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Youssef Moustahib
Youssef Moustahib
7,779 Points

Man, I'm so fed up of this

Again and again and again. I keep coming to treehouse' videos and I just go elsewhere. Kenneth once again goes from 0-100 and im left in the dust. At this point I am literally on the Techdegree just for the projects, for learning I just go elsewhere. Cant keep doing this

You can slow Mr. Love down a little bit with the video settings. Other than that, I'm sorry you feel like that, but, to be fair, the toughest professors teach you the most.

I agree with you Youssef. We're looking at this now.

4 Answers

Chris Howell
.a{fill-rule:evenodd;}techdegree seal-36
Chris Howell
Python Web Development Techdegree Graduate 49,610 Points

Hey Youssef Moustahib,

Sorry you are having a rough time with some of the videos. We do understand there are some courses that push the concepts faster than the other courses. We are hoping to make some adjustments in the future to these so the learning curve is lessened and it is a much smoother transition between them.

In the meantime, as a Techdegree student, you still have access to the Slack team. It is completely okay to ask questions in there and we can help you with whichever course concepts were explained too fast. Not everyone learns at the same pace, not everyone relates the material to the same things, in the same way, this is mainly why we have our Slack team. It is the other avenue of support so we can help solidify a concept that doesn't stick through examples or talking through it step by step.

It's not that the concepts are taught fast, it's that they simply are not explained at all. This is just a series of videos of Kenneth coding a project and reciting aloud what he is typing.

Andy Hughes
Andy Hughes
8,113 Points

Chris Howell - it's now late Oct 2021, not far off 3yrs later and still these types of videos have not changed at all. Don't get me wrong, I like watching Kenneth's video's, but I echo what Youssef felt.

This particular video introduced 3-4 new terms (json loads, dumps, request) and brought in a couple of older ones (pdb). The explanation for these was seconds at best and then Kenneth just writing code. I'm smart enough to follow what he's saying, but that's not the goal here. The goal is to follow it, understand it, remember how to use it and then be able to practice using it.

The video is created from the mind of an experienced coder not a newbie learner. Too many concepts, too quickly to retain.

It's no wonder that this video has so many questions in relation to others. It's also no wonder that some of us are almost driven to give up because we're left feeling incompetent and incapable. I'm not sure Youssef is even still a member anymore. I myself stopped using Treehouse because I was just utterly demoralised at getting stuck so often. Only recently did I come back (armed with slightly more knowledge and resolve).

A few simple changes to the way Treehouse teaches would (in my opinion) make a big difference to the retention of students, enjoyment of students and course completion.

  1. If you're going to fly through concepts so quickly, then at least supply a formatting/reminder cheatsheet to accompany the video. It's a pain in the backside having to hunt for points in multiple videos just to find an example of formatting.
  2. Introduce, repetitive challenges with a subtle difference. These help us imprint in our brains, how something is done, both in construction and formatting.
  3. Make the videos more relatable to real-world uses. Many of the videos start with "Let's say we want to do x to y". I'm new to this coding and I'd love to know why I'd ever want or need to do x to y. Where would I use it? What examples are there where it's used in real life?

The sad thing is, I already feel that if I come back again in 3yrs absolutely nothing will have changed. :(

I am glad I’m not the only one feeling this way.

Chris Howell
.a{fill-rule:evenodd;}techdegree seal-36
Chris Howell
Python Web Development Techdegree Graduate 49,610 Points

Hey Andy Hughes

I am going to supply this as an Answer instead of a threaded comment to a very old post since you re-tagged me and I still receive notifications.

It is unfortunate Treehouse hasn't taken notice of this issue. It has in fact been around for longer than I personally would have liked. When I wrote my reply to Youssef, I was working a full-time position with Treehouse and was hoping to make an impactful change to the steep learning curve that affects some of the courses within the Python Techdegree because this was feedback that we received not only from Youssef.

