General Discussion

Treehouse Vs Lynda Vs Skillshare Vs Udemy Vs Coursera Review

If you're trying to figure out which courses online to take that will work best for entry level programming, I've done it and this may help save you loads of time.

I'm a total newby and the degree that the teacher understands where the students mind really is become extremely important. I've found many people teaching don't understand principles of teaching that create good learning environments. Treehouse always gives me the warm and fuzzies! I always learn just what the title suggests, it doesn't drag on for too long, it checks my brain farts by frequently quizzing me so I really do actually retain what I'm learning or they point out that I've missed something! They make you code as you learn, they don't charge extra to use the teachers material and follow along, the way that Lynda does. Plus, It's so much better than live school was for me.

At Treehouse, the teachers do not go off on tangents, they are pleasant to listen to, even if a little corky, they're soft, and entertaining in small bite sized chunks for hours on end. They don't grate on your nerves with coffee talk the way some others do. Other teachers have such a harsh tone. Trust me, if you're trying to jam as much class as I am into an already busy life these factors are extremely important because they waster rare time. There's nothing worse than sitting there, feeling like you're not learning anything and that a refund isn't worth the time it takes to go after it. Or even worse, feeling stupid or overwhelmed because the teacher is no good at delivering just enough to teach and not overwhelm you or take up your time with random factoids or self promotion or too much detail. Some classes, Mislead you with the title and claims. They suggest that you don't need to know anything to take the class but then glaze right over serious amounts of missed information and you CAN'T raise your hand or go to a forum!

Treehouse = 5 minutes Boom! You learned something, on to the next topic.

I originally cancelled my Treehouse subscription because Lynda overlapped, I could learn programs like Dreamweaver plus all the programming languages required to build a site. BUT, the teachers are so free form they often assume you know nothing and then that you know too much in the same few minutes. It's annoying. The classes drag on and attempt to cover too many topics at once. They don't quiz or give good practical real life scenarios (code challenges) for you to work through, the way that Treehouse does. They charge extra to use the often required material that they could give you for free. For example, the text file with copy paste code in it that they use in the class. The blow right past an entire site worth of code that you either need to supply your own or pay for theirs. That leaves you lost, or trying to relate your site to their site which does not always work out, or sitting there manually typing tons of code from the paused screen. It's like they're flexing their smart brain and digging into your wallet, it doesn't feel good. It's not edited or balanced in delivery in bite sized chunks as well as they do at Treehouse. Hats off to Treehouse for that part!

In school, I never would've been able to try the same class out with different instructors and choose my delivery method. Plus, I already had a nice $50,000 debt from school that didn't pay me back in salary opportunity and this school is freakin $25 and I ALREADY get paid to do it for others!!!

I came back to Treehouse with a smile. Those other sites are awesome for getting other information but if you're thinking about programming THIS is the site for that...HANDS DOWN.

One skillshare class costs as much as a months access to the equivalent of 50 Skillshares at Treehouse and the teachers aren't random first timers like they tend to be on Skillshare. You never know what you're going to get. You know what to expect at Treehouse.

Udemy is overpriced. Maybe if you're going to learn something that isn't offered anywhere else you should pay as much as $99 for ONE class. Compare one class on Udemy to 4 months on Treehouse, no comparison. Again, the topics they don't offer here are the limitation. For programming they have enough to keep any noob busy for a while.

Coursera is awesome for getting access to really smart Ivy League courses for free. That is amazing and I love that! They also have tons of universities classes and you can be in class on a forum with 100,000 students world wide, it's a trip! You can sit in on for free in many different industry specific majors, I highly recommend it for that. But, as with every other school, the teachers vary, the quality of the class is very unregulated and you never know what you're going to get. It seems as though the instructor is often at his laptop in his office. The delivery is very dry. Although, there is no replacement for access to Stanford grad courses or MIT, that you get on Coursera, I do love it! You can't go wrong with the selection, but I won't choose that over Treehouse for basic knowledge like html or design. It's better for access to high level intelligent leaders in their fields and it's FREE!

