Photo of a review of SoloLearn as a software engineering online resource

A review of SoloLearn as a software engineering online resource

Updated in 2023

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now software engineering mentor at Pathrise. I have worked with hundreds of software engineers to help them land their dream job. Check out my review of SoloLearn.

What does SoloLearn do?

SoloLearn is a free online resource for software engineers who are looking to learn a new programming language from scratch. They have tracks in 13 languages, including Python, HTML, CSS, SQL, and JavaScript. Besides their website, SoloLearn offers an app, so users can brush up on the basics using their phone or tablet. 

Users earn points and badges by participating in short lessons and multiple choices quizzes. In addition, they can upload their own work and look at other users’ projects as well. Those who are looking to get more involved can ask questions and offer feedback on the course Q&A discussion board.

Who is SoloLearn for?

Beginner and intermediate software engineers who are looking to advance their skills to prepare for technical interviews or learn new languages could benefit from the exercises on SoloLearn.

SoloLearn is a good tool for learning key concepts and rules but the questions are multiple choice. That means users do not need to write their own solutions to answer the problems. Because of this, beginners will likely want to use SoloLearn alongside a more hands-on learning platform. 

What does SoloLearn cost? How much work is involved?

SoloLearn is free. To register, users can create a profile with their Facebook, Google, or email accounts. They can use the platform’s dashboard to keep track of their points, badges, and uploaded coding projects.

Ratings and reviews

Many online users felt that SoloLearn was an effective tool for learning the basics of a programming language, though some reported that the questions were too easy.

While one user on this Reddit thread observed that the Java track “was almost too basic,” another said that SoloLearn was “a great option to learn on the go”. They noted that “there is also a great community on the app for asking questions/reading other questions.”

Praising the mobile app, a different reviewer on the thread said, “the format is great for when you are on the go”. Similarly, one Reddit user reported that “while it’s useful for some basics,” Codecademy is a better free alternative for developing in-depth knowledge.

Elsewhere on Reddit, one user said “I wouldn’t use it as a sole resource but it’s okay on a bus trip or something”. Similarly, another user was disappointed with SoloLearn’s lack of rigor. They said, “The explanations were very brief, and the exercises/quizzes seem pointless, all simple fill in the blank that doesn’t teach at all.” That user was also disappointed that experienced users could not skip over topics. They said it was unfortunate they “have to go through each lesson.” 

Alternatives to SoloLearn

If you decide not to use SoloLearn’s exercises, there are a number of alternatives to help learn software engineering languages.

  • Those who are interested in online learning platforms can check out Coursera, Udemy, Treehouse, Ruby Koans, egghead, and Pluralsight. They all have a variety of courses on programming languages and other software engineering topics.
  • You can check out Udacity and Springboard. Students can use these online educational platforms to brush up on the basics or advance current tech skills. Read more about Udacity and Springboard in our reviews.
  • edX is one of the largest online learning platforms. They have courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT as well as big tech companies like Microsoft. Learn more about edX in our review.
  • Codecademy is one of the most popular coding programs online. They provide free courses on many different programming languages. They also offer membership options ranging from $20 to $40. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
  • Coderbyte offer a mix of free and paid resources and challenges for software engineers looking to practice their skills. Read more about Coderbyte in our review.
  • Students can also consider Kenzie Academy. A full-time tech bootcamp, Kenzie offers in-person and online courses in 2 tracks: software engineering & UX design and front-end engineering. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • Another option is Grand Circus, which teaches courses on Java, front-end, and C# .NET. Their campuses are in Michigan, but they also offer online options.
  • Likewise, Tech Elevator and Redwood Code Academy are software engineering bootcamps with online and on-campus options.
More alternatives

How does SoloLearn compare to Pathrise?

SoloLearn is a useful tool for aspiring software engineers looking to brush up on the basics or learn a new language from scratch. Though they provide access to user solutions, a discussion board, and other resources, SoloLearn does not offer instruction, mentorship, or job-seeking resources.

Pathrise is a full service organization that works with software engineers on each step of their job search. We place a big focus on preparing for technical interviews by providing workshops, 1-on-1 mentoring, and pair programming sessions. We also assist fellows with resume and LinkedIn optimization, portfolio building, behavioral interview preparation, salary negotiation, and more. 

Furthering technical skills and learning new languages is an important aspect of landing a job as a software engineer, so fellows in our program can use SoloLearn, as well as our technical workshops, 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.

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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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