Over the past few years, there’s been a huge rise in the number of people learning to code. Many of those learning to code are seeking to future-proof their skillset by adapting to a highly tech-focused job market, although for others coding as a hobby is just as engaging as it is for a career focus.
The surge in people learning to code has been helped by the wide range of online learning platforms that provide coding courses. One of the biggest names in this area is Udemy, a platform with a huge range of high quality courses and instructors teaching all manner of subjects.
While Udemy has many great coding courses of its own, it’s also given rise to new competition such as GameDev.tv. GameDev.tv runs a number of courses on Udemy, but also has its own learning platform that’s steadily expanding and gaining new students.
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Possibly the biggest factor in choosing where you’ll learn to code is the quality of the courses that each learning platform offers. No matter how much effort you put in, you’ll find it hard to learn much if a course isn’t actually any good – so what level of quality do Udemy and GameDev.tv offer?
Since Udemy allows instructors to sign up and start creating courses with little to no vetting procedures, the quality of courses on the platform can vary massively. Pretty much anyone can make a course – there are no qualification or experience requirements, which leads to hugely varying levels of expertise among instructors and widely differing course quality by extension.
However, despite the absence of any particularly strict quality or production standards, there are still some great coding courses to be found on Udemy. Every course displays user reviews to show what feedback or criticism other learners gave, and features like the Udemy Instructor Partner program make it easy to pick out the most trusted course providers.
The GameDev.tv team have earned a name for themselves as trusted experts when it comes to teaching coding. Their range of courses have consistently high reviews on both Udemy and their own platform, and they’ve also qualified for the Udemy Instructor Partner program, further marking them out as specialists in teaching people how to code.
Their video content consistently meets good production standards, and courses are well structured to guide learners through a particular topic without any confusion. Overall, DameDev.tv offers an impressive level of quality across its offerings.
While Udemy definitely has some great, high-quality courses on offer, the overall course quality on the platform is highly inconsistent owing to the very lax vetting procedures for instructors. GameDev.tv, meanwhile, is run by an expert team who produce excellent content to high production standards, with the reviews to prove it. As such, GameDev.tv wins on quality.
Other smaller platforms have comparable quality to GameDev.tv though. Zenva, to example one, also focuses a lot more on hiring industry professionals and reviewing the courses before they make it to students. So, sometimes the more focused approach is the way to go.
Coding is a huge subject with a wide range of subcategories, specialties, and offshoots, so it makes sense that budding coders should look for a platform that lets them explore whatever topics they’re most interested in. Providing a wide choice is, therefore, an essential element of a good learning platform – so how do Udemy and GameDev.tv stack up?
When it comes to variety, Udemy excels. While their open approach to course creation does have drawbacks for quality, it also means that the platform has amassed an absolutely enormous library of courses ranging across pretty much every topic you could think of.
Not every subject is given equal attention, however – there are loads of courses for basic topics, but often fewer for more specialized subjects. Overall, though, Udemy’s course variety is hugely impressive.
As you’d expect from the name, GameDev.tv’s primary focus is on coding for game development, with courses on Unity, Unreal, Blender, and more. As such, if your goal isn’t to learn to code for game development, then the platform doesn’t have much to offer you.
There are a few exceptions that go into more varied subjects, such as a Math For Coding course, a marketing workshop, and a motivation and scheduling course, but these are more supplementary than fundamental. The other issue is that in total GameDev.tv currently only offers 28 courses in total, which naturally limits the breadth of their subject coverage.
There’s little question about this one – Udemy absolutely blows GameDev.tv out of the water when it comes to course variety. GameDev.tv offers a decent variety within its specialty of game development, but if you aren’t interested in games then Udemy offers much better choice by far.
Again, though, balance this with quality. Zenva equally has a small catalog, but much more consistent quality – and many other platforms are the same. All in all, Udemy’s variety isn’t everything in all cases.
In an ideal world, money wouldn’t matter if you want to learn to code. Sadly, that’s not the case, so learners on a budget also need to consider what each platform actually offers for their money. With that in mind, let’s look at what Udemy and GameDev.tv offer in terms of value for money.
All of Udemy’s instructors set their own prices, ranging from $10-$100 each. Many instructors also offer a selection of free courses, although these lack certain features such as completion certificates which are reserved for paid courses.
Paying for a course on Udemy gives you lifetime access to its contents, meaning there’s no time pressure to complete a course once you’ve enrolled in it. Udemy also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its courses, so if you start a course and decide it isn’t what you expected then you don’t risk wasting your money.
Individual courses on GameDev.tv cost anywhere up to $234, although if you make use of the platform’s sale events then you could get as much as 50% off the normal price. As with Udemy, courses come with lifetime access and a 30-day money-back guarantee. There are also a handful of free courses, and bundles of 3-6 courses that cost between $354-$414.
Perhaps the best deal on offer on GameDev.tv is their Lifetime Membership option, which provides unlimited access to all their current and future courses. For a one-time fee of $420, this essentially means you’re paying $15 per course for their current library, and as they add more, this option will only increase in value.
Udemy and GameDev.tv are fairly even on price – both platforms offer fairly affordable courses with lifetime access and the option of a refund if they aren’t what you expected. The great value found in GameDev.tv’s lifetime membership option does give it the overall lead against Udemy, however.
These prices are also decently competitive with other platforms like Zenva – so it really depends more so on what you prefer in terms of other areas (and what payment model you’re comfortable with).
Coding isn’t a static subject – it continues to grow and develop alongside new technologies and trends. Because of this, it’s important that learning platforms reflect new developments in their courses whenever necessary. So, let’s examine how Udemy and GameDev.tv handle course updates.
