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How to build a JavaScript app or project from scratch

Truthfully, knowing specific JavaScript methods and browser APIs isn’t really that important.

What’s more important—and a lot harder—is understanding how to put all of the little pieces together to build a working script.

It’s something so many people who are learning to code struggle with.

The chicken and egg problem

You read a bunch of tutorials, watch some courses, then sit down to build a little something and… nothing.

Over the years, I’ve found that the best way to bridge that gap is by working on projects. Lots and lots of projects.

But that creates a chicken and egg problem.

If you can’t figure out where to start, how do you complete a project? And how do you come up with projects to work on? And what happens when you get stuck?

The proverbial chicken

A few years ago, I put together a workshop designed to address the chicken-and-egg problem.

(I’m really forcing this metaphor. Sorry!)

I created a series of projects designed to start small, get more challenging over time, and build on each other. The skills you learned in yesterday’s project would help with the one you were working on today.

Each project came with a few lessons and a starting template, but didn’t give you all of the answers. I setup a Slack channel to help answer questions if anyone got stuck, and held live video office hours a few times to work through the really in-depth stuff.

That workshop eventually became the Vanilla JS Academy.

Academy is hands-down the most successful JavaScript learning program I’ve ever built. Students finish the program with so much more confidence in their own skills, and the ability to do things they didn’t think they’d ever be able to.

Making myself a little web tool and using a whole range of stuff that Chris Ferdinandi’s Vanilla JS Academy taught me.

I struggled with JavaScript for a decade so I really would recommend it for anyone who needs a big friendly confidence-booster.- Laura Kalbag

Since then, I’ve helped over 800 students really master JavaScript.

A new session of the Vanilla JS Academy is starting on October 10, and registration opens up on Monday.

All next week, you’ll be able to get 40% off registration with the code EARLYBIRD. I wanted to give you a heads up so that you don’t miss it.

What students have to say…

I was confident that I'd get something valuable from the Academy. The only only hesitation I felt was from knowing how many false starts I had with JS in the past and questioning my own commitment.

With Academy, something finally clicked in regards to both my ability to understand and write JavaScript.

I now feel pretty confident in reading other's scripts and figuring out what's going on. That's in large part due to your clear bite-sized lessons and the active discussions in Slack that quickly surfaced questions and issues that I was also experiencing. Seeing how the same problem was solved by so many others was also helpful in letting go of the pressure to get things right and shift my focus on getting things to work and adjusting later as needed.

I really liked how the lessons were broken up into quickly consumable chunks. I loved having a clean, unopinionated project file to start from that I could wreak design havoc on. :)

The Slack community was priceless.

I've taken other online classes that include a slack community and never found them to be quite as welcoming and my involvement felt much more transactional. In this community, I enjoyed seeing everyone's dedication and investment in each other. It was welcoming, inclusive, helpful, and encouraging. That made a huge difference.- Leticia O'Neill
Best investment and course I have taken. If you want a bite sized course that will hold you accountable take this course. I have reduced the amount I Google and use Stackexchange by 50% and actually feel like I understand what I am coding.- Walter Jenkins
This program is super hands-on. I always wanted to learn how to make my own libraries, or to know how jQuery library works. Async, Promises and Fetch was another huge one for me, that I used in my projects right away.

It gave me a lot of confidence as a developer, I wish I had a training like this when I started. It got me much closer to my goal of becoming a senior front-end dev.

The material covered in the Academy translates right away into my day-to-day tasks at work, which is amazing. I loved that we could share our solutions in a very supportive group, and that you were there in that group all the time. That's rare with other teachers. Having the official solution the next day was fantastic.

It's an amazing product for all the reasons listed above. I recommend it to everyone.- Maria Blair
In terms of knowledge gained per effort expended, this course is hands down the best I've ever tried. More than just the content, it is the growing confidence that maybe even I can actually do this. I feel like I am beginning to know what I don't know. That is huge. Well done.- Stewart Davis
I can honestly say I am not sure how I ever thought I could learn JS WITHOUT the Vanilla JS Academy. And trust me I have tried other courses.- Izzi Koning

Registration opens on Monday

You don’t want to miss this! All next week, get 40% off registration with the code EARLYBIRD.

Hope to see you there!