NeetCode is known for offering free high-value video tutorials for aspiring programmers and software developers.
However, the course creator quickly added an all-new library of courses and decided to start charging a token for it. Hence, the emergence of NeetCode Pro.
As usual, we are interested in how the pro version of NeetCode differentiates itself from the free version.
More importantly, is NeetCode Pro now the coding interview prep platform to beat?
Only a detailed review evaluating the price-to-value ratio of the course can comfortably answer that question.
Let’s dive in.
Overview of Neetcode
NeetCode is a tech interview prep platform created by a Google employee whose identity is a bit fuzzy.
NeetCode was created to complement LeetCode, although the latter was created by entirely different people.
You can solve LeetCode questions and use NeetCode to find video explanations for complex concepts.
As a tech interview prep platform, Neetcode arranges learning materials for its users in the form of training videos for different topics in coding.
Instead of just learning random topics and attempting random questions, NeetCode provides a format to follow to prepare for the coding interview.
The platform also allows users to practice as much as possible before they sit for their interviews.
NeetCode is highly rated by many past users who landed jobs with FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix,and Amazon) companies and it’s only becoming more popular with each passing day.
With that overview in mind, let’s see what is inside NeetCode and how it helps aspiring software engineers solve their biggest challenges in coding interview prep.
What Does It Do?
NeetCode aims to provide better explanations to Leetcode problems. Its popular resource, NeetCode 150 provides videos explanations to 150 LeetCode questions.
The premium course, NeetCode Pro, provides answers to a lot more LeetCode questions.
What sets NeetCode apart is its ability to break down complex concepts into easily understandable bits. This unique approach has positioned it as one of the leading interview preparation courses available.
Although the majority of interview solutions are currently provided in video format, NeetCode is continually working on enhancing the platform. Notably, there has been mention within the community that NeetCode is actively developing text-based (written) solutions.
Neetcode Pro Features
NeetCode has many excellent features, and the icing on the cake is that many can be enjoyed for free.
In this section, I will discuss the free and premium features separately.
The first-ever free feature is a YouTube Channel, and that’s because that’s how NeetCode started. Thankfully, the YouTube channel remains free now.
The YouTube channel serves as a feed on all sorts of topics in tech. That’s where NeetCode’s founder talks about what’s trending in the tech world. You can go there and gain some nice updates.
Playlists are also available on the channel. These playlists contain free, detailed explanations of various coding concepts. You can try out the Blind75, for example. It includes 75 algorithm practice problems you can try for free.
The Algorithm Roadmap is another feature that you can literally steal and use without subscribing a dime.
Check the snapshot below:
No other tech interview platform gives away a roadmap for free, and this feature alone is a thumbs up to NeetCode for me.
Aside from the YouTube channel and Algo roadmap, Practice Questions are another free feature that greatly helps.
The practice questions are a much sought-after feature. There are over 400 questions, and you can pick from one of three categories and three difficulty levels (easy, medium, or hard).
You will find some locked questions as you roam through the questions list. That’s where you need a LeetCode premium subscription, as those locked questions only have their solutions there.
Last but by no means least, there is a Discord channel that’s accessible to all NeetCoders without cost.
There, users can interact with each other in various ways, such as by sharing their progress and coding projects.
What is inside the courses?
- 331 coding interview questions solved (Leetcode problems) across fourteen programming languages.
- Blind 75 (solutions)
- Interview test (to see your performance)
In addition, NeetCode has five courses:
- Algorithms and Data Structure for Beginners
- Advanced Algorithms
- System Design for Beginners
- System Design Interview
- Object-oriented Design Interview
Each of the courses has several hours of video lessons in them. Within each course, there are articles, explainer videos, solution source code, and several coding challenges.
You also get practical where it’s needed. Some concepts are more technical than others. When you get to those parts, NeetCode uses real-world systems and networks to show you how the theory is converted into real-life use.
Besides that, as the courses get more intense, you will be tasked with building working systems for games, parking lots, banking, etc. The tasks are not too different from what tech companies will throw at you.
How Much Does It Cost?
As of the time of this writing, NeetCode Pro has a yearly subscription plan and a one-off plan as well.
The former is billed at $99 yearly, while the lifetime plan will set you back by $129.
Both plans give you access to the same advanced features, including new additions; the only difference is in the duration of access.
I purchased the lifetime plan, which is the best offer yet.
Most student reviews are positive, and some users have even bought the pro version to show their support for NeetCode.
The amount of free resources NeetCode provides has got him a lot of fans.
There is a reason why NeetCode’s user base is growing fast. And it all boils down to user satisfaction due to a combination of several factors, which I will now talk about below:
Lots of Free Content
Compared with other tech interview prep platforms, NeetCode gives a lot of content for free.
It seems safe to say that no other platform will give you free access to all its practice questions, let alone a community.
That’s a lot, especially when you consider that people are becoming increasingly wary of parting ways with their hard-earned income, and giving away a lot of free content helps build enough trust in the paid content.
