Educative.io Review: Are Grokking System Design & Coding Interviews Worth it?
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Educative.io Review: Are Grokking System Design & Coding Interviews Worth it?

Self-learning is worth. But what if you don't have time and effort for your interview preparation? That is where interview preparation tools like Educative.io, AlgoExpert, Leetcode etc. come into the picture.

It's not usual to lack a proper preparation structure when you are on own. Yes, looking at a predefined sequence of actions can hold your hand and guide you to an offer letter.

Nevertheless, sitting in an interview chair with confidence is a first achievement one should reach before cracking the interview.

In this educative review, we will evaluate the real potential of their courses and learning paths. (including their famous recipe - "Grokking the System Design Interview Course")

Why should you seek Interview Preparation Tools?

One can have many reasons for seeking help from an interview prep tool:

  • • Lethargic to refer fatty books and unsorted online resources
  • • Unable to look at a subject from different angles
  • • Lack of proper strategy and guidance
  • • Unable to decide which free resource is reliable
  • • Short of time for your next technical interview
You may have your own reasons. So, spending dollars on quality courses is worth it as it will be rewarding 1000's once you crack a job.

Before going into this in-depth educative io review, you have to know on what basis I'm going to evaluate Educative. Please be noted that my analysis is based on solid research and a decent understanding of the discipline.

In any quality interview preparation tool, factors we might look at are:

  • • Coverage of topics
  • • Quality of content
  • • Value for money
  • • Knowledge of Author
  • • Support on the fly
I will portray all of the above factors from Educative io perspective. You can evaluate if the Educative or system design course suit your preparation.

Review of Educative.io 

educative io system design review, educative io dynamic programming,  educative io object oriented design

Educative.io is a paid resource that helps you learn technologies in a course of time. Their text-based learning content is interactive and it is well-rated for its Grokking the design systems interview course. The primary goal is to brush up your technical skills and ease the technical rounds of your dream job

Educative offers 300+ courses, majority of course authors are former FAANG software engineers.

The in-browser practice environment is impressive, no hectic setup required. Educative says, "Learn 2x coding in half the time". This shows that the curriculum is more focused on speed. 

After course completion, especially grokking series, one may say - "when did I learn this much?". It was such a quality resource that got hyped very quickly, being started in 2015. The course has deep insights into design patterns including core components like sharding, CAP theorem, Web proxy, No SQL.

As of today, more than 650,000+ developers have enrolled with educative. However, Educative has its own downsides which we will discuss in upcoming sections.

Bottom line,

  • • Educative prepares you for the next interview
  • • Text-based content is interactive
  • • Top-rated course - "Grokking the System Design Interview"
  • • As of today, 650,000+ developers enrolled at Educative

What does Educative offer:

educative io free courses list and the features

Educative io offers more than 300 courses, everything is interactive and text-based. The course catalog carry two main intentions:

  1. To help you crack a Technical interview
  2. To enhance your Skill set
Out of 300 courses, there is one gem that has generated more than $1 million in sales and made Educative stand out from the crowd. Yes, it is, "Grokking the System Design Interview" (More on this in later section)

In the midst of AlgoExpert and Leetcode who offer video solutions, Educative has managed to mark higher ratings and customer satisfaction with its text-based content. 

Free courses by Educative io:

Educative offers a few free courses such as:

Find more Educative free courses here

Note: Free courses doesn't come with free certificate. However, you can buy and download the certificate. If you are solely looking for free certifications, find my list of 18000+ free certifications.

Free Trail at Educative io:

Rather than going for free courses, I suggest you go for a free trial of 7 days. Educative asks your card details required for the free trail. If you don't like their courses, make sure to cancel it, else you will charged automatically. 

Learning Paths at Educative:

Set of topics is a course. Set of modules is a learning path. 

The idea behind this section is to make you understand, "What to Learn?" before "How to Learn?".
This was new addition to user dashboard by Educative. I found this extremely helpful as it specifically curated me to achieve learning goal. The idea is to give you an universal and learnable topic timeline to make you expertise in a matter of subject.

Educative Dashboard Features:

create courses at educative io

Edpresso Community:

Edpresso is like an internal blog in Educative. You can write articles and get featured in their website. You can post and answer topic-wise questions in the community timeline. Top contributors, shot-requests, saving screenshots are key features in community. There will no one-to-one private communication with the peers.

