Writing code using a laptop computer
Blog Research

Coding Courses Review: Code School vs Treehouse

Learning to code has never been easier. Instead of finding a computer school, you can start by finding a website that offers great coding courses online. This lets you study at a place and pace you are actually comfortable in. If you are employed, you don’t need to quit your job either. After all, you can do your studies at any free time you get.

Chances are good that you’re not the only one looking into coding as a viable addition to your skill set. A lot of people turn to coding because they want to change to a career that pays better. Many want to move up the corporate ladder. Because of the demand, many websites are offering various coding courses. As not all courses are created equal, you need to recognize which ones will give you the career outcomes you want.

In this post, we are looking at Code School and Treehouse. These are two of the most popular online coding schools out there today. We are going to examine how they teach the courses they offer. In the process, you will get an idea of whether the courses work for you or not.

Code School

Code School is a highly rated website that offers courses in many coding languages. These include HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, Elixir, PHP, .NET, and Python, among others. They also offer a variety of curated content on coding-related topics. Just like most online learning platforms, Code School delivers knowledge through videos. The teachers discuss the topics using a combination of lectures and graphics. Code School actually follows a very hands-on approach, where its many activities allow you to learn by doing.

Code School’s Pros

The teachers actually do a very good job at explaining the lessons. They give you examples, causalities, and a trivia or two. They even inject a little humor to keep you interested.

The videos’ audio is superb. While this should be part of the above item, it deserves a special mention because it’s something Treehouse does not do very well in. The teachers’ pronunciation was crisp. You can definitely understand everything they say.

You can actually see your teacher. It does not beat a live discussion, but being able to see your teacher gives the illusion of one. The human element makes it easy to relate to the subject being discussed.

The discussions also cover how not to do something. They don’t just teach you how to code, they also teach you mistakes you must avoid in coding. The end does not always justify the means in coding after all.

The basic paid plan gets you places. Actually, Code School offers only one subscription plan, which you can pay monthly or yearly. This is enough to give you everything the website offers. You don’t need to pay more to access extra features.

Code School’s Cons

The discussions are sometimes too fast. These being video lessons, you can, of course, pause and play back as you desire. However, there will be times you will feel lost.

Sometimes you don’t know what’s happening. When you code, you are only writing commands. You are not writing what actually appears on the page. As such, it is important that you see how certain commands affect the page. Unfortunately, even the graphics used in the videos are not always enough. There will be times throughout the video when you will have to use your imagination. Thankfully, the activities after the video lesson make up for this.


Treehouse offers a huge collection of videos on a wide variety of topics related to coding. Their courses cover a comprehensive array of topics, including HTML, CSS, Design, JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, WordPress, and even APIs, to name a few. They follow a “gamified” method, where you learn as if you are playing a game. As you go through your lessons, you earn badges and points you can use to unlock additional features and content. It has its own online code editor called Workspaces. You can use this feature to practice what you learn without needing to install any additional software.

Treehouse’s Pros

The background discussions are epic. It’s important that you know not just how to do stuff, but also what stuff is for. Treehouse’s discussions include plenty of background information on the language you’re learning, as well as what it’s for.

The game-like approach is fun. The prospect of gaining achievements makes learning computing languages more interesting. More importantly, it keeps you going. Whether your goal is to unlock more content or to have badges you can brag to your friends about, you will definitely be earning plenty of rewards.

You actually see what’s happening. In Treehouse’s discussions, the teacher goes back and forth between the code and the page. This lets you see how changes in the code alter specific elements in the page as well.

Workspaces. If you have a PC with Notepad, this feature may be redundant. However, it becomes very handy if you are using a computer or device without one. Oh, did we say you can also use this on your mobile device? Like, you can practice writing code on your phone? Yes, you can.

Treehouse Cons

The voiceover is clear, but not that clear. There are times when you’d miss a word or two.

Your paid plan does not give you everything. If you are on a budget, you might be tempted to pay for Treehouse’s lower end plan. But as the website will tell you, this will give you only a portion of what the bigger—and pricier—Pro plan offers.

Code School and Treehouse are both very good learning platforms. They both offer great courses which experts deliver through videos. The both of them are also ideal for mobile learning. Code School is, of course, more ideal if you are on a budget. They offer free videos, too—not a lot, but enough if all you need is quick information. It’s also great if you learn better from practice than from lectures.

On the other hand, Treehouse is great for younger learners who love games and who study through their mobile devices. The resources they offer aren’t bad either, as they come from some of the top names in the industry themselves. Even if their plans do cost more than Code School’s you will definitely find the price worth it.



Final Note

While Code School and Treehouse are two of the leading apps to learn to code, they are plenty more available on the market. Check our coding page: some of the solutions listed there will surprise you!


Text by RJ
Image by Tirza Van Dijk