Initially, I planned to enroll again at Skillcrush for their Ruby on Rails Blueprint program, but then I decided to check out the subscription-based online schools/bootcamps to see if they have a more elaborate/better way of teaching. I’m not saying that Skillcrush isn’t a good program to get in to, but because of my rather limited budget, I decided to go on a basic subscription route by taking advantage of their “free trial” period. I enrolled to three well-known online schools/bootcamps for web development: Sitepoint Premium,1 Code School,2 and Treehouse.3
Here are my brief thoughts about the three. Regardless, I am planning to use all of the resources as much as I can from these three because I know one lacks something that the other doesn’t, and vice versa. It may or may not help your search for the “perfect web development training program” but at least it should give you a bit of a reference to check them out sometime.
- Code School – I was a Code School student some years ago until I got laid off from my job and that eventually my unemployment insurance just simply ran out. It used to be $25/mo when I started but now their prices bumped up to $29/mo. You can also have an annual subscription as well. Their online teaching methods are very hands-on. You watch the video presentations, understand them4 and finally do their code challenges to test how much you understand. They go by specific paths for you to follow or you can even take those courses individually and make your own path. You earn completion badges to be added to your public profile ((this is my public profile by the way…)) and I guess you use your public profile’s URL to show your certification proof to your resume. (LinkedIn?)
- Sitepoint Premium – Years ago, I used to be a student of Learnable, way before I became a student of Code School. Again, same as Code School, my unemployment and my “expiration” of my unemployment insurance forced me to cancel my subscription and go somewhere else to find an alternative to learn. Just like my return to Code School, I eventually went back to Learnable, which is now changed to Sitepoint Premium. In the beginning, Learnable used to be just a huge library of web development courses from videos to the eBook versions of their popular textbooks, which I am quite a fan of. Now it also offers the course path system like Code School and Treehouse, so it would be easier for you to follow which courses you need to take from one step to the next. You also have the option of creating your own path if you don’t want to know just one specific web development skill. It is also a subscription-based program, but you pay the more expensive subscription if you want to download their eBooks and just read them from your reader app like Kindle. The downside of this one is that all you get are videos and that you’ll just have to follow along, much like the system in Udemy.
- Treehouse – When it first started, it used to be called Think Vitamin. I discovered Think Vitamin through a special student discount offered by Code School, and back then, Think Vitamin used to be a vast online library of videos and eBooks about web development from training to real-life practices. Apparently they opened at the time that I had to unsubscribe from Code School, therefore I never took advantage of their discount. If I did back then, I would have kept my membership through their new transition from Think Vitamin to Treehouse. I was quite surprised though that Treehouse has now become a competitor to Code School and even the bigger/more expensive program, Lynda.com. But anyway, currently I am really digging Treehouse. They have paths like Code School and Sitepoint Premium, as well as coding challenges like Code School. They kept their library as is when they used to be Think Vitamin, so you can also have the option of taking other courses not related to the path you’re following. If you get the more pricey subscription, you get to have access to other special videos and content, such as live interviews with professional experts and live webinars. As for me, I just want to learn and study and build projects at peace. One feature that Treehouse possess that both Code School and Sitepoint Premium don’t have is that they have a career program where career advisers are available to teach you and guide you through preparation for the web development job market, from building your portfolio of projects to passing typical web dev job interviews. Like Code School, you also earn badges as proof that you have completed the courses.
All three have very high quality material and teaching methods, from videos to (e)Books to code-along challenges. I currently love all three of them. However, if I were to pick one out of three, I would go for Treehouse. I choose Treehouse for one only reason: career development program. Even though I had two web development-related jobs in the past, requirements and formats change overtime, which is why I really do appreciate having this special career program to help me get through my job goals.
Skillcrush also opened their career development program recently as well, which I fully take advantage of. The only thing that I don’t like about it is that because I only took the WordPress development blueprint, their career program is simply specifically towards me obtaining a WordPress development job, rather than opening it to other possible opportunities as well. Treehouse is open to whatever career goals you have, especially if you have a lot like myself.
I am still a student of Udemy because they have a lot of classes where we actually get to develop our own web applications and other related projects while we watch videos, as well as full certificates too. Either way, I feel rather spoiled right now.
On the sidenote...
- formerly known as Learnable, the online training division of SitePoint. [↩]
- I used to be a Code School student some years ago, but because of my limited budget and an unstable part-time job, I ended up quitting my subscription. Now that I’ve gotten a slightly higher budget, I can finally afford it again. [↩]
- It used to be called Think Vitamin, which was known for being a library of different web development videos and was also affiliated with Code School before. I even had a subscription discount for Think Vitamin too. I only learned that Think Vitamin became Treehouse when I tried to use that subscription discount and eventually signed up with Treehouse too. [↩]
- in short, take notes in your own notebook or in your text editing program or something… [↩]