I can't wait for Treehouse to add courses in some areas that seem to need expansion. I'm stoked about the newly added job board.

I really have to hand it to Treehouse. You guys rocked it! I had to mention this.

Great job guys!

You nailed it.

PS. In a world where unemployment is sky high and the computer era is booming, a programming engineer can get several jobs at any given time that pay very well. While most people can't find a descent job. That is real life. Education is the only solution. Thank you for making it cheap, easy and fun. Power to the People!

14 Answers

Blake Webster
Blake Webster
5,901 Points

I did this comparison myself not that long ago. I have a free subscription to Lynda.com through my employer and yet I still find myself paying for and loving Treehouse more! I will not discredit those other sites as every site has its own niche of people who will subscribe to them, but I think Treehouse is the current winner for those in our generation. I have used Treehouse to learn skills and then I have used those skills and demonstrated those to allow me skip classes at school. It's been such a time and money saver!

Wow you're employer gives you a subscription to Lynda? That's pretty cool. May I ask what company that is?

Blake Webster
Blake Webster
5,901 Points

I should say my former employer now... I got my account activated and it stays activated for life :) It's a tech company that is named after a fruit. :)

oh lol... awesome place to work! I assume anyway, was it?

Blake Webster
Blake Webster
5,901 Points

It was, but there is a reason why I left, not their fault, just some of the the people that work there :)

Daniel Čupak
Daniel Čupak
6,602 Points

Same here, even though we have a free acces to Lynda at my company I am not gonna unsubscribe the Treehouse as it is much more interactive. Lynda is just like going back to school and listen to a lecturer...not my cup of tea

Lana Wong
Lana Wong
3,968 Points

That's cool how your employer gives you a subscription to Lynda. My school district gives a subscription, but I still want to use Treehouse. :)

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,198 Points

These are the 6 sites I've tried while trying to learn to code:

codecademy

  • Content: no videos just code challenges
  • What I liked
    • Intermediate Projects
    • API Track
  • What I Didn't
    • Gives hints to easily, so newbies don't really learn
    • courses written by multiple people

Treehouse

  • Content: videos w/ code challenges
  • What I Liked
    • Professionally produced
    • Instructors are employees
    • Short videos, don't put you to sleep
  • What I Didn't
    • Project-first approach, causes issues w/ some topics

Udemy

  • Content: Just videos, demo files for gold members
  • What I liked
    • Large & varying library
  • What I didn't
    • Quality varies radically
    • Not enough value for price

Lynda

  • Content: Just videos, demo files for gold members
  • What I liked
    • Excellent intermediate topic coverage
  • What I didn't
    • Similar to listening to lectures in classroom
    • Not made by professional staff

Code School

  • Content: videos & code challenges -What I liked
    • Spilt window feature, slides next to code challenges
    • Professionally produced
  • What I didn't
    • Not particularly newbie friendly

Learn Street

  • Content: no videos just code challenges
  • Only 3 courses, JavaScript, Ruby, Python
  • What I liked
    • Well Structured
    • Helps you apply what you learned -What I didn't
    • I only wish they had more courses )

I am a fan of Code School and Code Academy but I haven't done enough to comment on them. I will definitely check those others. Thanks for the tip!

Thanks for posting. This and all the replies so far are really helpful and much appreciated!

I had to mention one more thing... Even while taking Coursera courses that I love the breeze over things that I don't get. I come back to Treehouse to figure out in laymen terms what the instructor is talking about. Treehouse speaks kindergarten to people like me who did not grow up on the command line prompt, it just does an awesome job. I can't thank Treehouse enough for filling in the gaps in a very easy to grasp manner.