Udemy’s approach to course updates is fairly lackluster. While instructors do have the option to amend and add new lessons to their courses in order to keep them up to date and relevant, there’s no actual requirement for them to do so.
In other words, it all depends on how dedicated each instructor is to keeping their courses and content relevant. Some instructors will put the effort in, others won’t; there’s no real way of telling until you take their courses, unless other learners have mentioned the instructor’s approach to updates in reviews and feedback.
GameDev.tv regularly updates its courses to reflect new developments and trends, adding new content and amending outdated resources as necessary. The platform allows users to track these changes through the Announcements section of the free GameDev.tv Video Game Course Updates course.
This isn’t exactly the most convenient way to track new changes, but each update does come with a video explaining what changes and new content have been added, making it easy to understand once you do find the announcements.
Udemy’s barebones approach to course updates means that GameDev.tv is the clear winner here. While the update announcements are slightly buried, they do show a commitment to providing continuous updates and new content – which there’s no guarantee that Udemy’s instructors will provide.
Course updates are also pretty available on other platforms. For example, Zenva has an easy-to-find course update policy and regularly updates content based on industry developments. So, once again, Udemy is more the wild card here.
For many learners, a fast-paced life and a busy schedule can often get in the way of making time to study. Because of this, it’s important for learning platforms to make it easy for their users to study wherever and whenever they have the opportunity to. With that in mind, let’s see how Udemy and GameDev.tv fare when it comes to mobile usability.
Udemy’s website is fully mobile optimized and relatively easy to navigate on the go. They also offer a robust mobile app for both iOS and Android, which comes with the useful ability to download videos to watch offline later – which can be very handy for dealing with wifi and data blackspots on your commute.
GameDev.tv doesn’t offer their own app, but their site is mobile-optimized and fairly easy to use. Navigating through the online courses can be a little fiddly and confusing if you aren’t used to the mobile site, but this isn’t too much of a difficulty once you get used to it. Unfortunately, though, there’s no option for offline playback – you’ll have to be online if you want to access course videos.
While GameDev.tv is still decently usable on mobile, its fiddly navigation, lack of offline playback options, and the absence of an actual mobile app mean that it doesn’t quite match up to Udemy in this department. If your schedule means you’ll be learning on the go a lot, then Udemy’s more robust mobile app and offline functionality may be the better option for you.
That said, the stability of mobile apps is quickly becoming questionable. Recent industry changes both in mobile SDKs and in store policies have made the ecosystem more volatile. Thus, good mobile sites such as offered by Zenva and GameDev.tv are plenty all right and guaranteed to last.
While coding may be simply an interesting hobby for many learners, for others it’s the key to unlocking an exciting new career. For these learners, an online learning platform that supports their professional development is essential – so do Udemy and GameDev.tv offer the support you need to advance your career?
Udemy sadly doesn’t offer all that much when it comes to professional development. While individual instructors may offer extra advice separate from their courses, Udemy itself doesn’t offer any concrete professional development courses beyond providing completion certificates for your resume.
With that said, the breadth of subjects covered on Udemy means you may be able to find general careers advice outside of coding-specific courses. There are also plenty of coding courses on Udemy that aim to help you create finished projects for your portfolio. Otherwise, Udemy doesn’t offer much for career-building.
Considering how small its current course library is, GameDev.tv’s professional development resources are relatively impressive. As well as the odd workshop that dives into the business of videogames as opposed to game development, they offer a large library of developer Q&As in the free Video Game Course Updates course.
These offer a wide range of advice ranging from industry insights to motivational tips for finishing game projects. Aside from themed bundles that help you master specific game engines or design programs, however, there’s not much else on offer on GameDev.tv career-wise – and if you aren’t interested in game development as a career, then there’s basically nothing.
Professional development is an area where both Udemy and GameDev.tv fall down. GameDev.tv’s resources are relatively good considering how small the platform currently is, but ultimately there isn’t that much on offer, especially if you’re pursuing a career outside of game dev.
Udemy, meanwhile, leaves it up to individual instructors as to whether they offer any career support. Portfolio-building projects and course completion certificates are a nice touch, but ultimately the platform does very little for professional development.
Still, sometimes all is needed is a portfolio. Zenva likewise takes a project-based approach focused on portfolio building for careers – and many students have succeed with that alone. At the end, you’ll need to decide how much support you want and need here to make the best choice.
While there are categories where Udemy and GameDev.tv clearly excel, it’s hard to name an overall winner due to just how different the two platforms are. Udemy offers a huge range of courses on all manner of subjects, but with widely varying quality levels; GameDev.tv, meanwhile, offers more consistent quality but only really caters to learners interested in game development.
As such, it depends on your own needs as to which platform is the better choice. If you want to learn about a wide range of coding subjects delivered in a range of teaching styles, Udemy may be the better choice for you – especially if you’re planning to learn on the go, since Udemy’s mobile app offers some great functionality for mobile learners.
GameDev.tv, meanwhile, is the clear choice for anyone who has a specific interest in game development. Their courses are consistently high-quality, and the free developer Q&A library can offer some useful hints and tips. The platform’s lifetime membership is also a great option for those who want access to an ever-growing library of courses for a relatively cheap price.
It’s worth bearing in mind that these aren’t your only two options, though – there are all manner of learning platforms beyond just Udemy and GameDev.tv, each with its own advantages and specialties. For instance, there’s Zenva, which offers a library of over 250 courses on a range of coding subjects for just $20 a month.
So before you set your heart on Udemy or GameDev.tv, be sure to do your homework on other online learning platforms – you could end up finding one that’s an even better fit for you!
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