Treehouse is a site that delivers video-based training on development topics. Unlike other sites I’ve reviewed, this site is almost entirely focused on programming topics such as PHP Development, Ruby Development, Front End Web Development, iOS Development, Android Development, etc.
The site requires a subscription, and that profit-model allows them to create consistently good training and videos. As a subscription site, they are introducing new videos every month, to continually provide value to their members.
In terms of the quantity of training, Lynda.com has a huge head-start in that. Treehouse has perhaps 60-70 courses available, while Lynda.com has thousands. But quantity doesn’t mean quality, and many of the videos on Lynda are a few years old for old versions of software.
Treehouse features what they call “tracks”, which are 6-10 courses on a single topic that take you through a subject from beginner to expert. They also have a badges and points system to try to make it more fun to go through training. (See the course on Gamification that Coursera has for more on this technique.) Progressing through training also unlocks a video series, which could potentially incentivize you to finish the training to see the next episode of the series.
There training platform seems fine, although I can envision ways to improve it. It has the standard video window, which allows you to navigate from video to video. You can see the transcript below, although seeing both the video AND the transcript at the same time looks impossible. There is a Closed Captioning option for that though, in English only. I like that the videos can be downloaded in standard and high-definition formats.
Similar to Udacity, on Treehouse the quizzes are interspersed between video lectures, with multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and write code in the browser formats. Also, an iPad App is available although I haven’t tried it yet.
Overall, if I was just starting out in development, I would consider a subscription to Treehouse. Going through the front-end and back-end development tracks would take me far along the path to gaining that skill. Like many things, one needs time and real-world experience to really become an expert at it, but this site will make it easier for you to pick up that skill.