Learning with Udemy.com

For the last few weeks I’ve learning with Udemy.com via their web page. In this post I’ll explore the ups and downs of this method of learning, who its best for, and some of the best practices for using Udemy.com (or similar sites).
There is no shortage of training/learning based web pages that show you instructional videos to teach you how to do anything. Over at TrainSimple.com they have a plethora of courses mostly in design related fields. They can teach you anything and everything about the full Adobe design suite, and also they have courses tailored to web design and JavaScript programming. TrainSimple.com was my first experience with a paid training program. I ended up getting a lifetime subscription via an online deal about a year or two ago, but to be honest, I rarely use it.

This is mostly because I’m not using the latest Adobe suite as of late, because Adobe is pretty damn expensive. I never liked their transition to a monthly payment plan, although I’m sure its working out great for them. But also I’ve shifted gears in my computer development, away from strictly design and straight into major programming. This was when I found Udemy.com .

Another problem I had with TrainSimple was that some of the videos were just really boring to watch. The “teacher” in the video was generally very slow at getting to the point and liked to fill a lot of videos with fluff. It was terrible to just get through one lesson. Then I also noticed that they were not really teaching general practices, or even theory, instead they were just showing you how to build an exact replica of something they had already built. In this case it was a web page.

You can learn from that, but it’s not like you’d walk into a classroom and they’d just make you copy everything without detailed explanations and then you’d be a master. In general, in this field, Udemy blows TrainSimple out of the water.

Now don’t get me wrong, Udemy has some crappy teachers in their videos but you will be learning with udemy.com! Guaranteed! But in general, that’s limited to their free videos. Which have other problems, like being rather old which can actually out date them, especially in the fast paced area of app development, as one example. There’s also some decent free courses on Udemy, but you really have to hunt for them.

Regarding paid courses, Udemy has no parallel. At least in my experience. I have purchased the following courses from Udemy…

  • Android: From Beginner to Paid Professional
    • At the time of writing this article the price is 19 Euros. However, if you wait, at most a month to two months, then you’ll get it for 10 Euros if you’re in a pinch with money.
    • Pro: Covers a lot! I’m not even finished with this course yet, but even the basics it starts with were quite a lot to take in. Especially if you’ve never coded before.
    • Con: Instructor can be a little flaky sometimes. Its not like he’s reading a script, he’s just plowing these videos out, recorded live, while at home or at his work. I can give him credit for doing a great job, but sometimes a little more polish would go a long way as he can skip a description, not define it very well, or
    • Pro: this course is structured really well. The instructor really likes to slam home the idea that you should be teaching yourself the fundamentals. He’ll point you in the right direction, but ultimately its you that needs to learn how to actually code, or build apps you want for Android. That being said, the instructor shows you where to learn all these things, and his resources are great.
    • Con: Updates. Although this course isn’t outdated by any way, and you can follow along in any modern version of the Android App Developer Studio, there is some dissent on the chat forms provided by this course. See, the instructor for this course also did an iOS development course and it covers way more than this Android course. Now, I don’t have a big problem with this, because it is listed as a course for beginners, so you’ll be learning a ton either way. However, the instructor has promised updates that were never delivered, and that’s just not cool.
  • Learn to Code by Making Games – The Complete Unity Developer
    • Full disclosure, I only ever got 10% through this course before life changed my focus. As in, I got a regular day job and now don’t have time to focus on game development. And as you seen above, I shifted my focus to Android App development for now. But I do plan on returning to this course!
    • Pro: The instructor (Ben Tristem) is fantastic. He lays out everything really well, has lots of resources for his courses, and talks in a clean and clear fashion to teach you in a relaxed environment.
    • Pro: Updates! Ben provides regular updates on all his course content. Even better, when he learns how to change his course for the better, he’ll do it! The course content is always up to date and with Udemy, you get a lifetime subscription to the course.
    • Pro: Ben is so good at these videos that I bought 2 more and haven’t even touched them yet. Udemy had a rad sale going, so I had to supplement my future learning. The other 2 courses are Game Physics – Extend Unity 3D’s Physics Engine in C# Code and Learn 3D Modelling – The Complete Blender Creator Course. Both of these I’m really looking forward to getting into!
    • Pro: Content. This course contains 303 lectures totally over 52 hours of content! That’s intense! This is no weekend course.

Learning with Udemy.com

Udemy.com Training Interface with Bookmark active

Another bonus for learning with Udemy.com is that the interface for watching the training videos is laid out really well. If you’re watching a video and there’s a power outage, no problem. Udemy will remember where you were and start you there next time. You can also download the Udemy app and watch videos on the go, from your mobile device and your activity will also sync to your Udemy account. Although I wouldn’t suggest using a mobile phone for learning how to code as it would be pretty hard to read what the instructor is doing on such a small screen. However, it’s perfect for glossing over the content before you sit down and give it a full go.

The interface also allows for bookmarks anywhere on the video timeline. This feature is great and really helps bridge the gap from just being told what to do and interacting with the content. Add some bookmarks to a file for quick referencing later, when you really need it. It helps you remember what you’re learning by interacting with it, and you can check out a full list of bookmarks in your account to jump to what you need at any time.

Learning with Udemy.com

Udemy Bookmarks – Simply click to jump to the bookmark in training video

You can also see in the image above a 15 rewind and 15 fast forward button. These are invaluable when you get distracted, or a little behind on the instructor’s direction. Since the video is already loaded into your browser cache by then, there’s no reloading, so it’s a quick jump to the content you need.

So I think you get the idea by now. If you can spare a few bucks you’ll be learning with udemy.com in no time! The courses are great, if you pay for them and don’t forget to check the rating and what people said about the course. Udemy will also have a sale about 2-3 times per year where every course is 10 Euros. That’s a hell of a deal, especially for the level of learning content you’ll be getting.

It shouldn’t be said that all the FREE courses on Udemy are terrible. I’m sure there’s some good stuff out there, however, I’ve found that most free courses tend to be outdated, making their content irrelevant. The worst part about this is that you can find a free course that looks great, it starts with basic fundamentals, which rarely change, then they get to the part where you put your work together and that part is outdated. Then you’re stuck. Okay, you learned the fundamentals, but you can’t apply them to anything and get frustrated trying to.

The other downside to free courses is that the content can really gloss over the basics, tell you that great things are just within your reach and all just in an attempt to get you to buy the full course that actually teaches you want you wanted to learn in the first place. That’s a time suck, and who’s got time for that?

Overall, learning with Udemy.com is worth every penny! Especially if it’s a course from Ben Tristem! Although at the time of writing this article he only has 6 courses, but they are all solid gold content.

So, from Android App Dev, to Unity Game Dev, Udemy has you covered to teach you everything you’ll need to start a new trade, pickup a new hobby, or destroy the competition! They have a full spectrum of courses covering topics from design, development, marketing, accounting, business, office productivity, photography, music and even language training!

If you’ve been looking to expand your knowledge, or even just refresh what you should already know, to shake the cob webs, learning with udemy.com is the answer for you! Give it a look, who knows what you’ll find of interest!

A friendly reminder, if you actually made it to the end of this article, Udemy.com has given us a great deal to share with you! Sitewide $15 Courses!

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