A review of Learn Code the Hard Way as a software engineering online resource

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now industry mentor at Pathrise. I have worked with hundreds of web developers and software engineers to help them land their dream jobs in tech. Check out my review of Learn Code the Hard Way.

What does Learn Code the Hard Way do?

Learn Code the Hard Way is an online resource for software engineers looking to learn new languages or advance their current skills. They offer courses in languages like Python, C, Ruby, and SQL, as well as on topics such as design and basic text processing. While they have a number of free online exercises and resources, paid courses come with a book, recorded lectures, code walkthroughs, additional exercises, lifetime access, and updates, so students can keep up-to-date with the latest tools and trends. Self-guided, the program does not provide instruction or an online community. 

Who is Learn Code the Hard Way for?

People with some background in coding could benefit from using Learn Code the Hard Way. While the courses teach the basics of each language, they do not cover programming fundamentals. The program is particularly useful for those seeking to advance their Python skills, as they have 2 courses in the language. They do not offer instruction or 1-on-1 mentorship, so Learn Code the Hard Way is a good option for self-starters.

What does Learn Code the Hard Way cost? How much work is involved?

Learn Code the Hard Way offers free resources and exercises, as well as paid courses. Paid courses cost between $19.99 and $29.99 and come with lifetime access, which includes the latest updates

To register, students sign up with their email address. They then select a course and make their payment via credit card. The free resources and exercises, however, are accessible to those without an account.  

Ratings and reviews

Despite having courses in multiple languages, Learn Code the Hard Way is particularly well known for their Python courses. Hackr.io, Simple Programmer, Python Central, and other sites listed Learn Code the Hard Way as one of the best resources to learn Python. 

When it comes to student reviews, there are some mixed feelings. One Quora user said that the Python program was “very dynamic and provides hands-on learning.” While one user on a Reddit thread characterized the Python course as “disorganized, patronizing, obtuse,” another respondent felt that the method, which requires “typing every character without copy-pasting and not using tools,” is the correct approach to mastering programming languages.

Alternatives to Learn Code the Hard Way

If you decide not to use the exercises on Learn Code the Hard Way, there are a number of alternatives that teach programming.

  • Coursera, Udacity, and Udemy are learning platforms that offer courses in software engineering and other topics. 
  • Similarly, Springboard and edX are popular online education tools for those who are looking to brush up on the basics, advance their current skills, or learn new tools.
  • An online resource, Codecademy offers free and paid courses in software engineering, data science, and more.
  • People who are looking for online or in-person software engineering bootcamps can consider General Assembly, Flatiron School, and App Academy.
  • Galvanize and Lambda School also offer bootcamps in software engineering, as well as data science.  
  • Focused on the fundamentals, Coding Temple and RMOTR are Python data science and web development bootcamps. 
  • DataCamp and Dataquest are data science bootcamps offering in-depth tracks and individual courses.
  • For those preparing for technical interviews, LeetCode, HackerRank, and AlgoExpert offer practice questions and forums to discuss solutions. 

How does Learn Code the Hard Way compare to Pathrise?

Learn Code the Hard Way is a useful tool for software engineers who are looking to learn new languages or further their skills, specifically in Python. However, they do not provide instruction, mentorship, or job seeking guidance of any kind. 

Pathrise is a full service organization that helps people land the best job possible. Fellows participate in workshops and 1-on-1 mentoring that focus on technical and behavioral interview prep, as well as resume and portfolio building, salary negotiation, cold email and reverse recruiting strategies, and more. 

Furthering your technical skills is a key aspect of landing a job as a software engineer, so fellows in our program should feel free to use Learn Code the Hard Way, as well as our technical workshops and pair programming sessions, to deepen their programming knowledge. 

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With our tips and guidance, we’ve seen our fellows interview performance scores double.

If you are interested in optimizing your job search by working 1-on-1 with a mentor, become a Pathrise fellow.

Apply today.

Brian Wong

Brian Wong is an experienced senior software engineer and has worked at top bay area startups and organizations. In his free time, Brian works with Pathrise SWE fellows to help them land their dream job and learn insider tips on how to ace technical interviews.

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