Jorge Eduardo Garcia Celorio
Jorge Eduardo Garcia Celorio
10,112 Points

I used to keep myself away from Treehouse due to their constant YouTube ads, and a silly misconception that it was just like codecademy (great for starting from scratch + it's free!). I also kept my lynda.com account but its huge collection of videos is completely disorganized and a little bit outdated depending on the topic. I don't even recall how I suddenly decided to try Treehouse. The result? I'm completely satisfied with Treehouses' content, tracks and quality, and I will keep my subscription for several months. As many of you have said, Treehouse really nailed our educational needs for just $25 every month.

Charles Mcall
Charles Mcall
151 Points

I'm on CodeAcademy, Treehouse and Udacity. I really like CodeAcademy as I can pace myself. But I find I come to Treehouse when some things need a bit better explanation. But I also find the pace on Treehouse a little slow sometimes. Thus I tend to use both complementary with one another. Udacity was better when it was completely free, I'm waiting to see how that shakes out as some intructors were hit and miss.

This is really nice comparison. But I think better comparison should be between codeschool and teamtreehouse. As they both cover similar type topics. Lynda has variety of courses so they are out of question. I think you guys should try codeschool and try to same course from different angle. Codeschool offer first month trial: http://webuilddesign.com/enroll-in-code-school-at-9-dollars/

Konrad Pilch
Konrad Pilch
2,434 Points

When i started out, i used Lynda.com as a teacher gave me his permission to use his account. I loved it! I was new, stuff i was looking on yt and internet, i had much better quality , and easy to find out there. Ii used it around for 8 months.

LYNDA What i liked about lynda is that they cover a lot of topics, much more than treehouse. E.g Video software, adobe software, business in deep etc.. though , they are made by individuals authors, its still good.

I really hated that there are videos 10 years old and i ended up doing some old video . Which means that i was learning wrong technology. It gave me a good introduction to it and practice , but its old.

When i came to treehouse, i had to brush up my skills , my CSS. It was old. I had to re-learn it all. Though i still learned a lesson there, not just what i wanted.

Another thing is that lynda specialises in one topic tutorials as well in soem areas. if i would learn and app developement in Obj-C, i would probably check out there at first as it gives you more in deep introduction where you can learn it your self.

I didnt like that to downolaad most of the code , or images or something, you have to pay . I mean come on!

Treehouse I love the way its done, i came here by seeing good reviews on yt about treehouse . How it brushed up people skills and what they did. I have tried it my self and here i am! :D Treehouse covers you with basics. You know , with basics you can do anything. When we start with CSS, we often got stuck. But with time, if we want to do anything with it, we will jut figure it out. Same as talking about programming. I dont know ow to do soemthing but i have enough skill to do it( i dont : p) meaning that i dont have to look fro tutorials on how to but i have enought understanding that i can do it like CSS.

Treehouse provides you free source code as well. You can downolad it and work on it .

Udemy

Using Udemy, it varies. The prices are over rated, i know. But does anyone buy them? Udemy staff is greedy ? maybe , but heres a HINT: Udemy allways makes sales for 8 pound, 16 pound and around 25 pound. So the courses arent really expensive. You just have to wait for them to be lower price. Though that the best courses.

Other courses are overpiced as they never get down on udemy discount .

What i love about it is that it makes you build projects from beggining. Unlicke treehouse, in udemy, you do HTML/CSS then PHP or whatever. The quality of these vidoes, well, depends. You can get either good, or not. The quality of the informaiton, well , its good but its rare to find a good quality video with cood structure and code and clear speaking.

Once you go throw basics , you can look there , only for 8,16,25 pounds, dont reccomend to buy anything other, unless, you have rpve that the videos your buying for 400pounds, are woth, do your homework.

I noticed that some videos ther you can find free by the same author on youtube, or on their website somewhere so in other place where he posted it. See people ther are greedy, they want more and more money too , but at least their videos are good ^^ I havednt bough any of thiers videos as i found them free posted by them . But see , thats a strategy.

You can allways re-sell yor stuff on internet, via books, audio to make monney.

