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The best way to learn JavaScript just got better

The hardest things about learning JavaScript isn’t memorizing the various methods and approaches. It’s understanding how to put them all together into working code.

I heard some version of this struggle so often from students that 5 years ago, I created the Vanilla JS Academy, a project-based workshop designed specifically to address it.

Today, the Vanilla JS Academy is relaunching with a handful of big updates based on feedback from past students.

How it works

The “secret” formula that’s made the Vanilla JS Academy so successful is its focus on small, iterative projects that grow in complexity over time.

I see so many beginners try to jump right into projects that are too big, get frustrated, struggle to get help, and just quit. The Vanilla JS Academy is designed to fix that.

  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.

If you get stuck, there’s a 24/7 private Discord community exclusively for students, where you can share your work, ask questions, and get help.

This simple formula has been my most successful program. It’s helped nearly 1,000 people learn JavaScript, launched a bunch of careers, and leveled-up many more devs into more senior roles.

But there were still some things that could be improved…

What’s changing?

The tl;dr version…

  1. You can now more easily move through the projects at a pace that works for you.
  2. You get even more projects to work on!
  3. Office hours have been reimagined to accomodate people across a range of timezones and work schedules.
  4. You now get free updates to the program for life.
  5. I’ve added interactive mini-challenges to various lessons.
  6. The JavaScript Essentials workshop includes a review of some fundamentals for people who are brand new to JS.
  7. The price has been reduced to make it more affordable for more people.

Let’s look at a few of these in more detail.

🦄 Sign up today and save over $200 on registration. Head over to to learn more.

Workshop pacing

Historically, the lesson and projects in the Vanilla JS Academy have been dripped out a little at a time.

While this helped give students a sense of daily progress, it had a few drawbacks, too…

  1. If you wanted to move more quickly through a section, you couldn’t. You’d have to wait until the lessons and projects were slowly released.
  2. You couldn’t check your solution against my approach until the following day.
  3. If you went on vacation or got busy at work, you’d start to feel like you “fell behind” as the uncompleted projects started to pile up.

You now get instant access to all of the projects and lessons when you sign up.

The workshop is still structured around a suggested cadence of daily projects over 6 weeks. But you can move faster or slower as needed, without feeling held back or like you’re falling behind.

Bonus projects!

After completing the workshop, there’s often a bit of a come down effect.

You just dove deep into JavaScript and built a bunch of cool stuff. What do you do now?

The Vanilla JS Academy now includes 18 more bonus projects that you can work on after you finish the workshop. The projects are designed to build on and reinforce what you learned, and help take those skills to the next level.

The projects are still be finalized for the Structure & Scale and Web Apps workshops, but are done and ready to go for JavaScript Essentials.

Office hours reimagined

During the first year or two of the Vanilla JS Academy, Office Hours were one of the most integral parts of the workshop.

Every other week, I’d host a live video Q&A for students to ask questions and get real-time feedback. After a while, I noticed a lot of the same questions coming up over-and-over again, and started working answers to them into the workshop itself.

Over the last two years, attendance at the Office Hours has dropped to nearly zero. Between scheduling conflicts and a lot of the big questions people had getting answered already, there just wasn’t a lot of a demand.

I went back and compiled a bunch of questions from previous Office Hours into video and text Q&A articles. As new questions come up from future students, I’ll be adding to the Q&A library over time.

This also means people in time zones where joining would be difficult can actually participate and get in-depth answers to their questions.

🦄 Sign up today and save over $200 on registration. Head over to to learn more.

Interactive mini-challenges

In addition to the big core projects, I wanted to include little mini-challenges with each lesson. So, I built my own lightweight code sandbox that let’s you try out what you just learned in real-time.

For example, imagine that you’ve just learned about the Array.prototype.filter() method. Then, you’re presented with this challenge (newsletter subscribers, click through to view this part).

Anything you type in the code sandbox above automatically runs as you type, and anything you log to the console is displayed in the UI.

Ready to try the new Vanilla JS Academy?

If this sounds interesting, you can join the new Vanilla JS Academy right now! You get special early bird pricing with the code EARLYBIRD at checkout.

You’ll save over $200 on registration, and get instant access to over 100 lessons, 18 projects, all of the Q&A videos and articles, plus 18 more bonus projects!

Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or feedback.