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The Vanilla JS Academy

A project-based online JavaScript training program for beginners.

The best way to learn JavaScript is by writing lots of code, but where do you even start? And what happens when you get stuck?

The Vanilla JS Academy provides a structured learning path, lots of fun projects, and the support you need to work through challenges.

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How It Works

The Vanilla JS Academy is an eight-week structured training program. You’ll learn JavaScript as part of a small group of other students.

1. Watch and Read
Each week, you’ll get a set of a lessons (a mix of videos and articles) focused on a core JavaScript topic that you can watch and read whenever you want.
2. Build Awesome Things
Along with your lessons, you’ll get two fun projects to work on that reinforce everything you learned in the lessons. I don’t give you the answers. You’ll use what you learned that week to solve interesting problems and build cool stuff.
3. Connect & Share
To help support your learning, you can join weekly video office hours and collaborate with your fellow students in an exclusive private Slack workspace. Ask questions, share what you’re learning, and get unstuck.
Tired of tutorials? Want to really dig in and work with other developers on how to become a vanilla JS badass? I can't tell you how much I've learned from Chris Ferdinandi and his Vanilla JS Academy.- Ben Rudolph

What You’ll Learn

  • DOM manipulation, injection, and traversal
  • How to transform and edit strings, 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
  • Framework-free web apps
  • How to easily write cross-browser compatible code
  • How to debug broken code
  • Working with polyfills
  • JavaScript performance tricks

Work on Fun Projects!

Show Passwords

Toggle password visibility with a checkbox.

Temperature Converter

Convert temperatures from Fahrenheit to Celsius.

Random Ron

Show random Ron Swanson quotes using API calls.

Top Stories

Use the New York Times API to get and display today's top stories.

Word Count

Count the number of words and characters in a block of text.

Avoid the Monster

Create a fun game where you find your monster friends and avoid the sock.

Weather App

Find a visitor's location and display their local weather.

Toggle Tabs

Create a toggle tab plugin for showing collections of content.

API Cache

Cache API data for more resilient apps.

Form Saver

Automatically save form data as a user types.

Countdown Timer

Create a countdown timer app for tracking tasks.

Todo List

Build a simple todo app with local storage.

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Wanting to learn JavaScript from scratch, make the transition from jQuery or some other library? Already pretty competent and just want to get better?

Chris Ferdinandi has got your back and his learning platform is a *tremendously good value*.- Jonathan Schofield

Don’t go it alone! Get the support you need to build amazing things.

Weekly Office Hours

Join weekly video office hours to ask questions, share works in progress, and get help with any big roadblocks.

Private Slack Access

Get access to a private Slack channel where you can chat with other students, get feedback on code, and ask questions in between office hours.

The Program Schedule

Here’s exactly what you’ll learn each week.

Week 1: DOM Basics
How to listen for user interactions, get elements in the DOM, manipulate elements and content, and make updates to a web page with JavaScript.
Week 2: APIs & JavaScript
How to request data from APIs, turn it into HTML, and inject it into the DOM.
Week 3: Manipulating Data
How to manipulate strings, arrays, and objects. You’ll dig into some of the newer ES6 methods, too.
Week 4: JavaScript Plugins & Scope
How to write code that’s more resilient and reusable, and that can scale to a variety of use cases.
Week 5: Debugging
How to figure why your code isn’t working (and how to fix it).
Week 6: Browser Storage
How to store data locally in the browser and use it later.
Week 7: JS Apps & State Management
What state is and some different approaches for managing it.
Week 8: JS Apps & Routing
How to manage different views and layouts in a JavaScript app.
Having your interaction is priceless. Such added value.- Elliott Porter

Go from beginner to JavaScript expert

  • Learn modern best practices and code patterns.
  • Spend less time Googling and more time working on cool stuff.
  • Get the skills and confidence to really understand JavaScript.
  • Follow a structured learning path to grow your skills more quickly.
  • Work on real projects and build your portfolio.

Your 100% Money-Back Guarantee 💰

Don’t put off learning vanilla JavaScript! If you’re not 100% satisfied with the Vanilla JS Academy, let me know within 30 days of when the program starts and I’ll give you a full refund.

About the Instructor

Chris Ferdinandi

Hi, I'm Chris Ferdinandi. I believe there’s a simpler, more resilient way to make things for the web.

I’ve taught developers at organizations like Chobani and the Boston Globe, and my JavaScript plugins have been used by organizations like Apple and Harvard Business School. My developer tips newsletter is read by over 5,700 developers each weekday.

I want to help you master vanilla JavaScript, without all of the painful false starts and roadblocks I encountered when I was learning.

Ready to join?

Kick-start your journey to JavaScript mastery. You get…

  • 8 weeks of focused lessons made for beginners
  • 12 amazing JavaScript projects
  • Weekly video office hours
  • Exclusive Slack access

A brand new Vanilla JS Academy returns later this year.

The Vanilla JS Academy is getting some major improvements. Registration is currently closed, but you can be the first to find out when registration opens back up and get exclusive discounts. Enter your email below.

