cartoon hand typing with coffee and overlaying text Educative Worth My Time?

Is Educative Worth It? A Face-Off w/The Other Guys

Finding the right courses for FAANG coding interview prep can be difficult. And with so many platforms out there like CodeCademy Pro, LeetCode and Udemy, is Educative worth it?

There’s a lot to consider:

πŸ”ΉAre you a text-based or visual learner?

πŸ”Ή Do you prefer an interactive coding editor or watching videos?

πŸ”Ή Is guided learning a must-have?

The questions go on and on.

And on.

AND ON.

Your time is valuable.

And so is your money.

So when using a platform, it’s gotta be good.

And it has to cater to your learning style.

You want to come out on the other side with an education. A better understanding of coding concepts. Or ready to ace that FAANG system design interview.

And for a monthly cost of a Silicon Valley lunch, Educative might just be worth the investment.

Now let’s take a look and see what it’s all about.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something. Read my disclosure for more details.

WHAT IS EDUCATIVE?

Educative is a learning platform containing media-rich courses without the distraction of videos. Geared towards software developers, it was launched in July 2015 by 3 friends who worked at eBay, Microsoft and Facebook. They also created Coderust.

There are currently about 150 courses available. And new courses are added every week.

Course topics cover everything from HTML & CSS for newbies all the way up to FAANG interview preparation for advanced programmers.

There are plenty of visual aids to guide you through the lessons. And with their robust interactive coding environments, you’ll be able to practice coding concepts in a stimulating setting.

code for declaring a variable in TypeScript courses for beginners
TypeScript lesson with interactive code editor on Educative

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

EDUCATIVE.IO STARTING OUT

Maybe you already have an idea of what you want out of Educative. They offer three options:

Become a Developer – Here you’ll find a series of beginner and intermediate courses in the language of your choice. Some languages include HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, Java and PHP.

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 tracks.

EDUCATIVE. IO COURSES

New Educative courses are added every week.

If you stick with the free tier, the courses are pretty 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 150 courses.

Plus, you can take advantage of their learning tracks. These multi-course paths build a strong foundation and graduate to learning more difficult concepts.

More on that below.

COURSE LAYOUT

Each course starts with an informative layout containing:

Difficulty
Level
LessonsChallengesPlaygroundsCode
Snippets
Illustrations

Check out the Grokking the Coding Interview course as an example.

grokking the coding interview course screenshot
Course Layout of Grokking the Coding Interview on Educative

From there, you’ll get an overview description about the course and a quick glimpse into the layout of each lesson.

LESSONS

grokking the system design interview system design problems
Lesson topics in Grokking the System Design Interview course on Educative

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:

πŸŸͺ System Design Problems – This section contains a series of problems designing well-known applications like Pastebin, Dropbox, Twitter, Yelp and more.

πŸŸͺ 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 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. πŸ₯΄

The instant feedback allows you to identify and correct your mistakes in real time.

For example, Lydia Hallie’s course Mastering Data Structures and Sorting Algorithms in JavaScript has 34 interactive coding environments.

Here’s a coding exercise on Stacks (implementation):

Working through an advanced javascript concepts section on the educative learning platform

LEARNING TRACKS

Learning tracks 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 13 learning tracks on Educative:

  • 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 track for developers experienced in another language
  • Java for Programmers – Java learning track for developers experienced in another language
  • C++ for Programmers – C++ learning track 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
  • Ace the JavaScript Coding Interview – JavaScript technical interview preparation
  • TypeScript for Front-End Developers – transition from JavaScript to TypeScript

Let’s take this DevOps for Developers learning track as an example:

The learning track 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.

devops for developers course selection with docker, kubernetes and aws logos
DevOps for Developers learning track on Educative

Note: All learning tracks are available on the paid tier only.

πŸ’° COST

You can get Educative for about $21 per month with the annual subscription. You’ll get complete access to the Educative platform including over 150 courses and 13 learning tracks.

