Treehouse, the 'biggest computer science school in the world,' wants to teach you how to code

Treehouse, the 'biggest computer science school in the world,' wants to teach you how to code

Summary: Programmers are in demand partly because it's difficult to learn how to code. Treehouse wants to make it much easier.

TOPICS: Start-Ups, Education

Everyone should learn how to code, the popular recent refrain goes. In a digital world, coding is currency. Programming is power.

Treehouse wants to formalize this notion with a platform that aims to help anyone learn to code and design for iOS, Android and the Web, using video-based instruction, quizzes, project-based learning and gamification. It takes a different approach that other startups by shunning crowdsourced content and embracing high-quality instruction for students of all ages, from non-technical professionals to kids in kindergarten through the 12th grade.

The Orlando, Fla. and Portland, Ore.-based startup company launched in 2011 and now has 25,000 active students. Yesterday, it announced that it raised $7 million from Kaplan Ventures and The Social+Capital Partnership, among others. 

"We believe that Treehouse has the market-leading offering for delivering targeted, in-demand technology skills training at a low cost, and we are thrilled to support their growth," said Kaplan's Kate Eberle Walker, who will join Treehouse's board.

Social+Capital's Chamath Palihapitiya called it the "biggest computer science school in the world."

The company has raised a bit more than $12 million so far. Twitter, Square, AOL, Disney and Zappos are customers.

Founder and CEO Ryan Carson added the following comment on his personal blog: "I think this is a great place to take a stand and say you don't need to be in Silicon Valley (or a "startup hub") in order to raise money for your startup or be successful... Don't be afraid to do it your own way." Carson is based in Portland.

Topics: Start-Ups, Education

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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  • New logic game to lay the foundations for learning to code

    Our dev team was looking for a way to make it more fun for kids to learn programming, and we came up with a game that helps them develop the logic skills they’ll need to learn first. The game (still in development) involves “programming” a robot to navigate through grid-based courses that get harder as they go. As they get better, players can challenge their friends. We’re excited about the response we’re getting so far – parents seem to love the idea and kids are telling us they want to beta test! You can check it out at
    Kelly Drill