Team Training

Want your whole team to attend the Vanilla JS Academy? I offer private training programs that can be customized for your team.

Your team of up to 20 people can attend the 8-week program as a private group for $8,250. You’ll receive your own private Slack channel and lifetime access to the course materials.

I only run a limited number of these a year. Email me at chris@gomakethings.com to apply.

Apply for Team Training

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
I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If it had not been for you, I would not be able to learn JavaScript.- Patricia Parker
Honestly, the projects so far plus seeing your examples have helped me learn so much faster.- Craig Haggart
I was not sure the level of the course. I was not looking for a 101 of JS, which the course was not. It was exactly what I was after.

I really benefited from and liked both the office hours (including code reviews) and the interaction with Chris and students on Slack (a big thing many other course do not have). It was also nice to see how other students approached the same problem. With having other students and you over a set period really helped encourage me to complete projects.

I never felt any imposter syndrome. We could ask any question and Chris was happy to help.- Kevin Beck
I was desperately looking for a person or guided tutorial to help me understand the foundation of pure (vanilla) JavaScript. Though I have good work experience in various programming languages including JavaScript, I felt I was missing something.

I found and bought Chris's books and have gone through most of them. But I was still looking forward to to talking to someone, so I joined the Academy :-) and I'm happy that I did.- Kumar Sucom

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between the Vanilla JS Academy and your pocket guides?
The guides try to cover all of the important details on a particular topic, then walk you through a project to help you remember what you learned. Academy is about learning from doing, and gives you just enough information to get started on projects without giving you all the answers.

If you learn best from experience and building things, Academy is a great fit. If you learn best by being guided through a problem, Academy would probably be a waste of money.
I already purchased your pocket guides? Will I learn anything new from the Vanilla JS Academy?
There’s definitely some overlap in content, but the focus of the Vanilla JS Academy is on teaching you to “think in JavaScript,” through experiential, project-based learning. If you’ve already read the pocket guides, you’ll be able to focus more on thinking through problems and less on, “what method do I need to do this?”
How much of a time commitment does the Vanilla JS Academy involve?
This program is for people who are serious about learning JavaScript. The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. You should be willing to spend at least 4 or 5 hours a week working on your lessons and projects.
When are office hours held?
Office hours are held every Thursday at noon US Eastern. They’re recorded for people who can’t attend, and you can submit questions ahead of time if you can’t make it.
Does the Vanilla JS Academy cover new ES6 methods?
Yes. Where applicable, I cover new ES6 functions and browser APIs. I also include polyfills when available to push browser support as far back as possible.
What happens after the 8-week program? Do I lose access to the lessons?
You get lifetime access to all of the lessons from the program.
Do you offer team training?
Yes. If you want your entire team to attend the Vanilla JS Academy, I offer a private version of the program just for your team.
Do you offer a student discount?
Absolutely! This applies to anyone in any type of schooling, including evening classes and coding bootcamps. Learn more about student discounts.
I have a poor exchange rate in USD. There’s no way I can afford this.
I totally get that in some countries salaries and cost of living are such that the Vanilla JS Academy is unaffordable. Send me an email at chris@gomakethings.com and I’ll send you a discount to make it fair for where you live.
I’m not a student. Any other discounts?
Yep. I’ve had a lot of helping getting where I am, and I want to pay it forward. If you’re a member of an under-represented group in tech, you can get special pricing. Learn more about discounts for under-represented groups in tech.
Do you have a refund policy?
Absolutely! If you’re not 100% satisfied with the Vanilla JS Academy, email me at chris@gomakethings.com within 30 days after the program starts and I’ll give you a full refund.
After I sign up, how do I access the training program materials?
Visit https://courses.gomakethings.com and create an account with the email address you used to make your purchase. The program has fixed start and end dates, so not all material will be available at once. You’ll get a few emails from me when the program is about to start.
Are there any restrictions on the training material?
Nope. I trust you to do the right thing. My content is 100% DRM free. If you think others might enjoy the program, please email me at chris@gomakethings.com for information about team pricing.
Do I need any special tools or equipment for the Vanilla JS Academy?
All you need to go through the program and work on the projects is a modern web browser and a text editor (I recommend VS Code). The program materials come in a mix streaming HD video and plain text, so you can read and watch any device you own.
Do I need any prior knowledge or experience to participate in the Vanilla JS Academy?
Ideally you’re comfortable working with HTML and CSS already. Experience with another library or framework (like jQuery, React, and so on) is helpful but not required. If you’re brand new to JavaScript, the program will help you kick-start your journey to JavaScript mastery! If you have any specific questions, though, please email me at chris@gomakethings.com.
Are there any rules or requirements for participating in the office hours and Slack channel?
Yes. You must be at least 18 years old, and read and agree to follow the Code of Conduct.
I have another question.
No problem! Send me an email at chris@gomakethings.com.

Join now →

Clarity. Brevity. Unpretentious explanation. Care for best practices. Obvious attentiveness. Available to help "unstuck" students. You actually rock, Chris.- Kabolobari Benakole

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If you have any questions about anything, feel free to send me an email at chris@gomakethings.com.