Angular Course Reviews

Angular: The Big Picture on Pluralsight by Joe Eames

I started working professionally with Angular earlier this year and wanted to find a good first course on the framework, and ended up doing Pluralsight’s Angular: The Big Picture first. Unfortunately this course stood out to me in a not-so-good way, enough that I wouldn’t call it remotely good, but it wasn’t totally terrible either.

At best, I’d call Pluralsight’s course not really worth doing, especially not as a first course, which you’d be expected to think considering it’s one of Pluralsight’s “Big Picture” courses. Ultimately it came across as rather pointless, as it didn’t cover that much unique about Angular in particular, as a lot of the content was extremely surface-level and didn’t go into any depth.

Additionally, for a course with a “Beginner” level designation, it really wasn’t oriented to beginners at all, as it assumed quite a bit of foreknowledge on: TypeScript, Angular’s history, and Angular concepts (one-way data flow, DI, decorators, modules, components, and classes). In fact, I’d cite one of this course’s major key failings is that it showed screenshots of Angular code as if the viewer was expected to already understand the code. It glossed over so many technical details and didn’t sufficiently explain any of the concepts that would be new to an Angular beginner.

Conclusion: Ultimately this course was neither high-level or low-level enough to really be useful for either context, as it provided nowhere near enough information about Angular’s unique concepts and syntax, or about how to actually code an Angular app. The majority of the course turned out to be very surface information about Angular (which would be more useful to someone who’s already gotten hands-on with it), rather than covering Angular itelf. And when Scrimba’s course exists (along with plenty of others elsewhere on other platforms that are better organized and presented), I honestly have to say there’s really no reason at all to do this course.

Rating: 1 out of 5 (-4 for no depth of content, and lack of explanation & organization).

Build Your First Angular App on Scrimba by Dan Wahlin

If you haven’t done a course on Scrimba before, most of their courses tend to dive into coding very early on and start with the instructor speaking over a blank code editor window.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see that this course took the non-traditional approach and started by showing PowerPoint-like slides early on to introduce a lot of Angular’s concepts and features. And this worked really well too, as visualizing the concepts can be very important to learning how they work, particularly for beginners who haven’t used a front-end framework or library before. For example, if you didn’t know before what “components” are in a general sense, Dan Wahlin actually covers that in his slide-based content.

But the main thing that put this course way above Pluralsight’s is not that it actually covered a useful amount of high-level information about Angular before getting to the coding, but that it also covered a ton of low-level information about actually building an Angular app as well. Over the series of 35 videos (a total 3 hours in length), it covered some extremely useful and relevant info for beginners: how to use the Angular CLI, Angular’s folder structure, components, modules, data and event binding, services (what they are and how to build & use them), and the Angular router. It covered so much information, in fact, that I’d call it too fast-paced and it probably needed more time to flesh out the syntax and some potentially unfamiliar topics better. And even with the dense amount of information covered, it also still ended a bit too early and probably would have benefitted from additional material on other topics.

Conclusion: A much better introduction to Angular than Pluralsight’s very weak offering, and provides the info that beginners will actually need to get started with Angular. Although it is a fairly densely-packed course and moves very fast (and doesn’t quite cover all of the sub-topics in a way that you might understand the first time), I’d still call it a very good first course on Angular, as long as you meet the general prerequisites of knowing: HTML, CSS, JavaScript ES6, and Node.js/NPM.

Note that the course is also now a bit dated, as it uses Angular 6 for the sample application, and it does take some figuring out to get the code compliant with the latest version of Angular (currently 13 as of this writing).

Rating: 4 out of 5 (-1 for the fast pacing and lack of full coverage on topics unfamiliar for beginners)