Treehouse vs Codecademy – Which Is Better?

By Jeremy Kallowitz | Course Wars

Feb 21

The internet has a plethora of options when it comes to learning the art of programming and web development. It is easy to get confused among the choices and ultimately select a poor service, which only wastes your time and money. After looking for such an online service for quite a few days, I had shortlisted the following services, namely Treehouse vs Codecademy. I decided to give them both a chance and continue the one which ticked most, if not all, my boxes. Let us delve into these two services now.

Codecademy

Codecademy is a prominent name with regards to services that teach coding. It has attempted to channel the information usually provided via a formal education into a nifty website portal. On the surface, it has centered its learning portal around beginners. Therefore, it teaches starter topics for various languages such as Python, Ruby and Java.

These intro learning courses are provided for free, but they also give the choice of going Pro. The Pro option gives you the chance to experience customized lessons along with live online teaching sessions with a real instructor.

Learning Method

Every course will always start with the basics and then move onto more challenging tasks and lessons. For instance, if the user opts to delve into Python, they will be required to learn rudimentary output/input, after which the user will progress to numerical-based concepts and so on and so forth. This is obviously a precursor to more complicated tasks such intricate data structures and gradually progressing to command controls etc.

It is apparent that the creators have tried to maintain some semblance of fluidity when it comes to the progression of the course material. Whether they succeeded in their attempts to do so is another matter entirely as I often found myself feeling that perhaps the jumps in concepts were either too drastic or too gradual.

Features

Codecademy has used a rudimentary method to motivate its users by rewarding them with different badges depending on how far they have progressed in the relevant programs. The website also had an embedded discussion forum with every learning track, which enables cohesive group learning where one can obtain guidance regarding certain topics from fellow users.

I shall admit that one of the neater features was a timescale Codecademy provided to help the user gauge their progress. This timescale calculated a rough approximate of how much time one should take to completely grasp a certain topic/concept. However, again, the accuracy of this feature can be brought into question as I found its estimations were quite different from how long it actually took me to fully understand the topic in question.

All in all, I felt that Codecademy is an appropriate service to engage if you want to acquaint yourself with rudimentary concepts. However, eventually, it became apparent that its coding was old. This is a problem which the moderators of the website are aware of and are hopefully trying to correct. It also felt like Codecademy was attempting to stave me off from the complex side of programming and was making life easier for itself. This also gave me a false sense of accomplishment, which was immediately shattered when I discussed what I had learnt with an experienced developer.

Treehouse

When Codecademy didn’t work out for me, I came across Treehouse and saw that it offered a free trial. This meant I would not be at a disadvantage if I eventually chose not to continue with Team Treehouse.

Learning Method

At a glance, Treehouse has a catalogue of more than a thousand info-vids, which have been recorded by professional programmers/developers. To boot, there is additional readable content in order to help the user grasp the concepts that are conveyed in the videos.

Moreover, the instructors are qualified individuals who have been part of the industry for several years and are not only well-versed with the topics but also aware of the nuances that new users may face. Every lesson is further divided into sub-lessons, which are known as stages. This allows a novice like me to absorb the information with relative ease.

Features

Treehouse’s experience feels a lot more flexible than that of Codecademy. The multitude of lessons available can be viewed in whichever order the user feels best. Having said that, Treehouse also provides a recommended track along which the lessons should be taken.

This track has been determined by professionals who have created the lessons and are more than capable of advising the recommended route. The aforementioned track enables the user to gradually grasp concepts without feeling unnecessarily burdened with an overload of information.

For novices like myself, it is advisable that one stays on the recommended track. Staying on track also allows inquisitive learning via intriguing challenges and questionnaires. This learning method keeps the mind sharp and ensures better retention of concepts.

Similar to Codecademy, Treehouse awards you badges, depending on your progression. Furthermore, the online community is quite active and is always readily available to help anyone who is facing difficulty in grasping any concept. In fact, this is one of the reasons why I genuinely adore Treehouse. The online community is a lot friendlier and more forthcoming than that of Codecademy and coupled with the online instructors, I never felt alone when I came across problematic concepts.

Conclusion

In evaluation, there is one clear winner in the debate of Team Treehouse vs Codecademy, and that is Team Treehouse. This is primarily due to the balance it has created between video content and readable content. Both complement each other and greatly aid in understanding the concepts put in front of novices like myself. Furthermore, Treehouse does not bombard you with information and the progression of concepts feels so much more natural.

If you are caught between Codecademy vs Treehouse, here’s an idea – give the 7-day free trial at Treehouse a shot. You’ve got nothing to lose, and I have a feeling you won’t need to look elsewhere after you’ve experienced what Treehouse has to offer.

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