Codeacademy

It gives you pretty basics. Its a bit hard and the hints are too easy , and sometimes too hard . its a great place to start as it gives you understanding and then you re-write the code so many times, for different things that it stays in your head. Its good to do something that you learned , you can re-do it , its like practice ^^

Over all, start with treehouse . Unless ur in software , use lynda. Move into Codeacademy when you have learned new skill on treehouse. Use udemy once you got the grasp on treehouse or lynda about basics and you can think for your self.

Hope this help.

Konrad Pilch
Konrad Pilch
2,434 Points

Oh adding to this :

Treehouse

Treehouse brings everyone together , its a little communiti at the moment but soon it will get millions of people i beilieve, just more people have to know about it :)

Treehouse has a forum, thats right! A forum! WHere begginers, middle and advanced people can help you to solve your problem or other way round. Not to forget our amazing , best teachers in the word ! And seriously, thats true. Its great to get a help from a STAFF and even communicate .

Here at treehouse, teachers asks student what we want to learn . And then we get respected and involved in it :) You just have to take part in it and get involved.

Treehouse has a track , a library with good construction and topics. Whatever you see written, it will teach you how to do it. Its not like a yt video where they say they will teach you to do that but then its just get lost.

Its easy to learn here .

Treehouse , all the content is free , well membership, if you want to get live workshops etc.. conferences, and with some people, some people meaning people that have achieved things. That comes with pro and little tips allways on the technology , news. Its really worth the pirze . I had one month trial, and if because of my budget, i would buy it , its really helpful.

Treehouse has an online workspace where you can work in a cafeteere , school, college, work anywhere!

And here the pshychology comes, you have points, we get revarded with beautiful badges that motivate some people or most , i dont know i dont have any survey . But deffinitly helps. You have quizzez and challenges which checks your understanding , pretty useful .

Teachers are master in their fields and know how to teach, the vidoes are friendly and in 5 minutes, BOOM you learn straight away . There arent only STAFF here but also guests like Sarah Parmenter and other people , should defenitely check them out .

Treehouse is more of a web/app learning platform. It has some design too , which i think, it coveres the basics. Same as in business and other stuff.

Now, lets get on with lynda.com

Lynda

Lynda is far more bigger than any other platform with good people in it. ( Udemy? umm i dont know ) Lynda offers a lot more categories. Is wider. Lynda has a lot of topics and videos about one things, e.g learning CSS, learning CSS making a website etc.. yeahh, its kind of useeful, while treehouse add to it in the toher course , with track the best.

If you pay the pro on lynda, you just get code source... ( i actually think its just wasting time sometimes to write the code, but sometimes you will just need it and sometimes its free so its pretty good.) I would deffenetely buy treehouse pro .

Lynda videos are old, some of them , they got pro teachers too. They have vidoes made 10 years before which well, you know , its not nice .. especialy if you just learn it and now you discovered the 21 century . I had this experience , not nice.

I like lynda because there are a lot of vidoes, better than yt , with some quality where you can learn , i mean , there are software, google analitics and other stuff that i would be interested.

Over all, these two dont compete each other. In one word, lynda is more of a software then what is treehouse . Lynda vidoes about web , i honestly dont like it, if your advanced , yeah you can . I liked the iOS , not every of it is bad, they have good videos too, i just thin ktreehouse is much better at this.

So heres the comparison . Treehouse focuses 100% on one things with pro teachers and staff that work on main goal whiles in lynda there are many authors where they just put stuff, here on treehouse its just well planned and made.

Im not saying lynda is bad, its good, its just different aspects. If your more into adobe, vidoes, photoshop ( maybe , but maybe design in some areas, lynda might be better but iol stick with treehouse.

Heres on thing. Treehouse gets you ready . It teaches you basics that you will be ready to do anything . As long as you watched treehouse videos before any other. You should be good. Put Treehouse at your first place , then put any other. From my own experience .

If you can afford to have both of them , that would be great for you ! Im sure it will help, plus hey, you have two best companies in the field !

Shana HT
Shana HT
3,292 Points

I totally agree with all points! Also research it myself.

