mistakes.

Second, you have to be careful to distiguish between learning bad practices, and how fast the web moves. For instance, today we use floats and percentages to build fluid layouts. Tomorrow we will be using flexbox's to accomplish this task. When we start using flexbox for production, you're going to look back and say what you learned (floated layouts) is now bad practice. It'll be the old and "hacky" way to do something, but it's what you learned.

Real world example. Before we used floats for layouts, tables were used. Nobody uses (or should use) tables for layouts. Soon the same will be said about floats.

You should also be taking in your learning sources from more than just treehouse. There is CodeSchool ($25 monthly), Code Academy (free), Learn Street (free), great podcasts like CSS Tricks screencasts (older videos show how fast the web moves, some old stuff in there), StopTalk, and so many great blogs.

Write your code, validate it, rinse and repeat. If you're concerned about the level of quality here, check out other sources and compare.

There are more than one way to skin a cat with code. Some ways are better than others, but they get the same net result. The first step to being kinda good at something is to really suck at it first.

I've always enjoyed this because it's too true. Seems to be a daily problem for more than just me. You're a problem solver, every day you code.

coder problems

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

There are more than one way to skin a cat with code. Some ways are better than others, but they get the same net result. The first step to being kinda good at something is to really suck at it first.

That's brilliant.

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
9,767 Points

That image...too true!

I can't wait for flexbox to become the standard. Had a play about with it a few months back in Chrome and it really does make layout and everything so much easier and faster.

Any ideas on when it's going to become standard practice?

Kevin Korte
Kevin Korte
28,135 Points

No, but keep an eye on caniuse.com. We're close, I think. Heck, IE 11 supports it; that's scary! LOL. I'd guess 6-12 more months, but very likely we will have to still use something like modernizer for another 12-24 months to detect for flexbox support and if not fall back to a floated layout.

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
9,767 Points

I had a quick look yesterday, it's in the candidate stage. Works prefixed in Chrome, Safari, IE and Firefox. I think it said Opera supports it without prefix.

Tommy Morgan
STAFF
Tommy Morgan
Treehouse Guest Teacher

There's an old Russian proverb that translates roughly as "trust, but verify." Ronald Reagan used it a lot to describe the American relationship with the Soviet Union, but I think it's also a really important idea when you're learning anything from an educational authority (whether that's someone at Treehouse, a college professor, a book, or a tutorial on the internet).

Trust - If you've come to recognize someone/something as an educational authority, it's because they've done something to earn your trust. They've demonstrated their skill or knowledge in the area you want to learn about, and are willing to put effort into trying to share that information with you. They want you to learn what they have to teach, and so it would be wise to trust that they're giving you solid information at the proper point in your learning experience.

But verify - Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody. The teachers at Treehouse put a lot of effort into making their lesson plans as concise and clear as possible. The video team spends a lot of time turning the raw footage and screencasts into the realization of that lesson plan. We have a process in place for reviewing the quality of the finished product before it goes out to students. But none of those steps are infallible and mistakes and errors are going to make it through into the final product.

So you should trust that we're doing the best we can to provide an awesome and accurate learning experience for you, but you also shouldn't be scared to double-check our work and think that we might be wrong if some information we're presenting doesn't make sense. Trust that we're doing everything we can to give you an awesome learning experience, but verify anything that doesn't seem right :)

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

If you ever wonder about something you read/heard somewhere about HTML/CSS here are few sources to cross reference it with.