Who wouldn’t want to expand their talents to include computer coding?
With a heavy reliance on computer technology, coding has become a valuable skill that prospective employers are looking for.
This has led to many online services dedicated specifically to offering coding lessons for those who want to make themselves more employable and gain new skills.
One of the most well-known coding education services around is Codecademy, with courses teaching a dozen major programming languages. In this Codecademy review, we’ll answer the question “is Codecademy any good?” and compare the platform to another popular coding education platform, Pluralsight. In the end, we’ll decide which online tech school is the best.
What is Codecademy?
Codecademy and Pluralsight are both code learning services offered via the internet to users all over the world. They offer a variety of services, including training in HTML, CSS, Python, Java, SQL, and more depending on the type of coding the customer wishes to learn.
However, the Codecademy catalog is a bit confusing to pick through unless the customer is 100% sure of what they would like to learn. They offer lengthy descriptions of the products that require a prior knowledge of terms and jargon in order to understand what one is signing up for. Pluralsight, on the other hand, offers a unique system for helping users understand what skills they need to learn without the jargon. They have a in-house and free set of tools to help the user with this.
You can use the Role IQ tool to understand what technologies and courses you need to utilize to be perfect for a particualar role, and if you’re looking to brush up on certain skills you can use their Skill IQ tool to figure out what are your gaps in any particular skill. I highly reccomend you use these tools, even if you decide to use another learning platform because they provide an immense amount of clarity, which is useful in any educational setting.
Codecademy and Pluralsight have around the same number of users, about fifty thousand plus, utilizing their products, and both services boast students who work with big-name companies such as Google and IBM.
There are plenty of positive Code academy reviews out there, but to get a better idea of its quality compared with Pluralsight, let’s compare their pricing, support communities, user-friendliness, and overall quality.
As far as payment goes, the two companies offer different options. Codecademy also has a three-tier price system, including Free, Pro, and Intensive.
- The Free Plan gives users access to course videos, and not much else.
- The Pro Plan, for $19.99 per month, adds quizzes, projects, and progress tracking.
- Finally, the Intensive Plan is a $199 in-depth course that adds Slack community support, and 1-3 cumulative projects that are reviewed by professional developers.
Codecademy does not offer a free trial of its Pro and Intensive plans. Pluralsight, on the other hand, gives a 10 day free trial for those wanting to try out their paid service. You can sign up to their free trial here – we reccomend signing up for the premium plan as they both are for the same amount of days in the free trial, and you can really give it a proper look. The premium tools for programming learning, including the interactive programming tools are really helpful.
After that, the standard service is $29 dollars a month. Their system is divided into two plans – Standard and Premium.
- The Standard Plan, which offers all their video content, skill assessments, and plenty of useful courses on a variety of topics. You can also download videos for easy offline learning.
- The Premium Plan is only $39 dollars a month after the10 daytrial, but it offers a plethora of extra incentives to spend the little amount of extra cash. You get access to the interactive coding tools, which for me was game-changing in being able to quickly learn, understand and debug programs while I was learning.
Both services boast a wide circle of colleagues, teachers, and mentors who are willing to help students keep track of, review, and improve on materials.
On Codecademy, everything support related is placed onto their community page website. They have a wide range of forums, from beginning welcome boards, to specific programming language boards. Access to the community information can come without a log-in, however, if clients want specific questions answered they must create an account and pay for a lesson program. The navigation of their community page is a bit hard to get through, broad categories all lumped together with no explanation as to their function. Again, using their community page requires a prior knowledge of coding jargon.
There is also an exclusive Slack channel for users, which provides all the benefits of organization as well as giving the user control of what content they do and do not what to see. The ability to navigate Slack is another valuable skill to have, since many employers are using the program to connect with their remote employees or to work on projects together as a group.
There is no way to preview the Slack channel or GitHub account before signing up for a free trial, but with no strings attached, the 10 day free trial allows users the freedom to explore these websites and determine whether or not it is right for them.
Upfront, Codecademy is very user-friendly. It’s easy to sign up and dive right in, and the lessons are easy for coding newbies to digest.
But as friendly as it is to beginners, multiple Codecademy reviews note that it is not a great option for intermediate and advanced coders who already know the basics and want to hone their skills. To get to the more advanced courses, you have to get through the slow, hand-holding courses first.
Pluralsight, on the other hand, allows users to skip to whatever lesson they want – so whether you barely know HTML or know it like a second language, you can jump right to whatever suits your needs. Their on-demand coding courses are easy to navigate and come back to whenever you have the time.
Finally, both websites have a link to blogs, where users and experts post articles relating to different fields.
The Codecademy blog is simple and not very unique. They only have two categories of articles, insights and updates, and everything is jumbled into them haphazardly. The graphics are also extremely basic and offer no clues as to what the article contents will be.
Pluralsight has a more easily navigated blog, starting off the top with a slideshow highlighting their most popular articles. They a wide variety of categories and each article shows a picture pertaining directly to the contents written, making them easy for beginners to understand and access.
- Curriculum Structure: Pluralsight offers a more flexible option for those with a busy work or life schedule while Codecademy keeps a strict timeline for students to follow.
- Quizzes & Review Material: Quizzes are available with Codecademy Pro, which is priced at $19.99 – with Pluralsight, quizzes are offered in their $29 per month plan.
- Time: Codecademy courses take at least 11 hours to complete, on a deadline, while Pluralsight offers the ability to save progress in the middle of a lesson and come back at a later date.
- Support Community: Both websites offer an online community of other students..
- Pricing: Codecademy’s course videos are free for anyone to access, and their full service is $19.99 per month. However, Pluralsight offers a free trial for those still on the fence about purchasing their full service, while Codecademy does not. Pluralsight is slightly more expensive, but the value you get for those few extra bucks is worth it.
Pros & Cons
Now that we’ve compared the features of Codecademy with Pluralsight, let’s wrap up our Code Academy review with some pros and cons of each online learning platform.
Pros of Codecademy:
- Free videos
- Network of community members to support studies
- A variety of lessons offered in 12 programming languages
- Beginner-friendly lessons
Cons of Codecademy:
- Difficult to navigate through tabs and lessons
- Can’t skip lessons
- No free-trial of paid plans
Pros of Pluralsight:
- Simple navigation with a tutorial of how to use their website
- Flexibility to start, stop, or skip lessons to fit any schedule
- Clean design that emphasizes the points they are trying to make
- Affordable, with the 10 free trial and different plans available
- Network of community members to support studies
- Unique tools to help users find the right learning materials for them, specifically Role IQ and Skill IQ. (Even free to use for non-paying members!)
Cons of Pluralsight:
- Paid monthly plan is more expensive
- No entirely free account, apart from the Skill and Role IQ parts.
Verdict: Is Codecademy Worth It?
Whether you are completely dedicated to learning to code for a future career, or just want to pick up a new hobby, Codecademy falls just short of offering a comprehensive service.
Is Codecademy any good? Of course it is, but while its free courses make it a good gateway for beginners, it doesn’t do much to take users beyond those basic skills. Even the paid version isn’t very robust, leaving users to do much of the learning on their own.
Pluralsight, by contrast, offers customers laid out details of their payment plans, as well as the flexibility to choose when, how, and where they will be learning. While yes, their monthly plan is priced slightly higher than Codecademy, they make up for it by offering additional features such as workshops and comprehensive community support.
Even after reading countless Pluralsight and Codecademy reviews, there’s only one way to know which coding education program is best for you – try them out. Explore Codecademy’s free videos or sign up for Pluralsights’s free trial today to get a feel for each site and decide what really works!
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