by Caroline Clifford
printf(“Hello World! I’m Caroline Clifford and I’m a high school student on Treehouse.\n”);
As a committed dancer and current high school student, I hardly have time to do anything beside study and rehearse. I finish my school day at 3, rush to the studio, rehearse till 7, and start my homework. I never quite understood how other students had time for distractions like TV and social media. Where in their schedules could they fit these extra, self-designated activities? It wasn’t until December of 2013 when I realized that I too could add another extracurricular to my list. This was when I began to code.
As a math-focussed student, I have always found computer science to be intriguing. Defining a variable at the beginning of a program, and using said variable throughout the script just makes sense! Because of my love for math, I instantly found love for programming. The only thing that was missing, was a strong curriculum to keep me on track in becoming an experienced programmer.
I searched and searched for learning tools, from basic online tutorials to libraries filled with all of the functions in the entire HTML programming language, but I never quite felt like I was learning how to code in the real world. I could insert numbers into pre-scripted code and find my build to be successful, but it didn’t allot my retention of the material. I couldn’t quite get to the point at which I could write the code successfully, without the help of the application. I grew frustrated with the programs and decided to take a break from coding, that is, until I found Treehouse.
My little sister came home one day from school with sad eyes and a broken heart. She had just found out that her fifth grade teacher, Joy Kesten, was leaving the elementary school for a job at Treehouse. Knowing she was a fellow coder, I was intrigued and decided to sign up for the 14 day trial.. The first 14 days were free, so I figured if I didn’t find it useful, I could cancel my membership.
I found Treehouse to be everything that I wanted in a program. From the usage of outside applications (Xcode), to the direct tracks with firm destinations, to the helpful videos. Treehouse had me comfortable enough to avoid growing too frustrated to continue, but pushing myself all the same. Treehouse really is the whole package.
I was even given the opportunity to visit Joy, at her remote office in San Francisco and see where the magic really happens. Simply absorbing the energy sparks of productivity. The office itself was buzzing with creativity and excitement about the world of tech.
As I begin to embark on the journey of applying to engineering colleges as a computer science major, I'm learning more about the field every day. Twelve months ago, I would have never dreamed of filling my time with something new, much less something academic, but adding Treehouse to my plate of extracurriculars has been one of the best decisions of my high school life. I would never have fallen on this track without Treehouse, and encourage any student with an interest in computer science to subscribe!