I’m a UX Designer that has some basic coding and command line chops. This comes in handy when I’m working with other developers, or designing for technical feasibility. When I began learning to code though, I found myself running into a very common challenge — which service is right for me? Two of those learning services I encountered (and used) were Codecademy and Treehouse.
While there are pros and cons to both, I’m here to help you figure out which options are best suited for you. Let’s compare.
A Brief Overview of Codecademy vs Treehouse
Before we get started, here’s a high-level overview of the two:
- Languages: 12 including Ruby, Java, Sass, HTML and more.
- Price: Codecademy offers both free and premium courses
- Year Founded: 2011
- Number of students: Codecademy had served over 45 million students.
- Curriculum: Designed and published by Codecademy
- Structure: Classes are packaged together in “paths,” which each path having the feel of an online coding curriculum.
- User-Interface: In-browser code editors. Prompts and text instructions without videos.
- Languages: 12 including HTML, CSS, Python, Java and more.
- Price: Treehouse offers a 7-day free trial, and paid courses with several price plans
- Year Founded: 2011
- Number of students: Treehouse actively serves over 50 thousand students today.
- Curriculum: Over 300 courses, designed and published by Treehouse
- Structure: Classes are packaged together in “paths,” but you can take some courses individually depending on the material.
- User-Interface: Video modules plus an in-browser code editor experience.
Is Codecademy Free?
Somewhat. In Codecademy’s earlier days, all courses were entirely free. However, with an expansion of their courses and introduction of learning tracks, Codecademy introduced a Pro plan several years ago. Codecademy offers tiered plans that are billed every 6 months, annually, or monthly at a rate of $39.99. Note—the semi-annual and annuals plans are generally cheaper than the monthly option.
Is Codecademy a good place to learn to code?
Codecademy isn’t a bad place to start your coding journey. Ironically enough, the lack of video content means you can focus on the guided, step-by-step tutorial approach that Codecademy is known for. Other pros are around code validation. Codecademy’s, code editor will let you know if your code submission is correct (or not) before allowing you to proceed. One of the bigger downsides is the lack of a support community Codecademy offers for newer developers. Though, a developer community like Stack Overflow, could easily supplement that. For paid members, Codecademy’s various learning tracks (known as “Career Paths”) could be very helpful to someone looking to beef up their coding knowledge, before partaking in a bootcamp. Career Path programs include courses such as Code Development, Web Development, Data Science, more.
Is Treehouse Free?
No. Treehouse offers a 7-day free trial period, and three distinct membership tiers. $25/month, gets you their basic plan. $49/month, gets you the Pro membership which allows you to download videos for offline learning. Finally, $199/month allows you to take part in their “Techdegree” program, which promises to help you create a “job-ready portfolio.”
Additionally, Treehouse offers an enterprise training plan but have to contact their sales team for custom pricing.
Is Treehouse a good place to learn to code?
Yes. Some of this is due to the multiple development tracks offered by Treehouse, as well as intermediate and advanced learning options too. Keep in mind, course lengths are not always short and are comprised of self-paced video learning. Some may find this a very tedious way to learn. Prior to getting into the tech industry, I took Treehouse’s Web Design track which introduced me to HTML, CSS and responsive development. The course was great, and I learned a lot. I just really had to stay motivated to check in and complete a little more each day.
Conclusion: Codecademy vs. Treehouse: Which Should You Choose?
Really, it depends on your preference and desire. Treehouse is great if you’re looking for a more well-rounded assortment of courses for the money. They provide multiple courses per coding language, and learning opportunities in other areas such as—data analysis, quality engineering, user experience and visual design, business literacy, professional prep and soft business skills.
Codecademy is the opposite—they only offer one course per coding language (e.g. there’s a path to learn Python, Ruby, PHP, etc.). In my experience, Codecademy was a great resource to get your feet wet with a coding language, very foundational. It is however, not in depth enough to replace a bootcamp, real-world experience or other services that provide mentoring and community support.