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Treehouse vs. Udemy: Which is Better For Learning How to Code?

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Hey! This review is going to be different from the rest. Instead of talking about one online course or tutorial, Lee Hughes has been generous enough to give a more broad comparison between the Treehouse and Udemy learning platforms.


Disclosure: I’m a proud Udemy affiliate. If you buy a Udemy course through my links on this page, I may get a small commission for referring you. Thanks!

The last few years have seen a huge increase in people wanting to teach themselves to code. As you can view below in Google Trends data, it really took off around 2012.

learn to code google trends

One of the reasons for this boom can be summarized by a quote from Carl Sagan:

“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.”

Everyone can agree that our lives are increasingly dependent on technology. With the boom of the Internet and its growth, we now have a shortage of talented technical people. This, among other things, has led to the learn to code movement. In an attempt to fill this gap, a series of startups sprung up such as Code School, Team Treehouse, Udemy and many university websites.

In this post I'll look at Team Treehouse and Udemy specifically, comparing the two on their strengths and weaknesses.

Learning How to Code with Team Treehouse

I’ve been a Treehouse Pro/gold member for about two years now. I have enjoyed watching Treehouse develop into one of the leading websites where people can learn to code. (For a more in-depth review of Team Treehouse, see my analysis here.)

With over 1,000 high-quality videos, Treehouse is a great investment for those wanting to learn how to code without any prior experience. Their videos are designed to take you from knowing nothing about code to getting yourself a job in the tech industry. And users are doing just this, with a growing list of people using Treehouse to start a new career in tech.

One of the reasons I rate Treehouse so highly is because of their tracks feature. Learning to program and build websites can often be a daunting task. With so much information on the web, it’s easy to get analysis paralysis and not really progress with your learning.

Treehouse solved this problem by creating tracks that act as a roadmap so you know what to learn next. The following track is for rails development. As you can see below, it starts off simple by teaching HTML and CSS3. It then progresses further with other languages and skills you’ll need to know to become a full-fledged rails developer.

rails developer photo treehouse rails tracks treehouse rails tracks

At the time of writing, Team Treehouse have about 10 tracks, each of which will take a good few weeks to get through.

Learning Online With Udemy

Udemy has also appeared in the online education boom. While Udemy offers a lot of non-coding topics, there are a good number of courses you can take to learn how to code. (Oftentimes at a good price, too.)

One of the reasons I love Udemy is because it offers you the chance to drill down on a certain aspect of coding. For example, a popular course Coding for Entrepreneurs has similar courses which you can use to build your own Geolocator app or a daily deals website. Depending on what you want to learn, Udemy might have some courses tailored specifically to those needs.

Udemy courses can be created by anyone who wants to make them. This can have advantages and disadvantages, as a teacher's style when learning online is very important. If you search through the Udemy courses, you’ll see a mix of teachers on the same subject.

Some teach quite slow, while other teachers go very fast and fly through the content, making you pause the video often and having to review each step.

If you decide to sign up with Udemy, you’ll see something like this. Your course will be listed on the left with a progression feature. On the right you’ll have access to take notes on each topic or ask the teacher a question.

Udemy screenshot

Teachers are pretty good at responding and you can see other student’s questions as well.

The content of the courses depends on the teacher and their preferred method of teaching. Most will just talk over their code while some will include PowerPoint slides.

Final Analysis: Team Treehouse vs. Udemy

In the end, my personal preference is Treehouse because I think you get more value based off the pricing structure compared to Udemy. Pricing with Treehouse starts at $25 per month and you have access to +1,000 videos with the tracks. With enough time, you can easily get through a couple of tracks in a month. Then you'll have a good foundation to start learning more advanced features.

With Udemy, you have to pay one time for each class. But there are also courses for free if you search for them. Courses are all different prices but you’ll expect to pay around $60-$120 for a good in-depth course. That should get your about 4+ hours of material.

Many of the Treehouse courses have been made for beginners. Due to the effort and time taken to make the videos, there’s a lot of material that might not suit someone with a basic knowledge of some languages. Treehouse is starting to release more intermediate courses, which is great because it allows you to progress past a beginner level.

Udemy, while they do have a large amount of beginner lessons for certain languages, they also offer more choices for students to learn intermediate to advanced subjects.

There are coupons for Udemy, too, that can drastically reduce the cost of the courses. To get some discounts on Udemy, see my review here, where I add coupons when they are available. (There are other websites like StackSocial that sometimes promote Udemy bundles.)

Overall, both Treehouse and Udemy have their pros and cons. It all depends on what you are trying to achieve. In certain instances, one might be more suited to your needs than the other. Either way, it’s fantastic that we have these websites at our disposal.

Pros and Cons of Team Treehouse vs. Udemy

Treehouse Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great community
  • New courses come out frequently
  • Learning roadmaps
  • Wide range of computer languages and skills to choose from

Treehouse Cons

  • Still requires additional work outside of Treehouse for more advanced learning
  • Quizzes are too easy

Udemy Pros

  • Has option to learn a specific skill e.g. coding a daily deals website
  • More advanced courses
  • Coupons can get you great deals on courses
  • Easy to follow videos

Udemy Cons

  • Lack of community support throughout your time learning code
  • Can get expensive if buying multiple courses

Thanks Lee!

Since speaking with Lee, I have started doing some of my own learning on Treehouse. Specifically, JavaScript.

Have you taken courses with both Treehouse and Udemy? If yes, which do you prefer?

About Lee Hughes

Lee Hughes is the creator of wpreviews.net. You can find him over on Twitter @leehughes21.

When he's not working on websites, he is pondering the singularity and its implications.

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