Datacamp Review


This article is a review on coding tutorial site, Datacamp.

Datacamp is a very well known online learning platform for programmers. It aims to teach a variety of different languages and topics through the use of videos, text and exercises.

In this review we’ll be attempting to cover everything about Datacamp, from it’s format to it’s user complaints to it’s good points. Whether Datacamp is worth the time and money, will be clear to you by the end of this review.


Format

When introducing a new concept, Datacamp will first introduce and explain it through the use of a short video. In the video the instructor of that particular course will explain the concept thoroughly.

Next will be a bunch of practice exercises and challenges for you to solve. The purposes of these is to test what you learnt in the video and further improve your concept through practice.

The final step in Datacamp’s learning process are “projects”. These are full proper projects which you are assigned to create which really test your abilities and knowledge on the subject matter.


Complaints

We’ll begin our review by getting the complaints regarding Datacamp out of the way first. We’ve compiled the below information after going through Datacamp’s courses ourselves and through dozens of different reviews.

Course content

The most common complaint was probably that some of the courses weren’t challenging enough and that the content was rather forgettable. Both these complaints are actually linked together. The more challenging a course is, the more effort you put it and the better your concept develops through repeated trial and error. An easier course appeals to a wider range of people (easier learning curve), but ultimately leaves a lighter impact.

The reason for the courses not being challenging appears to be the fact that in the practice exercises and challenges, a significant portion of the code was already pre-written. The person doing the exercise only had to complete a few lines of code throughout the program.

However, this issue seems to have been somewhat remedied with the introduction of Datacamp Projects (will be discussed later).

Advanced Content

While Datacamp do offer some courses on advanced concepts, most of the positive reviews on Datacamp were for it’s introductory courses, the R language, and Data Science.

There were several reviews which stated that Datacamp’s advanced concepts weren’t very well explained. This is something that’s rather expected of sites like Datacamp’s. While there are undoubtedly going to some good advanced courses in Datacamp, there are better places for learning advanced concepts (discussed at the end of the article).

Keep in mind however, that everyone has their own unique way of learning. The style in which Datacamp teaches will not appeal to everyone, so some criticism is expected. What one person may criticize, is something another might be praising. There’s no way to find out for sure until you try it for yourself.

On another note, the number of positive reviews for Datacamp significantly outnumbered the negative ones. (We went through hundreds of user reviews for this article) So that can be taken as a good sign.


Compliments & Praise

Here we’ve compiled everything good about Datacamp after careful examination of the site and user reviews.

You get the choice to start off with one of three Data science languages, Python, SQL and R. There are other options availible of course, but these three are the main ones that you’re recommended to start out with.

Built-in IDE

Datacamp has its own built-in browser IDE where you can practice and run your code. The benefit of this is that you don’t require your own installation, though I strongly recommend you do. The built-in IDE is clean and has features like auto complete that you don’t often see in browser IDE’s.

Course Previews

All of Datacamp’s standard courses have the 1st chapter available for free. It’s not much, but it lasts long enough for you to get a feel of how Datacamp teaches. If it suits you and you want more, you can go ahead and purchase it.

Certificates

The certificate doesn’t have much actual value in the real world, but it’s still a mark of your efforts which definitely counts for something. While you can’t rely on it to get you a job, it might come in handy in other places.

A good starting point

Many people who have gone through Datacamp, praise it’s courses for being a great starting point for that respective field. You’ll need to learn alot more than what Datacamp teaches you in it’s courses for an actual Job (in that field), but Datacamp provides a solid foundation from where you can move forward and learn the necessary skills.

Projects

As we mentioned earlier, Datacamp have these projects which are based off real life situations. Learning the programming theory is not enough. Until you learn how to actually apply in real life scenario’s that knowledge is almost useless.

Even completing exercises and challenges are not enough. Exercises only really test your knowledge about the course content. On the other hand, projects test your ability to use what you’ve learnt in the course.

Projects were actually a later introduction into Datacamp, that helped improve the practical skills of Datacamp users. The previous exercises were just not enough.

