We meet up with Head of Curriculum, Ben Jakuben, in a hotel lobby and take a tour through some old school Treehouse scenes.
Hi, and welcome to the Treehouse Show. 0:00 The Treehouse Show is a weekly conversation with the Treehouse community. 0:01 [SOUND] We're a remote company so 0:04 we don't get to see each other in real life that often. 0:10 We all got together last week for a retreat. 0:12 And I had the incredible opportunity to get to hang out with our head of 0:14 curriculum, my wonderful manager, and our old school Android teacher, Ben Jakuben. 0:18 Ben, thanks so much for being on this show. 0:22 >> It's actually my pleasure, 0:25 thank you. >> I know that we're traveling. 0:26 It's a little weird where we're standing. 0:28 Let's chat though. >> Let's do it, this is the perfect spot. 0:29 >> All right. 0:32 So Ben, I have a question for you. >> Fire away! 0:33 >> How did you get started in technology? 0:36 >> Well, nobody in my family was at all 0:41 interested in technology. >> My parents ran a landscaping business, 0:42 so the furthest thing from technology. 0:45 Well, no, mowers and weedeaters and things like that are technology. 0:48 So I took a programming class in college, 0:52 my first intro to anything to working with computers. 0:55 And I didn't do that well with it actually. 0:58 I skipped a lot of classes, don't do that at home. 1:00 >> [LAUGH] 1:03 >> I read the book. 1:05 The lectures were horrible, which is why I really love what [LAUGH] we do here. 1:05 Lectures were horrible. 1:09 I got all the information from the book, did the exercises, and 1:10 I got through with a B, a solid B where I didn't really understand what I was doing. 1:13 >> What language was that in? 1:17 >> This was in 1:18 C++. >> Okay. 1:19 >> Not a great first language to 1:20 learn either. 1:21 And I put it away, I walked away from it. 1:22 And I was taking other courses to figure out what I wanted to do. 1:24 Two years later, I decided that I wanted to revisit it. 1:27 I went back to that same textbook over the summer, and I read through. 1:31 And wow, the second time through, things actually made sense. 1:34 So I took a bunch of classes after that, and from then on, 1:37 it was like everything made sense. 1:42 It was a lot of hard work still, but it made so much more sense. 1:44 I cared about it more. 1:46 It led into getting the degree, getting a job, and where we're at today. 1:47 >> Awesome, so during that time, so 1:51 you've been here with Treehouse for how many years now? 1:54 >> Almost six years. 1:58 >> Six years, so 1:59 you've seen a lot of different stuff going on, 2:00 you've taught a lot of different things. >> I sure have. 2:02 I came here as an Android teacher specifically. 2:04 I've taught mostly Android classes, including some Java back in the day, but 2:07 it was in the context of Android apps. 2:11 So I was very thankful when Craig joined as a Java teacher first. 2:13 And then I did some iOS courses because we just had a need, 2:17 a lot of student demand for certain things. 2:19 So I did a couple of apps in iOS and Android. 2:21 And now I'm doing less teaching, managing the teaching team and 2:23 helping plan the overall curriculum, 2:27 which is great cuz I get to see what's going on across the team. 2:29 But my most recent course, cuz I don't do that much, was helping out on 2:33 an IBM Watson, using their APIs to build a chatbot, which was really fantastic. 2:38 I learned a lot, it was really fun, and always great to be working with the crew 2:42 again, awesome. >> Yeah, 2:46 when you're talking about all those early days, I think there's a video of you, or 2:47 a couple videos of you in a canoe. 2:52 Is that right? >> That's my all time favorite shoot 2:53 because it was like 95 degrees. 2:56 There were planes flying overhead constantly so 2:58 we had to stop recording after every sentence. 3:00 And we had to continually roll around to the same spot so that we could float in 3:04 the right direction for the shot with the lighting, and the waves, and everything. 3:08 It was horrible. 3:11 It was like four or five hours of work for like four or five minutes of content. 3:12 It was amazing content, though. >> It's some of my favorite. 3:17 >> Find the link to put it in the notes. 3:20 >> Yeah, let's show some. 3:22 [MUSIC] 3:24 >> The inner ear of most mammals is remarkable for 3:32 its ability to detect motion, rotation, and acceleration. 3:35 [INAUDIBLE] 3:38 [MUSIC] 3:40 [INAUDIBLE] and put together, 3:43 make a banner [INAUDIBLE]. 3:48 [LAUGH] 3:53 [MUSIC] 3:55 >> Other than this canoeing, what's something that the students watching 4:00 wouldn't be able to know about you, you, Ben Jakuben? 4:05 It is Ben Jakuben. >> No, it's not, it's Ben Jakuben, and 4:08 Craig you should really know this. >> I do this all the time. 4:11 And I'm sorry, Ben Jakuben. >> Much better, 4:13 look at that, brilliant. >> So what's something that the students 4:16 would not know about Ben Jakuben? >> Let's see, well, they know I love Dr. 4:20 Who, because I work those references into my material. 4:24 I'm fairly boring, so you don't know how boring I am that my life, 4:29 my focus outside of Treehouse is my family. 4:34 So it's a lot of time playing video games with my kids, watching shows with my wife. 4:36 I play basketball, not very often, not very well, but 4:41 I love basketball still. >> That doesn't sound boring. 4:43 Playing video games is not boring. 4:46 What video games do you play? >> Well, my current obsession is Zelda. 4:48 I've always loved all Zelda video games. 4:52 That's been the most of my time, and Breath of the Wild has been on 4:54 heavy rotation since the holidays here. >> Awesome, and one of my favorite things 4:57 that you've actually taught me is that you can play video games with your kids. 5:01 >> Yes, we do share that in common. 5:04 Our children love to play video games with daddy. 5:05 >> Yeah, so I'm glad. 5:09 You mentioned that you just had a title change. 5:10 You're now head of curriculum. 5:12 That is pretty big. 5:13 How do you do that? 5:15 What does that mean to be head of curriculum? 5:16 >> It's a lot of research, 5:18 talking, planning. 5:21 Really it's trying to think about what you all need to get jobs or 5:23 that you're interested in learning, and then prioritizing. 5:27 How can we build that for you? 5:29 There's a lot we want to do. 5:31 There's a lot you're asking for. 5:32 And we can't do everything, at least not right away. 5:34 So it's picking out what's most important first. 5:36 So Craig and I and all the other teachers, 5:38 we'll get together either as one on one situations, sometimes as groups. 5:40 And we plot things out as you hopefully are well aware. 5:44 Our material is organized in these long tracks or tech degrees where it's really 5:47 trying to make sure we're identifying all the gaps and 5:51 picking out all the related skills that you need to be effective in a role. 5:53 So it's a lot of research and planning. >> Excellent. 5:57 [SOUND] Thanks for watching the Treehouse Show. 6:01 To get in touch with the show, reach out to me on Twitter, or 6:06 email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 6:09 See you next time. 6:11 I gotta start practicing my rowing skills cuz I'm so 6:11 writing a canoe scene in my next script. 6:14
You need to sign up for Treehouse in order to download course files.Sign up