Slack Community:

This was a recent add on. 

You'll not hear much noise. Of course, Educative has nothing to with this. It's ultimately on learners interest to collaborate and discuss with peers.

No Setup Code Playground:

It is not an unknown issue that most online learning platforms require some sort of setup in order interact with the workspace.

That's not the case with Educative. From basic code compilation to kubernetes, everything runs in-browser with no setup.

Create your own course:

yes, you heard it right. At Educative, you are not limited to learn but also teach and earn. (as shown in previous screenshot)

You can create two types of courses.

  • • Complete course
  • • Mini course

Pro Tip:
If you are expertise on any subject, spend time in monetizing your knowledge in course market places like Teachable or Educative.  I don't recommend Udemy for its less pay outs and high competition. That being said, prefer Educative for learning and Teachable for selling courses. Teachable offers great commission rates and has quality customer potential.

Cost of Educative io:

educative io yearly subscription offer

Educative.io priced its Annual plan at $13.99 per month which means you will be billed for $168 on taking a subscription for 12 months. But if you want Educative access for only one month, they charge $49.

By referring a friend, you will get 10% off on the subscription. There is not limit or expire date for referral credits. This way, you can save some bucks using your network.

I feel their monthly charge is overpriced because you will get 6 month subscription for $49 at AlgoExpert. (Of course, AlgoExpert offers only one course where Educative provide 250+)

However, I suggest go for a free trail of 7 days. Get most out of that! If you really like it then go ahead and continue with annual subscription.

Just so you know: Educative.io charges automatically once free trail completes. Make sure to cancel before 7 days if you don't like their courses.

Is educative worth it?

For System design, educative is worth it even in 2021.

Although the learning happens through text-based content, they are different from books, You will not find additional fluff and fat. To the point. Hitting the right tone and area. The coursework was finely kept together, in fact, 96% of their learners complemented the way they tailored the course.

Simplifying the tough nuts is goal of a good teacher or author. At Educative, the authors have succeeded in bringing such engagement.

Educative is a visual eye feast for skimmers. The content is optimized, knowledge-packed and best for quick learning. 

The pace is focused on speed. Educative has leveraged coverage, quality and speed. The courses are super detailed and easy to consume, effective for interview preparation. 

Some of the recommended courses are:

  1. Grokking the System Design interview
  2. Grokking the Coding Interview
  3. Python 101 

"Data Structures in Python: An Interview Refresher” is a great course for Python interview preparation. It covers all fundamental Data Structures and relevant algorithms. Hands on exercises are must try ones!

Never the least, Educative's dynamic programming and object oriented design were also considered as worthy pieces by learners. Under Object-oriented design course, educative offers a free project namely - "Design a Parking Lot" which is really interesting.

First, let us review the sound part, "Grokking the System Design interview course".

Review of Grokking the System Design Interview:

In short, there is probably no other resource, that discusses so many different problems in detail like "Grokking the System Design Interview course" at Educative. 

And we all know that every round of FAANG tier Job interviews will have at least one problem based on System Design.

Who created Grokking the System Design Course?

This course was created by hiring managers who've been working at Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon. After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • • Handle complex systems,  
  • • Develop large-scale systems,
  • • Understand nature of SDIs
  • • Tackle open-ended design problems 

Coverage: The course covers maximum no. of questions that were asked at FAANG interviews repeatedly. Advanced topics like PALEC Theorem, consistent hashing, Redundancy, Proxies are explained in a granular level.

Structure: This course has succeeded in exceptionally putting 3 years of CS concepts together. Out of all the learners of this course, 96% of learners complemented the tailoring of the course. They admire the way the course was crafted and the approaches presented.

Reliable: Do you believe it? Grokking series has helped more than 30,000 people in getting a job. Haid zia, a Software Engineer at Google said - "Great course. After going through it, I think, the real value is in the system design problems. For that alone, it’s worth it."

It is reported that articles on time complexity could be a little better. However, being active in their forum can solve these loopholes.

Key takeaways:

  • •  Educative got one of the best system design course 
  • •  30,000+ learners benefited in landing a job with the course
  • •  Time complexity could be a little better (little means I mean it)
  • •  The structure of course is remarkable

Review of Grokking the Coding Interview:

After System Design, Grokking the coding interview course has attracted some interest by learners.