You should know that the original Python Techdegree was assembled extremely fast on short notice because Kenneth really wanted folks to have a Python Techdegree launched with the other Techdegrees. Prior to being hired on I was actually a student that wanted it and all the courses/projects weren't completely finished and flushed out when I signed up, as I recall I was the 2nd graduate of the program. I knew it wasn't finished because I remember Django REST courses still being published into later units while I was nearly finishing up Unit 8 at that time. But yes it DEFINITELY moved fast and the struggle was real for parts of it.

Though as you have said, it is now Oct 2021 (a little over 2 years later going on 3) a lot has changed since 2019 with Treehouse as a company. What you likely don't know, if you aren't one to keep tabs on company social media or watch for related business news articles is, Treehouse suffered layoffs both in 2019 and more recently at the end of September I believe it was. From how the articles have stated it, they are running at 90% less capacity of staff.

I would highly recommend you to use your favorite search engine and find out what's been happening. As much as I agree with your suggestions for change, after updating yourself on Treehouse you might understand why you likely won't be seeing these changes happening (at least anytime soon). I cannot answer how long this might take and I cannot speak on behalf of the state of the program I was part of the 2019 layoff and the Techdegree appears to have changed quite a bit since I was working there.

Now, most folks (moderators/remaining staff) will point you to use the Support button to contact Treehouse support. This is a pattern I have recently seen on more recent posts. But I am here to tell you that you could be waiting for a response for a while or maybe not receive one at all. You should probably go right to the source and find Ryan Carson on Twitter he has been active recently after his 1 month of radio silence after laying off 90% of the staff back in September.

It seems that he is actively answering questions over there, he would probably be the best one to ask. But from what Ive seen he just repeats his mantra of "We will continue to support students" though I dont know what that actually means when you are running with 90% less staff.

Any student that comes across this, I wish you the best of luck in your learning path. I can no longer provide support here, I do not support what Treehouse has become due to the choices of the CEO. I wish this could have turned out differently.

I agree with all the sentiment above. This course escalated super quickly. Not enough time being spend on the "why" behind the intermediary steps.

Andy Hughes
Andy Hughes
8,113 Points

Hmm, I've been a business consultant for 20+ years, supporting startups through transition to thriving business and supporting global businesses struggling to keep pace. The one consistent thing I see in the growing dysfunction of companies like treehouse, is how easily they forget what keeps them going. In this case it's active students. But not just active students, students who like and enjoy the relationship they have with the business. The CEO's job is to keep it's students engaged and happy with the experience. If they are, then they not only stick around, they spread the message, becoming fans and advocates.

All that being said, the same has to apply internally too. I've watched so many times, manager's bleed staff dry on the premise of future excellence and prosperity. All the while forgetting that staff need to remain engaged and happy in the relationship too. Happy Staff = Happy Customers = Happy Shareholders (Those are not variables by the way :P).

I think Treehouse is great, but I guess it feels like they've forgotten what keeps them in business. The lifecycle of a customer.

It's woefully inadequate to blame, layoffs, Covid or anything like that for not keeping your business up-to-date. Every business that has survived national and global downturns has had to go through the same. In fact Treehouse should have been thriving in a lock-down environment. Millions upon millions have taken up new virtual hobbies........missed opportunity.

Solution = Be upfront with customers, warts and all. They all understand struggles, who doesn't right? Treat them like adults and be honest, then get back to basics; what are the priority programmes to update and improve; how can this be done given the current circumstances; what needs to go on the backburner; how do you keep staff in good shape to help you get through the tough time.

What's missing for me is:

Repetition so it sinks in and sticks - This is a well proven learning strategy for retention of knowledge. More building of smaller projects that have practical use. I play guitar and the first time I could play a song I knew and liked, it spurred me on like crazy. I played it over and over so I didn't forget. Better help with code challenges. Don't just leave it to the community and make the hints and answers more obvious so people don't just get stuck and give up.

Wow, 40mins on writing a response. Why do I even care so much? :P Please Treehouse, listen to the feedback and respond.