If you can not withstand criticism, do not read this article.
With more than 20 years of being a professional programmer and more than 15 years of building companies as a CEO or a consultant, I will NOT copy paste some promo material and “let you choose” the best one for you.
My latest is WinPIS, the company behind Virtual-Forms.com & VBATelemetry.com
As a programmer, I will give you my secret, I’ll tell you how I do it, and how I’m learning a new (or master an existing) programming language by maximizing my time, effort, and money spent.
As a CEO, I will tell you how I evaluate candidates and how you can learn new skills (or master an existing) while raising your credibility in the eyes of a potential employer.
Your time is your most valuable asset, so don’t waste it!
We all know that on the internet there are hundreds, if not thousands, of online learning portals, from Udemy, Coursera, Lynda, Pluralsight—just to name a few.
All of them have excellent courses and are special in their own way (otherwise, they would not be popular and would not survive).
But why I as a programmer and as a CEO prefer one over all others?
If you are a stingy person, I believe you will find a way to get the skills you need without spending a dollar.
As a programmer, I would probably say, “Yeah, man, you did it”.
But as a CEO, I’ll skip you and make sure you do not touch me or my company.
Because you will spend and waste yours and my time, and it lets me know whether you appreciate time.
If you do not value yourself and don’t want to invest in your knowledge, I don’t want such an employee or partner.
On the other hand, if you waste money without considering how much you get back, you’re wasteful, and you do not know how to optimize.
This is why I will not talk about the free resources and why I will not consider the portals that I deem expensive.
Well, which portals enter my narrower choice then?
Let’s get practical.
In general, there are two models.
One based on the monthly subscription and the other based on the purchase of each course .
In the Subscription model (mostly), the courses are created by professionals hired by this company.
While the One-by-One model offers courses created by individuals who (mostly self) promoted as professionals in the given field.
If you want the names, here they are:
My choice for the One by One model:
My choice for Subscription model:
Comparing the prices:
On Udemy, the courses cost mostly from $10 -$ 15 (don’t look at the “real” price of the course because Udemy is running some type of promotions all the time—sometimes, you only need to wait a few days for some type of promotion to drop the price on $10 – $15).
Pluralsight, on the other hand, is a Subscription model, so you pay a monthly or yearly subscription to get access to all the courses and resources on their portal. At the time I wrote this article, the monthly price was $29 per month (billed monthly) or $299 billed annually (15% off).
Both models have a courses preview in which you can watch some parts of a course for free.
Udemy (One-by-One model) offers a few courses for free (but in my opinion, how much money you pay, so much knowledge you get).
Pluralsight (Subscription model) offers a free 10-day trial.
Back to my perspective:
Why I prefer Subscription model over the One-by-One model.
As a Programmer:
First, in the Subscription model, the teachers are professionals chosen by a company that is in learning field for years, compared to the One-by-One model in which the teachers are self-promoted individuals.
Yes, in the One-by-One model, you get access to the course forever (yes, my children’s children could learn from it), but this means that you pay only once, and this self-promoted professional will get the money. But what when you need help?
Don’t get me wrong: Udemy courses also have a forum in which you can ask the teacher a question or ask for a help. But in most cases, in courses which I have bought, when you ask for help, the answer is a general response or a pitch to buy another course by this author.
On the other hand, Pluralsight (Subscription model) is having an option to get a help from a mentor, but this is not included in the subscription price. You will be asked to pay for this mentorship on a minute basis.
In my opinion, if I really get stuck, I will rather pay few dollars to get the help right away than be left at the mercy of Facebook groups and forums.
As a CEO:
I prefer a Subscription model because I can see whether you are open to new skills so that you are not tied up to one course. And in today’s world, while you are reading this article, the course or the skill you wanted to master may be already a historical artifact.
When I, as a CEO or someone from Human Resources, filter the potential job candidates, we first take a look at his or her LinkedIn profile.
We go straight to the certificates portion.
Because you can write in your profile all the beautiful things you can do. (“Paper will endure anything.”)
But in the certificates portion, if you state that you have a Pluralsight certificate, that will tell us a lot of things.
It means that you have worked in a company that appreciates its employees and works on their constant professional training.
Yes, Pluralsight’s main focus is to provide learning and training services for large companies like Nasdaq, VMware, Disney, and AT&T.
Or you are working on your professional career and invest money in yourself. $30 a month is not a lot, but you can show your future employer that you have this skill. (It is better than saying you have watched a YouTube video or passed a course made by a self-promoted individual from Udemy.)
Why I also like Pluralsight.
I also like the new feature Pluralsight offers. The Pluralsight skill IQ is driven by IRIS (Artificial Intelligence) that can estimate your knowledge, skills, and suggest you courses tailored to improving your skills.
Pluralsight care for children allows them to learn (free of charge) some of the skills, such as programming, in their “Free Courses for Kids.”
You can get the Pluralsight Free Trial here.
All opinions in this article are solely mine, and none of the listed companies influenced my decisions.
This article contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.
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