The course mainly covers 16 design patterns with more than 10 problems in each pattern. It can be completed in 50 hrs and so it is perfect for people who are n short of their interview preparation time. 

Patterns in Grokking the Coding Interview Course: 

  1. Pattern: Tree Breadth-First Search
  2. Pattern: Tree Depth First Search
  3. Pattern: Sliding Window
  4. Pattern: Fast & Slow Pointers 
  5. Pattern: Two Pointers
  6. Pattern Merge Intervals
  7. Pattern Cyclic sort etc
You can other patterns here

User Interface and Code Editor?

The interface is a bootstrap design, and one will sense a premium flavor on every click and scroll. It was white-rich, simple, and personalized. In the left side of dashboard, you'll see the menu.

Step 1: Goto educative.io and signup for free

educative io free trail



Step 2: Login to dashboard and select courses tab. Then, click on preview button of any course.

educative io system design and free educative courses


Step 3: Click on start or continue learning button on the right

educative io review user dashboard course content


Step 3: You'll see interactive course content. Go through the notes, clear quiz, do hands on coding.

educative io parking lot


The inbuilt code editor appear clean and neat. You will get line by line written explanation. The explanation was written as small chunks and so easy to digest.


What about Quality of other Educative Courses?

Fahim ul Haq, the co-founder of educative said - "Every course at Educative goes through a strict quality review process before it’s published. We want to make sure that we only publish informative and accurate content that you can rely on with confidence."

Each of educative course goes through three reviews:

  1. Engagement review
  2. Technical review
  3. Language review

How about Speed and Pace?

On Average video, instructor speaks about 9000 words per hour. Here at Educative io you could read 15,000 words in a hour. feel productive!

The authors prepares courses with below target outcomes keeping in mind.

  • • Give you maximum topic coverage
  • • Make you understand design choices (good and bad)
  • • Make you understand requirements, comparison approaches, solution crafting 
  • • Foresee the scalability of a design
  • • Granular level insights

These rigorous quality courses gives you a flash of technical knowledge. 

Key take away:

You should use educative and Systems Expert if you are short on time. If you have sufficient time, you should make a separate study plan for system design.

  • • Learn maximum in minimum time
  • • Get wider coverage of topics
  • • 300+ courses for just $120
  • • You can also teach at Educative
  • • "Grokking the coding interview" is can be your best

Possible Negatives of Educative:

If you see my other reviews, this section is something I really focus specially on. That being said, Educative didn't gave me luxury to write negatives as it is good in its way.

Still, this may not be a one stop shop, but a worth stopping halt.  

What they promised is what they delivered.

Educative vs AlgoExpert

If you are not a fan of text-based interactive learning, educative can be an off for you. AlgoExpert is great for isolated visual learning as you can get video solutions for more than 160+ questions in 9 languages. 

Again, at AlgoExpert, system design is a separate course that costs additional $47. You can learn more about AlgoExpert here

Educative vs Leetcode

Leetcode is known for high question volume and diverse topic coverage. Recently they have added video solutions which made AlgoExpert reduce their pricing. 

However, if you have no luxury of time, prefer Educative.

In the bottom line, go for Educative if you are seriously preparing for system design course.

Final Verdict

Pros

  • Organized content
  • Super detailed (core level)
  • Cost effective (Annual Plan)
  • 7 day free trail

Cons

  • No Video solutions
  • Monthly Plan is overpriced

Course Quality10
Author Knowledge9
Cost effective9
Question Coverage9
Platform software10
Support8
Other Platform Reviews Avg.9

Summary

Educative is an interactive learning resource. The course structure and craft work is impressive. Coverage, Info graphics, editing, are leveraged. Educative courses are best for quick learners who are in short of time for interview preparation. Support on the fly is remarkable and annual subscription is cost-effective.
9.15
Overall Score

Closing Thoughts: Educative io Review

That's pretty much about Educative and their courses for this review. I hope this information is enough for you to choose a right interview preparation platform. As said earlier, never reconsider investing in a quality course as it can rewarding in the long run. 

If you still have doubts regarding online courses, comment below or feel free to contact me directly. I'm always here to help you.


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