When stepping into the world of software development, the number of choices available to learn online is endless. From blogs to video courses to Bootcamps, you can easily get bogged down with all these options.
Well, one platform that can solve this problem for you is, Pluralsight. Today we’re going to take a deep dive into the platform and see some of the top features of its Premium Membership plan and will also look at its downsides.
What is Pluralsight?
Pluralsight was founded in 2004 in Farmington city, Utah. Their primary product is software training courses. Initially, their focus was on in-person classroom training but they shifted focus to online video training in 2007.
Pluralsight is one of the most intricate platforms with sections thoughtfully laid out with relevant information. On the platform, you can find a bit of everything from skill assessments to determine if you’re ready for a specific career to previously watched courses, recommended courses, channels, paths, bookmarks, skill assessments, and all the newer courses available.
Pluralsight Dashboards (Browse)
There is a browse dashboard that serves up topics relating to popular industries, paths, specific roles, a section for new and most popular courses, and the banner that shows Skill IQ.
A path is a collection of courses gathered for a specific topic. On the Paths dashboard, you’ll see the different paths that you’re working on as well as a section to scroll and filter through different paths.
When you select a path, you’ll be greeted by a header section that shows the path topic description, related topics, and most importantly a chart of your current Skill IQ which you’ll show your current rating and the rating history.
Pluralsight course section
Courses are separated by three levels; beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Every section has a progress bar to show you how far along you’ve come. Once you’ve completed the subpath, you’re able to measure your improvement on the topic by retaking a Skill IQ quiz.
Skill IQ is a way to test your knowledge on a selected topic. It’ll let you know where you stand proficiency-wise, compared to other subscribers who have taken the Skill IQ test. It’s designed to act as an aid letting you know what courses you should take to Improve and what skill level you’re at; beginner, intermediate, or expert.
To give you accurate results, Pluralsight uses Iris. Iris is a program designed to give you accurate test results. When you take a quiz, Iris will calibrate the difficulty of questions according to your responses. Get more right, the difficulty will increase while getting less right, the difficulty will decrease. How many questions you have to answer will vary. The more consistently you answer; wrong or right, the sooner the assessment will be over.
Once you’ve been assessed, you’ll be placed in a percentile.
- 0 to 25th percentile which is a score of 0 to 100 points, places you as a beginner.
- 25th to 80th percentile, it’s a score of 101 to 200 points, and it sets you as proficient.
- Above the 80th percentile or more than 200 points will place you at an expert level.
The Assessment detail page will show you your placement, strengths, and gaps also known as weaknesses, and what courses or lessons can help you improve.
After some time has passed or you’ve completed a section of a path, you can retake an assessment. You can also take a skills assessment if you’ve passed a subsection in the path.
You can take it a step further and take a group of Skill IQs to see if you’re ready for a specific role. Currently, there are 46 roles to choose from. Roles include React developer, Angular developer, data analyst, and many more.
Project workflow is one of the strongest suits of the Pluralsight premium plan. Pluralsight projects are so diverse and if you want to explore different technologies and to start building something, you can do it straight away.
There are projects on Java to Securing Spring Data to building a personal budget with Python, implementing OAuth with Node.js, and many more.
On the other hand, if you don’t know what project to tackle, or if you’re a code Newbie, you have a sort option where you can sort it by beginner intermediate or advanced, and even by technology.
The format of projects goes like this, you’re setting up your environment, you do the project and after that, you submit your code to Pluralsight.
Pluralsight then checks it and share with you what you need to improve or if you got it completely right. Pluralsight also checks your work in real-time, which is you can’t see it anywhere else. You can get nearly instantaneous feedback and for each of the components, you can also watch the solution and compare it.
Whatever project you take, you’re working with Git and you’re getting that organization going. It is something you’re going to use in the real world. It was really neat seeing these projects being run against the tests and having that nearly immediate feedback.
There are two main types of accounts; personal and business.
If you want to get a personal account you can do so for $29 a month or $299 annually. There’s also a premium version for $449 which includes things like certification practice exams, interactive courses, and projects.
With a business account, you can choose from a professional or enterprise-level, both versions contain analytics to track your team’s progress. However, the enterprise plan contains more advanced features and requires you to contact a sales representative to activate it.
A professional account is $579 a year per user and an enterprise version is $779 per year per user.
(prices may vary, check the latest pricing information here )
Downsides of Pluralsight Premium Membership
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows there are a few issues with Pluralsight. With the way technology moves so fast, courses can get outdated quickly and with some of these old courses on the platform, you can get stuck there watching something that isn’t going to be worth your time. It is suggested to checking out the discussion boards for each course to make sure that They’re still up to date and people liked the content. With newer courses that can also happen, if it’s something that gets updated like three weeks after the course is put out, it’s not guaranteed that that course is going to be updated.
However, with some of the newer courses that some of the actual authors do update this and hopefully, this is a trend that continues.
Some of the cons are:
- Courses need updating.
- A lot of the material and features are hastily thrown together.
- The instructor quality varies a lot. Some of the instructors are very obviously reading from a slide, some instructors do sound pretty robotic.
- There’s no integrated Q&A in the videos like Udemy.
- It is super expensive.
In spite of some of the limitations, Pluralsight has really refined the way that they deliver education to professionals in the tech industry. Pluralsight has a huge array of courses, learning paths, and progress assessments. For professional developers, it’s great because they can get the content that they need and for teams, it’s even better because they have the ability to track progress.