Or you can buy each course individually. But that can get pretty costly once you start leveling up your skills and exploring new concepts.

You can check out Educative here.

BUT HOW DOES EDUCATIVE STACK UP AGAINST THE COMPETITION?

Well, let’s take a look…


EDUCATIVE 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:

🟠 Udemy

🟠 LeetCode

🟠 Codecademy Pro

Educative.ioUdemyLeetCodeCodecademy
Pro
Newbie-
Friendly
βœ…βœ…βŒβœ…
Free Coursesβœ…βœ…βŒβŒ
Text-Basedβœ…βŒβœ…βœ…
VideosβŒβœ…βŒβœ…
Language-Flexible
Code Editor
βœ…βŒβœ…βŒ
Illustrationsβœ…βŒβŒβŒ
Projectsβœ…βœ…βŒβœ…
CertificateβŒβœ…βŒβœ…
Cost (approx.)$21/moper
course
$35/mo$20/mo
At a glance: Educative.io vs Udemy vs LeetCode vs Codecademy Pro

πŸ₯ŠπŸ’₯ 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. And that means everything from building desktop apps with JavaScript to a full course devoted to learning how to attract butterflies to your garden (yes, really).

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a sack of blue butterflies in a Udemy course.

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 low production values. Or the instructor may not have the qualifications to teach a particular subject.

But it’s not all touch and go.

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.

screenshot of Udemy course "Freelance Newbie: Become a Freelance Web Developer"
RealToughCandy is one of the instructors moving courses to her own learning platform (Coming soon!).

πŸ’° Cost: Udemy does not have an annual subscription plan. So that means you have to pay for every individual course.

πŸ”” 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

πŸ₯ŠπŸ’₯ 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.

student coding environment on LeetCode with black and blue syntax and white background
Student learning environment on LeetCode

Coding Editor -The LeetCode coding editor is pretty boring with a standard white background and minimal syntax highlighting.

πŸ’° 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
  • debugger
  • autocomplete
  • interview simulations

And more.

πŸ”” 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. Educative does.

πŸ₯ŠπŸ’₯ EDUCATIVE vs CODECADEMY PRO

Codecademy Pro is an interactive platform that offers courses in 14 programming languages including JavaScript, Ruby and Python.

They offer everything from courses for newbies all the way to advanced programmers.

Their courses are unique because of their:

πŸ”· interactive lessons – after reading about a concept, you immediately apply what you’ve learned using the interactive code editor

JavaScript instruction, code editor, and results in Codecademy Pro
Lesson and interactive code editor in Codecademy Pro

πŸ”· projects – work on one or two projects for each lesson

πŸ”· 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.

πŸ’° 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.

πŸ”” 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? Conclusion

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.

Educative 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.

What’s yours?

Up Next: Is LeetCode Worth It? [ AlgoExpert vs LeetCode vs HackerRank ]

  1. What is Educative?

    Educative is a learning platform containing media-rich courses without the distraction of videos. Geared towards software developers, it was launched in July 2015 by 3 friends who worked at eBay, Microsoft and Facebook. There are currently about 150 courses available. And new courses are added every month. Course topics cover everything from HTML & CSS for newbies all the way up to FAANG interview preparation for advanced programmers. There are plenty of visual aids to guide you through the lessons. And with their robust interactive coding environments, you’ll be able to practice coding concepts in a stimulating setting.

  2. Is Educative worth it?

    Educative is worth it if you opt in for Educative Premium. For about $20 per month with the annual subscription, you'll have access to over 150 courses. Plus, courses are updated weekly. Another benefit are their learning tracks. These are a compilation of courses that focus on a particular skill or path and increase in difficulty. There are currently 13 learning tracks on Educative. And they cover everything from Ace the Java Coding Interview to TypeScript for Frontend Developers. Finally, their feature-rich interactive coding environments provice instant feedback. And this allows you to identify and correct your mistakes in real time.