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I actually feel like I understand what I'm coding

Back in the summer of 2018, I created an online training program designed to help address a common challenge a lot of my students were sharing with me:

I’ve memorized a bunch of JavaScript methods and techniques, but struggle with knowing how and when to use them. When I go to build a project from scratch, I have no idea where to start.

Does this sound familiar?

If it does, you’re not alone. It’s really common!

In response to all of this feedback, I created the Vanilla JS Academy, a project-based training program designed to help students learn to “think in JavaScript” and work through complex problems.

Learning by doing

Last summer, I made some changes to Academy based on some observations I’ve made about how people learn. The feedback has been extremely enthusiastic.

Here’s how it works.

  • Every other day, you get 1-3 short lessons and a small project. Each project builds on the lessons learned in the ones before it.
  • On the in-between days, I share my approach to the project and cover the common issues and mistakes I see peoples make.
  • Every other week, you can join video office hours, where I answer any questions and help people get unstuck.

In-between office hours, you have access to a private Slack channel to chat with other students, ask questions, and share your work.

This new structure works so much better for people. I’m seeing so many more “aha!” moments. It’s awesome!

Former student Walter Jenkins explains:

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.

“I actually feel like I understand what I’m coding.” Hell yes! That’s the goal!

What other people have to say

Walter’s not alone. I’ve gotten so much great feedback on this program.

I’m loving the Academy and I don’t want it to end! 😢 For me this is priceless. I don’t work in tech yet and to be able to do those mini projects and discuss the code and best practices with you guys is a great learning experience. The pace of the course is nice too because it keeps me busy and that helps me feel more comfortable with the syntax and methods. 💯- Giamma Carioca
This is the first learning platform where I’m not overwhelmed or feeling unchallenged. The pacing is great and very helpful for my overachieving tendencies. 😊

And as a result I have seen I’m learning ALOT more, while still having pockets of time to embellish when I can.- Leticia O'Neill
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'm not a beginner in JavaScript but I'm really loving the Academy because I still learn new things and best practices. I think knowing best practices distinguishes a mid-level dev from a senior web dev.- Maria Blair
I had a great time learning through your Academy. The community is great and it is phenomenal the way you run it. I appreciate the kindness and welcoming feeling I get in a community and the Vanilla JS Academy community is just that.

I had a blast and enjoyed every minute of it, whether it was the Slack channel, office hours, or just going through and learning. Thank you, it was money well spent.- Todd Libby
Your course provided the impetus to knuckle down and challenge myself. You got me writing code (not merely reading about it or watching videos).

Having a caring, well-spoken guide such as yourself made it fun to work through the projects. Having that in a group all tackling the same projects added that dynamic aspect that also got me moving.

Some specific things I liked: The fabulously well-crafted projects/challenges. The clarity of your teaching (videos, in-code comments, etc.). The supportive Slack channels. The feeling that no question is a dumb question -- and the thrill of having a dialogue going permitting sharing tidbits with others.

No tutorial or other tutorial provides that environment.- Ron Amick

A new session starts in May

If you’re interested in the Vanilla JS Academy, a new session starts on May 11.

Registration opens up next Wednesday, but if you sign up for updates on the site (or subscribe to my newsletter), you’ll get access to an insider-only early registration and exclusive discounts.