Is Pluaralsight worth it?
Question: Is Pluralsight worth it?
Answer: Read on (or watch my video review below) to find out.
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What is Pluaralsight?
Aside from me never being able to spell
Plurlsight Plursight Pluckersloot, Pluralsight is a video-based technology education platform that offers hundreds of courses in four main categories:
- Software development
- IT Operations
- Information & Cyber Security
In addition, there are three plans available for individual students:
- Monthly Personal Plan – $29/month
- Yearly Personal Plan – $299/year
- Yearly Premium Plan – $449/year
All three of these plans give you access to their entire course library.
But in order to access the extra features like projects and interactive courses, I had to register for the Yearly Premium Plan. So, I coughed up my $449 fee and got to checking things out.
First Impressions of Pluralsight
The first thing that popped out to me on Pluralsight was honestly the dark mode design. As a software developer, my eyes flock to this kind of thing. So yay for the design.
I started by exploring the courses in the Software Development category.
So far, so good — with 290 results, there was plenty to keep me busy.
However, once I started exploring the courses in detail, my impressions started to change.
The first few courses that displayed in the results were four, five, six and sometimes even seven years old. That’s not good for a few reasons:
- Web development technologies change rapidly; courses that are years old contain lectures, tasks, and assignments that don’t reflect modern development processes.
- Learning old technology is a poor investment of your limited time.
- It can be a barrier to entry for code newbies because many will be frustrated (and possibly quit) after spending hours trying to fix errors and bugs that could have been prevented with a more modern version of the material.
To be fair, not every course on Pluralsight is this old. But you do have to peck and hunt to find the more modern stuff (i.e. less than two years old).
The first course I checked out was Introduction to Web Development. This course was produced in 2015 by the well-known, well-loved Front End Masters group. It’s a live-lecture style.
But even Front End Masters’ high quality material isn’t up to standard in this scenario, as the content is too outdated.
In addition, a lot of the courses I explored featured instructors who were either inexperienced and/or reading from a slide. It felt impersonal and, at times, boring.
This part of Pluralsight was disappointing, but I wasn’t going to give up hope.
From here I went on to explore the Projects area, which is part of my benefits package as Premium Pluralsight member.
There are no sort or filter options, which gave the entire page a wildcard feel.
I decided to take a crack at the easiest project, Hello World.
Here is where things get interesting. After you watch the intro video, you are given instructions on how to set up your local dev environment. From there, you go download the starter code provided. Then you follow the prompts and build upon the starter code, which you eventually transform into a project.
Once you finish the project, you run a command or two and Pluralsight tests your code in real time, pointing out any errors.
For each major error, you can watch a hint video or compare your code to the correct solution on a Pluaralsight GitHub page.
I explored about six other projects aside from Hello World, and each of those included this feature.
This is an excellent feature that I haven’t seen on any other coding platform.
Pluralsight Interactive Courses
This is another feature only available to Premium Pluralsight members. Still feeling high from my projects experience, I was quickly brought back to reality when exploring the interactive courses.
With no filter or search options, I was left to scroll through a ton of courses I had no interest in. And they’re alphabetized, so every time I wanted to check out a SQL course I had to scroll allllll the way to the bottom.
Is it really THAT big of deal? I mean, no it’s not the end of the world. But it’s a time waster and kinda frustrating. And I paid $449, so the experience shouldn’t leave me feeling that way.
Anyway, a lot of the interactive courses suffer the same problems as the normal video-based courses: too old.
Additionally, I think Pluralsight bought out a few companies that were producing interactive courses and just decided to slap them on a page and charge a premium price for it.
Which again, is it the end of the world?
No, it’s not – companies are bought out all the time. That’s business.
But for $449 I’d like things to be a little more cohesive, less patchwork-y.
Pluralsight’s interactive courses start out with a video.
Then, you’re challenged to complete the prompts in the interactive code editor:
You press a button to run and submit your code. Finally, Pluralsight tells you if you got it right or wrong. They offer hints and a solution if a problem is too challenging.
This feature didn’t blow me away, though. It didn’t offer anything out of the ordinary, especially compared to platforms like Educative.
That said, I am a huge fan of interactive code editors. They save you a LOT of time compared to setting up a local environment. . .Especially if you are experimenting with different technologies and languages.
Is Pluralsight worth it? Final Verdict
All in all, I think Pluralsight is just OK. It’s not in my list of top 10 best coding platforms for this year. But it isn’t the worst platform out there, either.
Here’s what I like about Pluralsight:
- TONS of courses. Great for exploring your options & testing the waters.
- The project workflow is awesome! I love that you can get your code tested in real-time with feedback on what needs fixing.
- DARK MODE (My eyes thank you)
And here’s what I DON’T like about Pluralsight
- Way too many outdated courses. Big time sink trying to find ones that are up to date.
- Inconsistent instructor quality. Some are very obviously reading from slides (boring, impersonal), some are more personal…but you have to hunt and peck for the good ones.
- The price point. I paid $449 for my Premium plan, which is perfectly fine – if it offers value. Unfortunately, the value just wasn’t there for me. Lots of competitor coding platforms are more organized, more interactive, more up-to-date and less expensive.
Is Pluralsight Premium worth it?
At $449, I don’t think Pluralsight Premium is worth it. As mentioned above, many competitor coding platforms are better organized, more interactive, up-to-date and don’t cost nearly as much as Pluralsight Premium.
Is Pluralsight Worth it? Conclusion
So, is Pluralsight worth it?
Perhaps, but I’d stick with the free trial at first.
Up next: Codecademy Pro review