Career tracks and Skill tracks

Datacamp is a site with hundreds of courses on a wide variety of subjects. It’s easy for someone new to become overwhelmed with the number of options available.

Luckily, Datacamp has created Career and Skill tracks which compile together all the relevant courses for a certain Career or Skill. For instance, let’s say you want to pursue a career in Data Science, and you don’t know which courses to pick. If you go to the Data Scientist Career Track, then it will have the necessary courses that you’ll need to become a Data Scientist.

Pricing

Datacamp has a lot of different subscriptions available and usually has discounts and offers available, so we won’t discuss exact pricing here. What I can tell you though is that compared to many other platforms, it’s pretty fairly priced and has alot of value.

The benefit of buying a subscription for Datacamp is that you get access to all of their courses and projects. That’s alot of value, compared to other places where you spend the same amount of money for a single course.

Datacamp offers both monthly and yearly subscriptions, though I recommend you get the Yearly one as it’s usually on discount and it’s “per month” cost is lower.

I also happened to note that majority of positive reviews on Datacamp were directed towards it’s R language and Data Science courses. If you were planning on learning one of these at Datacamp, I recommend you do so.


Popular Courses

Here are come of Datacamp’s most popular courses that we’ve picked out for you in this review.

Introduction to R: One of the languages for which Datacamp is most known for, “Introduction to R” will teach you everything you need to begin Data analysis with R.

Introduction to Python: A intro into one of the most popular languages of today. Teaches you all the Python basics you need to know before moving onto more advanced concepts.

Introduction to Data Science in Python: Enter the world of Data Science with this Python course. Data Science is a rising field, with major importance in Data analysis, Machine Learning and AI. This course will help you begin your journey with Data Science.

Introduction to Data Visualization in Python: Data visualization is an important part of being a Data Scientist. Data is next to useless if you can’t display it in a way that makes sense. You can also find a R version of this course on Datacamp.


Datacamp Review Conclusion

While it’s not perfect, Datacamp has been a great starting point for many programmers out there and will continue to be in the future. It’s professional and simple which will appeal to a wide range of people, especially casual programmers or beginners.

After observing many of it’s reviews, I believe that Datacamp is not really suited for hard core programmers looking to learn advanced topics. Judging from it’s reviews, Datacamp’s introductory courses are the most popular. If you’re looking to enter a new field, Datacamp is a solid option that you won’t regret.

If you’re convinced that Datacamp is the right option for you, begin your Datacamp journey now!

For people looking to learn more advanced content, I advise you to either pick up a good book, or use one of the Datacamp alternatives described in the below section. If you’re interested in books, you can refer to this article which has some good recommendations for Python programmers.

For people who have begun or are going to begin their journey with Datacamp, don’t rely on it completely. Be sure to supplement your learning from other sources as well, but during and after using Datacamp.


Alternatives

Regardless of whether you choose to go with Datacamp or not, you should also consider some other great alternatives of which we’ve written a short review below.

Coursera:

Coursera is one of the world’s largest online learning platforms. You can find all kinds of courses here, ranging from simple from simple certifications to complete degree’s.

The courses here at Coursera are generally much longer, have a lot more video content and their practice content and exercises are tougher. The result of all this is that their certificates are more valuable and the courses make a bigger impact on you. The only downside is that the courses are more expensive.

Another site very much like Coursera and highly reputed is Udemy. If you can’t find the course you’re looking for on one site, try the other.

Codecademy:

Another site rather similar to Datacamp in nature. Unlike Datacamp it doesn’t focus around a particular field (like Data Science). It’s courses cover a massive number of different languages and topics, giving you a ton of options to pick from.

The biggest selling point in Codecademy is that it’s standard courses are all free of charge. It does however, have a Pro section that has paid courses which are obviously of higher quality than the standard ones.


This marks the end of the Datacamp Review article. Any suggestions or contributions for CodersLegacy are more than welcome. Questions regarding the article content can be asked in the comments section below.

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