Gina Bégin
PRO
Gina Bégin
Pro Student 8,613 Points

Just had to add my 2 cents here:

I've really enjoyed learning from Treehouse. I chose it over Lynda because I wanted to sign up with Lynda, having heard so much about it, but it took them 3 weeks to get back to a question I had about signing up, and another time it took them a month and a half — it's like they didn't want my money!

When I tried Lynda.com's free trial and had a question about coding, I never got a reply at all. I even tried to reach out on Twitter several times, there was never any answer. I couldn't find a forum to post questions in either. Not being able to get feedback or questions answered in a timely fashion — or at all — makes it reaaaaally hard when you are trying to learn a new skill!

But when I tried Treehouse's free trial, the answers from the staff and community were returned to me within an hour or less on the forums and the emails are always answered within a day. They even let you use the forums to put up your personal (non-lesson) projects that you're working on to get feedback and help, which is amazingly helpful. So guess who I decided to give my money to? ;)

TeamTreehouse.com 's customer service trumps Lynda.com, in my experience, and that is crucial when learning code, design, etc.!

Also, not sure if Lynda has one (guessing yes), but Treehouse's smartphone app works nearly as well as their desktop environment (just wish I could speed up the videos to double time like I do on the desktop platform). This is great because I can take it with me to the gym when I'm cycling or on the treadmill (have to squeeze my learning in where I can!). Definitely a bonus with Treehouse.

Konrad Pilch
Konrad Pilch
2,434 Points

nothing special but to add to that one minus to the treehouse mobile app is thath they have no forum. Most of the time when im in bus i cant watch vidoes so i sit in the forum , but the app doesnt offer it so i have to go on the web browser. Apart from that , i agree definitely with you .

Right on.

"I've found many people teaching don't understand principles of teaching that create good learning environments"

I find this is why coding is "hard to learn" bad teachers or "camera friendly people" who know code don't improve the experience. It takes a deep passion for teaching to translate a challenging subject and thats why a great teacher is worth the $.

Great teachers can observe the student having challenges and adapt to fit, translating that to an online environment requires a dedicated person with empathy to the student that really knows the subject and knows how to get inside your head and chunk down complex info to convey info. Treehouse gets an A-.

I've tried, Udemy, Coursera, Codeacademy, codebattles, typing.io and my local Galvanize (freaking awesome sauce!!!)

Galvanize recommended Treehouse (I am happy they did)

Genesis Murillo
Genesis Murillo
9,119 Points

This is definitely true. I found that with codeacademy.com I was forgetting concepts shortly after finishing a challenge. I love the repetition in all of these videos and that I get in use. I got my associate's degree in software development so it somewhat laid down a foundation for programming and I knew what certain things did when I used them but I did not know why. The videos explain everything sooo well.

I have free access to Lynda through my city's amazing public library system. Lynda is great but listening to lectures for hours on end just doesn't cut it for me. I don't retain the information as much as I would like because Lynda is not interactive. I cannot remember what code I was writing 24 hours earlier. Sometimes, depending on the instructor, Lynda flies through some of the material. There is no forum like this one that allows people to post questions. I think some of the Lynda videos may be more helpful to those with an adequate background in coding. But Treehouse is great for beginners who need some hand holding and interactive tutorials and quizzes to help us stay focused.

Thanapoom Phithakjarukorn
Thanapoom Phithakjarukorn
21,841 Points

Thank you all for giving these useful comments to this useful topic. I decided to get a subscription after I have tried a 7-day-period trial with Treehouse. There are a plenty of coding courses, videos, workshops that I can choose from and they are all user-friendly and well-designed especially for newbies. Also, Treehouse Mobile app is awesome. It works exactly the same as it does on the desktop site even though there is a glitch sometimes when I turned my phone from landscape to portrait or vice versa. However, I won't consider it as a major concern.

Treehouse recently released a chart that compares Treehouse against Lynda, Udemy, and Pluralsight to help you find the best solution for you. Find it here: http://business.teamtreehouse.com/treehouse-alternatives.html