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Learning by doing

One common challenge I hear from folks who are learning JavaScript is that they’ve memorized a bunch of methods and APIs, but they struggle with putting it all together.

How do you break down what you’re trying to do into logical steps? How do you convert those steps into code? How do you structure your project? How do you build something that will scale as the project evolves? How do you write code that’s easy to maintain?

The truth is, you learn those things by working on lots of projects. You learn by trying things, failing, and trying again. You learn by doing.

But when you’re just learning, knowing where to start is hard.

A project-based training program

Two years ago, I created the Vanilla JS Academy to help students address this gap.

  1. Every other day, you get a project to work on, 1-3 short lessons that provide some background, and a template to help you get started.

  2. On the in-between days, I share my approach to the project and some of the common challenges and “gotchas” that students often run into.

Over the course of ten weeks, you’ll work on 35 small projects. The lessons and projects build on each other, so over time, you go from working on small, simple projects to bigger, more complex ones.

Academy is cohort-based program. You’ll be learning with a group of other students, and you get access to a private Slack channel where you can share work in progress, ask questions, and help each other learn.

Every other week, I hold a live remote office hours session where you can ask questions, share works in progress, and get help with any big roadblocks.

Over the course of ten weeks, you’ll learn…

  • DOM manipulation, injection, and traversal
  • How to transform and edit strings, numbers, arrays, and objects
  • ES6 essentials
  • How to structure and organize code
  • How to save data locally
  • Ajax and HTTP
  • How to work with APIs
  • How to write JavaScript plugins
  • How to build framework-free web apps and games
  • How to easily write code that works in all browsers
  • How to debug broken code
  • JavaScript performance tricks
  • Web accessibility fundamentals

A new session of the Vanilla JS Academy starts on October 12, and early bird registration opens today. If you register this week, you’ll save 40% on the cost of the program.

What past students have said

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
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
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
After going through this program, I found that using vanilla JS, you can accomplish A LOT more than the larger dev community would lead you to believe.

I really liked the open-endedness of the weekly projects. I think having fewer restraints in solving the task made me focus more on the specific topic for that week and how I would apply it to the given project. Combining this with the Thursday office hour and then having your approach shared on Friday made for a well-rounded overview of the material.

Thanks for an awesome course, Chris! This truly was the best JS learning experience I’ve had—things really clicked for me during the academy and I feel much more comfortable using JavaScript and approaching problems with JS-specific solutions at the ready!- Zac Heisey
My biggest concerns before joining Academy were cost and my experience with other online classes. Most other classes are follow-the-tutorial type and you build a project but don't really understand what you built. Had I understood that your course emphasizes fundamental knowledge of why things work, I probably would have joined a year earlier.- 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
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

Join today

Are you ready to kick-start your journey to JavaScript mastery? Join the Vanilla JS Academy today.