My Pluralsight experience

I ended my trial subscription on Pluralsight and decided not to renew it. I have to say that I was disappointed when the trial ended and this was the biggest reason for not going ahead and paying for a subscription.

Why was I disappointed? Well, when you are about to sign up for the free trial it is advertised as a 10-day free trial. After klicking through the signup process you have to provide a PayPal account so they can start charging you after the trial has ended. Not everyone has a PayPal account and I actually had to ask to “borrow” someone else’s account just so I could access the service and see what it offered. After getting through that and activating my trial I found out that it wasn’t neccessarily a 10-day free trial. It was 10 days OR 300 minutes. Although surprised, I figured that it made sense. For an ambitious person 10 days is more than enough to get through a whole subject- for free. However, with 300 minutes you would be able to go through one course as they run between 3 – 4 hours. That would be more than enough time to assess if it was worth it.

However, after having gone through about 200 min on the JavaScript Fundamentals course, I was surprised and very annoyed to find out that my trial subscription had run out- with approximately one hour to go before the course had finished. I was annoyed mostly because I would have wanted to know what would happen at the completion of a course. Do you get a quiz? A certificate of some sort? A badge? Anything?. Now I won’t know. And after having been “cheated” twice on the same subscription I’m not sure if I trust that I will have full access to the subjects even if I pay the 39 USD/ month. Perhaps it will say, after I already paid, that I will have another maximum amount of minutes per month? Or a maximum number of subjects I can learn per month? Or a maximum number of videos? Or a certain selection of subjects?

Who knows? I certainly don’t.

I should say though, that the course I followed was useful, but the information it contained can probably be found online for free. As the course was basically a demonstration (or presentation, similar to the programming lectures I attended in engineering school), it would have been nice to have some sort of hands-on assignment inside the module, similar to what is offered on the Coursera platform. The Machine Learning course I’m taking has short pop-quizzes interspersed in the video just so you can test that you understood it properly. Also, other platforms, such as Codacademy, have programming assignments that need to be completed and which are autocorrected as the student codes, step-by-step.

I’m not saying that the platform is bad. Obviously, Microsoft is collaborating with them for some of their certification courses, so they seem to have been vetted by some big guys in the business. It’s just that it’s not for me…

In all, I don’t regret the 3 hours I spent with Pluralsight, but I don’t feel any urge to go back there. At least not right now.

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