Good User Experience
Navigating NeetCode’s website wasn’t at all stressful for me since everything is visible at a glance, and there are no color-heavy themes to distract from or obscure any icon.
The website loads fast if you have a reliable internet connection, and there’s even a dark mode for eyes sensitive to excess light.
There’s a lively Discord community for free and paid users. There, people of all skill levels can interact and help one another out.
One nice thing about communities like this is that you can always find people who have been interviewed at big tech companies. They often post their experience in the community for others to learn from.
Video/Text Hybrid Learning Format
Formerly, NeetCode was all video, but now, more and more topics have started getting explainer texts. This makes the platform more appealing for those who find videos too passive a way of learning.
Lifetime access is a given for premium subscribers on NeetCode. With a premium subscription, you can access all course content and updates for as long as possible.
At $129 for lifetime access, NeetCode is a deal you won’t want to miss. Few other coding prep platforms are as cheap, and even then, they don’t cover all the essential aspects of coding a software engineer should know.
NeetCode has them all, from data structure and algorithms to object-oriented design.
While NeetCode performs well in many important areas, as with many other human inventions, it doesn’t quite hit the bullseye in other areas. Let me explain.
No Behavioral Training
NeetCode is all about the technical aspects of the interview and the job itself.
However, that can only take you so far, especially as you must be a part of the team. As in any other profession, a sound software engineer must have good etiquette, leadership, and communication skills.
NeetCode doesn’t help you with any of that. But you can get resources on that from his channel.
Is It Worth It?
Save for the missing soft skills training, NeetCode is a strong contender for the title of best cheap (and maybe overall) coding interview prep platform.
Simply put, it delivers way more value than its cheap pricing indicates.
The sheer amount of free resources NeetCode provides is unrivaled in its niche. The star of the show here is the algorithm roadmap which I bet not many platforms will be generous enough to give for free.
And we also can’t ignore how you get updates to the platform and course content without extra charges. At $129 paid once, that’s a steal.
And who knows a future update might bring an interactive code editor, and the deal will make even more sense. Here’s me keeping my fingers crossed for that.
I recommend NeetCode for nailing it in nearly all categories and, most importantly, for giving so much for relatively little.
NeetCode vs. LeetCode
At first glance, NeetCode can look like it was spun out of LeetCode, but that’s not necessarily the case.
While both websites offer tutorials on solving coding problems, NeetCode focuses more on problem-solving, while LeetCode goes straight for quick solutions.
If you’re searching for a free platform to challenge your logic and analytical skills with diverse programming challenges, NeetCode is your best bet, as they have an extensive library of codes to work through.
Both coding platforms contain many examples of interview questions at FAANG companies and others. Still, one is more beginner-friendly
NeetCode and LeetCode are great for someone looking for a challenge but unsure how to start solving programming problems.
Both websites offer challenges and explanations at every level, but NeetCode presents more challenges at a beginner level and challenges with solutions that can be explained in layperson’s terms.
This is a big plus if you’re just getting started with coding challenges, as the explanations on NeetCode tend to be much more detailed.
Plenty of Interview Questions
If numbers were everything, LeetCode would be the winner.
The few thousands of questions on the platform make it highly likely that when you go for your interview (s), you might be presented with a question you have solved before on LeetCode.
The killer feature here is the company-specific search. You can choose to focus on questions from a particular tech company.
Then there is the filter by frequency. You can select questions based on how often they appear in interview sessions. Only LeetCode has it among all the coding interview prep platforms available.
Mock assessment is available to premium users. The evaluation is grouped according to companies, giving you an experience of what to expect.
LeetCode’s free version is a highly sought-after feature that allows you access to many practice challenges. However, it’s constrained and can only go so far in helping your preparation.
Interview Opportunities on the Platform
LeetCode wasn’t built only for aspiring programmers. It’s a talent scout platform where companies roam to find potential employees.
By signing up for the premium plans, you can add yourself to the leaderboards as you successfully solve more problems. Your score increases in relation to other users on the platform, and you can get a chance to stand out.
Here are some of the downsides of LeetCode.
Difficult for Beginners
LeetCode has many coding questions that are more complex than what even a company like Google will ask.
Ultimately, those questions don’t boost your chances of passing the coding interview, as no one will ask them.
Poorly Structured Courses
Apart from the interview crash course for data structure and algorithms, other topics have sparse organization.
LeetCode is a heap of questions on random specific topics that should have been categorized into broader domains.
Questions are Needlessly Complicated
Behind LeetCode’s questions is the assumption that you are already skilled enough to attempt the questions.
Thus, if you are a stranger to programming and want to switch careers, there are other options than LeetCode.
NeetCode is easier on beginners because of the multitude of explanations provided in the course.
Inadequate Video Explanations
Not all questions get enough explanation in the videos.
And overall, the videos take the topics to an advanced level. So you must have a core programming background to understand them.
NeetCode Pro is definitely your best choice if you are looking for an interview prep course that delivers. I recommend using the free Leetcode alongside with the NeetCode Pro to get the best of both platforms.