Finding the right courses for web development, software engineering and FAANG coding interview prep can be difficult.
And with so many platforms out there like CodeCademy Pro, LeetCode and Udemy, is Educative even worth it?
There’s a lot to consider:
🔹Are you a text-based or visual learner?
🔹 Do you prefer an interactive coding editor or watching videos?
🔹 Is guided learning a must-have?
In today’s Educative.io review, we’re going to show you the layout, features, a few courses, pricing and more.
You’ll also discover how Educative.io compares to other popular online coding platforms with our breakdowns of:
- Educative vs Leetcode
- Educative.io vs Udemy
- Educative.io vs CodeCademy Pro
Now let’s dive in and see what this online coding platform is all about.
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something. Read my disclosure for more details.
What is Educative.io?
Educative is a learning platform containing media-rich courses without the distraction of videos.
That’s right. There are zero videos on this platform.
Their reasoning? As each course splash page notes:
“Videos are holding you back. The average video tutorial is spoken at 150 words per minute, while you can read at 250. That‘s why our courses are text-based.”
Geared towards software developers, it was launched in July 2015 by three friends who worked at eBay, Microsoft and Facebook. (They also created a popular FAANG interview prep course called Coderust.)
There are well over 300 courses available. And new courses are added every week.
📹 My Educative.io video review
Course topics cover everything from HTML & CSS for newbies all the way up to FAANG interview preparation for advanced programmers.
Some of the course topics include:
And many more. There are also a variety of visual aids (illustrations, charts, code snippets) to guide you through the lessons.
And with their robust interactive coding environments, you’ll be able to practice coding concepts immediately inside your browser.
And because you can learn at your own pace, it could be a good alternate to reinforce concepts you’re learning elsewhere.
Now let’s check out the structure of Educative.
Maybe you already have an idea of what you want out of Educative. They offer three options:
✅ Grow my Skillset – This area covers more complex programming language concepts. In addition you’ll find courses on frameworks, libraries and containers.
✅ Prepare for an Interview – This is the meat of the platform for any developer preparing for their FAANG coding interview. You’ll find interview prep courses for programming languages, system design and beyond.
🛎️ And if you’re not quite sure where you want to start, you can browse their full catalog of courses and Learning Paths.
New Educative courses are added every week.
If you stick with the free tier, the courses are limited.
However, there are some wonderfully specific course offerings such as the Tesla Battery Calculator Project.
But with the Educative Unlimited plan, you’ll have complete access to over 340 courses.
Plus, you can take advantage of their Learning Path. These multi-course paths build a strong foundation and graduate to learning more difficult concepts.
More on that below.
Each course starts with an informative layout containing:
Check out the Grokking the Coding Interview course as an example.
(side note: The Grokking courses are extremely popular. We’ve reviewed just about every one in the series.)
From there, you’ll get an overview description about the course and a quick glimpse into the layout of each lesson.
Courses are broken down into lessons. And each lesson has a series of sections.
Let’s take Grokking the System Design Interview as an example:
There are two major sections:
🟪 System Design Problems – This section contains a series of problems designing well-known applications like Pastebin, Dropbox, Twitter, Yelp and more.
🟪 Glossary of System Design Basics – This contains lessons covering everything from key characteristics of distributed systems to data partitioning and consistent hashing.
And each of these lessons contains feature-rich interactive coding environments.
Interactive Coding Environments
The code editors in Educative.io are built right into the lesson. So you can read a concept and immediately apply what you’ve learned.
Unlike video-based platforms, you don’t need two monitors or to click in and out of browser windows.
Tab-click fatigue. It’s a thing. 🥴
The instant feedback allows you to identify and correct your mistakes in real time.
Here’s a coding exercise on Stacks (implementation):
Learning Paths are a compilation of courses that focus on a particular skill or path. It starts with beginner concepts and courses increase in difficulty.
🛎️ There are currently over two dozen Learning Paths on Educative including:
- Scalability and System Design for Developers – design and architecture for systems that scale
- React for Front-End Developers – learn to build and deploy professional apps using React
- Become a Machine Learning Engineer – gain practical skills to land a machine learning engineer job
- DevOps for Developers – master Docker and Kubernetes
- Become a Front-End Developer – learn how to make websites and become a professional developer
- Python for Programmers – Python Learning Path for developers experienced in another language
- Java for Programmers – Java Learning Path for developers experienced in another language
- C++ for Programmers – C++ Learning Path for developers experienced in another language
- Ace the C++ Coding Interview – C++ technical interview preparation
- Ace the Python Coding Interview – Python technical interview preparation
- Ace the Java Coding Interview – Java technical interview preparation
Let’s take this DevOps for Developers Learning Path as an example:
The Learning Path starts with the beginner course Grokking Computer Networking for Software Engineers.
From there, you’ll learn Docker for Developers, an intermediate course.
