A bird’s-eye view
This PluralSight review is one of many in a qualitative analysis comparing popular ‘Learn to Code’ platforms using6 categories, each with 5 distinct grades. This is a *bird's-eye view*, rather than a comprehensive dissection of **PluralSight**.
Table of Contents
Who is PluralSight Great for?
- Anyone who wants a ‘learn to code’ platform that also offers practice exams for some industry-recognized certifications (through a company called Kaplan).
- Experienced developers who would like to identify their unfamiliarity with a tool through smart quizzes — and be presented with videos related to those weaknesses.
|3||Most courses are less than US$40/month.|
|Cost category and grading details|
USD$30/month for the basic plan, which does not include:
- Projects (for gaining real-world experience).
- Interactive courses.
- Access to Kaplan certification practice exams.
These additional features cost US$450/year for their Premium membership.
|1||Feedback from a teacher or other experienced developer is not reliably available.|
|Teacher Feedback category and grading details|
Despite having purchased HackHands (a live mentoring service) in 2015, PluralSight no longer offers direct access to a teacher. Their discussion forums aren’t a reliable source of feedback either because the activity varies so much from course to course. Furthermore, the format of the discussion forum cannot handle multiple threads of conversations.
Range of Tools
|4||Each tool except one or two from the basket of tools was covered.|
|Range of Tools category and grading details|
PluralSight covers a large range of topics. Content is provided by instructors who have been vetted by the platform, but quality does vary, so it’s important to check on the course’s rating and discussion forum for other peoples’ opinions.
|3||Complex data structures covered in some courses.|
|Computer Science category and grading details|
PluralSight offers about couple dozen courses covering complex data structures and algorithm analysis. The quality varies per instructor.
|5||Real-world projects are presented with a description or walkthrough as a primary objective of courses -- by screened instructors.|
|Real-World Projects category and grading details|
- Basic membership does not offer courses that contain walkthroughs of real-world projects.
- Premium membership offers a selection of a few dozen project walkthroughs. The quality varies per instructor.
|3||Beginner-friendly coding environment available, but progression path not clear between courses.|
|Beginner Environments category and grading details|
- Basic membership does not provide artificially safe beginner environments for learning to code.
- Premium membership does offer a few dozen interactive courses, but there’s no clear progression path between them.
PluralSight is trying very hard to be everything a learn to code platform can be. The only thing they’re missing is deeper computer science content and teacher feedback. They tried launching a mentorship service after purchasing HackHands in 2015, but it’s no longer available. They even offer practice exams, which is an entirely different business with its own set of platforms (hence why they went the third-party route with Kaplan).
Sam Malayek works in Vancouver for Amazon Web Services, and uses this space to fill in a few gaps. Opinions are his own.