Coding through a laptop
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Coding for Beginners: Treehouse vs Codecademy

There are plenty of reasons you’d want to learn to code. Considering how essential technology is to our world, a career in software and programming makes a lot of sense. It’s very profitable, too. If you’ve already started on a path, being able to code can be your stepping stone to greater heights. Whatever your reasons may be, nothing should stop you from learning such a valuable skill.

But if you are a total beginner, the decision to start learning may seem like such an immense task. After all, even looking for the right school means going through hundreds of potential options. How do you determine which ones are the friendliest to beginners like yourself? How do you even find time for your studies?

Fortunately, there are Internet-based schools offering online courses on coding. Most of these websites allow you to study at your desired pace. Because they are online, you can also learn anywhere with an Internet connection. They’re extremely convenient, effective, and sometimes, they are even free. Yes, free.

For this post, we will look at two very popular online coding schools: Treehouse and Codecademy. We will examine how great they are for beginners who want to dabble in coding. We will also see if they can provide the right information while satisfying the needs of actual coding neophytes.


This is a website offering courses on a comprehensive list of computing languages and topics. This list includes HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, and WordPress. They also offer Java, Python, Data Analysis, Game Development, and Virtual Reality, among others.

Why is it good for beginners?

You learn through videos that experts co-developed. You have a teacher that discusses your selected topic, what the language is for and how to code with it. The video then demonstrates the steps to you. If you get confused or you miss something, you can pause the video or play it back as needed. Don’t you just wish you can do that in a real class?

Treehouse uses a game-like approach. This method is great for keeping learners motivated. Completing lessons gives you badges and points you can spend on additional features and content. You can keep track of your badges through your dashboard. If you are a new to coding, having fun will help keep you stoked to learn.

You learn to become business-savvy. Treehouse aims to help students profit from their skills. To this end, they not only teach how to turn your skills into a business, they also help you identify opportunities to earn more. This feature is also great for those learning to code to further their career.

You get to try it for seven days. This trial period gives you access to everything Treehouse offers. It’s a great opportunity to see whether the school matches your needs or not.

You get to use Workspaces. This is a special online code editor built into the website. If your computer does not have a code editor, you don’t need to install one. That’s what this feature is for.

You can learn through your phone. Treehouse is mobile friendly. Its app is available on both iOS and Android devices. It can run Workspaces, too.

Why might it not be good for beginners?

It can be pricey. If you do not have a steady source of income, this could be too much for you. Treehouse offers a basic, low-end plan, as well as an advanced, professional plan. The former only gives you access to video lessons, among others. The latter offers everything Treehouse offers, including resources from experts. It’s more expensive though.


This website does not teach as many topics as Treehouse, but it covers the basics. Among the things you can learn are Python, Java, PHP, JavaScript (jQuery, AngularJS, React.js), Ruby, SQL, and Sass, as well as HTML and CSS.

Why is it good for beginners?

Its lessons are very informative. If you’re not a big fan of video lessons, Codecademy might be for you. Their lessons combine text, a code editor, and a sample web page showing how codes change the page elements. This is ideal if you’d rather see things happening in real time side by side. The text does a good job at explaining what you are seeing, too.

Lessons are free. Yes, you can learn how to code for free. Codecademy does offer paid plans, but these only give you new features on top of the free lessons. If you have a tight budget, this makes Codecademy a strong option.

It helps define your path. There are two ways they do this. First, Codecademy will not let you take courses indiscriminately. If you are a beginner, they will tell you which you need to take before you proceed to more advanced topics. Second, if you pay for a plan, you will get the Personalized Learning Path feature, which identifies the skills you need to master to reach your goals.

It gives you access to advisors. This is yet another additional feature of a paid plan. Advisors are coding experts and professionals whom you can contact for tips. You can chat with them if you encounter bugs and errors in your code. Their job is to help you identify and correct said errors.

Why might it not be good for beginners?

It may be too pricey. Once again, if you don’t have a solid source of income, this could be a problem for you. You can benefit from the free courses, but you’ll have to do without the added features that actually make Codecademy such a great school.

Both Treehouse and Codecademy have their share of pros, with their cons mostly having to do with the price of their services. Still, you can take this to mean that coding is also a financial investment.

If you don’t mind learning through videos, then Treehouse would suit you well. It’s compact, portable, and fun. It’s great for young learners. If you want a more no-nonsense and hands-on approach, then Codecademy is for you. In any case, the school will play an important role in defining your success as a professional coder, but your commitment to learning will be just as essential.

Final Note

While Treehouse and Codecademy are two of the leading apps to become a proficient developer, they are plenty more available out there. You may want to check our coding page: some of the solutions listed there will surprise you!


Text by RJ
Image by Tirza Van Dijk