Only after you learn about how Docker works can you begin to tackle the fundamentals of Kubernetes in A Practical Guide to Kubernetes.
And finally, you can move on to Advanced Kubernetes Techniques: Monitoring, Logging, & Auto-Scaling.
Note: All Learning Paths are available on the paid tier only.
You can get Educative for about $17 per month with the annual subscription ($199). You’ll get complete access to the Educative platform. This includes all courses and learning paths.
They also offer a monthly subscription ($59), along with a two year subscription ($359).
Alternatively, you can buy each course individually. Course prices vary.
BUT HOW DOES EDUCATIVE STACK UP AGAINST THE COMPETITION?
Well, let’s take a look…
Educative.io vs The Competition
Now that you know some of the more important specs of Educative, let’s see how they compare to some of the industry’s more well-known platforms:
🥊💥 Educative vs Udemy
Unlike Educative, Udemy is a video-based learning platform.
It currently offers over 150,000 courses. And as of January 2020 it has over 57,000 instructors.
But quantity does not always equal quality. With so many options, it’s easy to be pulled in multiple directions at once. If you don’t have the discipline it’s a recipe for disaster.
Whereas Educative focuses exclusively on software development, Udemy aims to be the place to learn about anything.
There’s an endless supply of unique courses, but that also means an endless drain on your time… and your bank account.
Also, there’s a vast range in production quality with Udemy courses.
Some videos are high-quality with studio sound. And others have extremely low production values. Or the instructor may not have the qualifications to teach a particular subject.
But it’s not all touch and go.
In our opinion, there are some instructors worth their weight on Udemy such as Andrei Neagoie, Colt Steele and Dr. Angela Yu.
But with the growing trend of instructors creating their own learning platforms, we’re seeing some well-known instructors starting to transition away from Udemy (like Andrei Neagoie & his Zero to Mastery brand).
Udemy does not have an annual subscription plan. So that means you have to pay for every individual course.
🔔 Result: In our opinion the winner of Educative vs Udemy is… Educative. We think Educative is the better platform because of its:
- cost-efficient annual subscription
- focus on tech-related topics
- organized, manageable course loads
We also think the average instructor on Educative is more experienced in the tech industry compared to the average instructor on Udemy.
🥊💥 Educative vs Leetcode
While LeetCode has over 1400 coding problems, they have zero courses. Plus, many of their problems are user submitted and aren’t vetted by an actual person.
And with that comes problems like unreliable code and inconsistent answers.
However they do have Coding Problem Collections. These collections are compilations of questions based on concepts and organized by difficulty level.
Coding Editor -The LeetCode coding editor is pretty boring with a standard white background and minimal syntax highlighting.
💰 Cost: LeetCode has a free tier, or you can get LeetCode Premium for $35 per month, or $159 for their annual subscription.
LeetCode Premium will get you some benefits like:
- access to additional problems
- interview simulations
🔔 Result: Today’s winner of Educative vs LeetCode is… Educative.
While LeetCode is a beneficial resource for practicing coding problems, it doesn’t offer well-rounded instruction necessary for understanding fundamental coding concepts. Whereas Educative does.
🥊💥 Educative vs Codecademy Pro
They offer everything from courses for newbies all the way to advanced programmers.
Their courses are unique because of their:
🔷 interactive lessons – after reading about a concept, you immediately apply what you’ve learned using the interactive code editor
🔷 projects – work on one or two projects for each lesson
🔷 career paths – take courses based on career goals
Similar to Educative, Codecademy Pro has plenty of quizzes and learning paths. In addition, they have a substantial selection of Challenge Projects to practice your skills.
Whereas the courses are text-based, there are video walkthroughs for the projects.
💰 Cost: Codecademy Pro is similar in cost at about $20 per month with an annual subscription. Or you can get the monthly plan for about $40 per month.
🔔 Result: The winner of Educative vs Codecademy Pro is… a tie.
Codecademy Pro does have some benefits you won’t find on Educative:
- video walkthroughs
- challenge projects outside of the courses
- blog and community resources
But Educative has consistent, concise learning materials.
Is Educative Worth It? Educative.io Review Recap
This coding game isn’t easy. And finding quality places to learn is the hardest part.
You need a solid foundation. This is true if you’re just starting out. And it’s true if you’re already interviewing with the FAANGs.
We believe Educative.io has that foundation.
Plus we’ve spent plenty of time comparing Educative to Udemy, LeetCode and Codecademy Pro. And we came to these conclusions:
The winner of Educative vs Udemy is… Educative.
In the battle of Educative vs LeetCode, the winner is… Educative.
However, with Educative vs Codecademy Pro, we feel Educative is on par in many ways with Codecademy Pro.
My personal choice continues to be Educative because of its interactive coding environments, ample visual examples and text explanations.