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The Vanilla JS Academy

A project-based online JavaScript training program for beginners.

Follow a structured learning path, work on lots of fun projects, and get the support you need to work through challenges.

🚀 A new session of the Vanilla JS Academy starts on May 31. Learn to solve problems and think in JavaScript! Register today.

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How It Works

  • 170+ Lessons
  • 30 Projects
  • 24/7 Peer Chat
  • 10 Week Program

The Vanilla JS Academy is a project-based training program designed to help you learn to solve problems and think in JavaScript. 

  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 Slack channel exclusively for students, and video office hours every few weeks.

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

  • Modern JS (ES6+) essentials
  • How to structure and organize code
  • DOM manipulation and injection
  • How to save data locally
  • Ajax and Promises
  • How to work with APIs
  • async and await
  • Default function variables
  • Array and object destructuring
  • How to write JavaScript libraries
  • How to work with custom events
  • How to build framework-free web apps and games
  • How to transform and edit strings, numbers, arrays, and objects
  • JavaScript performance tricks
  • How to debug broken code
  • Web accessibility fundamentals

🧠 Multiple formats for different learning styles. Lessons include both written text and streaming HD videos (with captions). Watch or read on any device.

Work on Fun Projects!

Show Passwords

Toggle password visibility with a checkbox.

Word Count

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

Random Ron

Show random Ron Swanson quotes using API calls.

Dragon Trainer Mag

Use an API to get and display stories from Dragon Trainer Magazine.

Find the Monsters

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

Notebook

Create a local web app that you can use to write down and save quick notes.

Weather App

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

Timestamps

Build a library to create and manipulate timestamps.

Counter

Create a DOM manipulation library for counting things.

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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

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

Video Office Hours

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

Private Slack Access

Get 24/7 access to a private Slack channel where you can chat with other students, get feedback on code, and ask questions in between office hours.

Office Hours include live automated audio transcription for people who are hearing impaired, don’t speak English as their native language, or simply prefer to read.

The Program Schedule

Here’s exactly what you’ll learn in the Vanilla JS Academy.

1. DOM Essentials

  • Getting elements in the DOM
  • Listening for events and user interactions
  • Looping over elements
  • Getting and setting text and HTML
  • Working with custom HTML attributes

2. APIs & Asynchronous JS

  • Working with fetch()
  • Parsing and manipulating API data
  • Promises and chaining API calls
  • Making multiple API calls and structuring code
  • Cross-site scripting attacks and sanitizing third-party data
  • async and await

3. Arrays, Objects, Strings, and Numbers

  • Looping over and manipulating arrays and objects
  • Advanced array and object methods
  • Shuffling arrays
  • Adding and removing items from arrays and objects
  • Converting strings to numbers and numbers to strings
  • Doing math with JavaScript

4. Browser Storage

  • Storing data locally in the browser
  • How to convert objects to strings and back again
  • How to build local apps using browser storage

5. Writing your own JavaScript libraries

  • Different patterns for structuring code
  • Adding customizable options to your scripts
  • How to keep internal data private
  • Exposing public methods and chaining methods
  • Allowing multiple versions of a plugin to run at once
  • Writing flexible, scalable code

Across all of the sections, you’ll also learn about web performance, debugging, and web accessibility.

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

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 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 12,000 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...

  • 10 weeks of short, focused lessons made for beginners
  • 30 amazing JavaScript projects
  • 170+ lessons
  • Video office hours
  • Exclusive Slack access

The next session runs from May 31 to August 9. After joining, you'll get an email with the details.

Join now for just $899

Or make three monthly payments of $299

The Vanilla JS Academy has helped over 560 people learn to solve problems and think in JavaScript.

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 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
Initially it was very challenging. I found I often hit walls with things like finding the best method for iterating over an array, or finding the right way to target DOM elements, most if it was practice though. As the course went on, a picture started to emerge and things started to make more sense.

At the end Javascript didn't feel like a strange far away land, but maybe a town I've visited a few times and am starting to recognise landmarks.

It's a very accessible course. You importantly are not made to feel that anything should be better understood or you've committed some sort of JavaScript sin. Lots of encouragement and a genuinely approachable, knowledgable and nice person to learn from.- Rich Holman
I am thoroughly looking forward to every morning because of the Academy!- Kieran Barker
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
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
Having your interaction is priceless. Such added value.- Elliott Porter
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 Lynda.com tutorial or other tutorial provides that environment.- Ron Amick
Honestly, the projects so far plus seeing your examples have helped me learn so much faster.- Craig Haggart
A couple of weeks ago, Javascript was a great mess for me. I could read a little bit of it. After I started Vanilla JS Academy, I started to read it and understand, to the point of changing some simpler production code. Thank you very much, Chris.- Vicente Sarmento

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.

The amount of time required varies a bit from the beginning to end of the program, and based on how much experience you have already. Generally speaking, expect each project to take 30 minutes to an hour (plus maybe 15 minutes of reading with the lessons) near the start of the program, and up to two or three hours near the end.

What happens if I miss a day?

Life happens! It's very common for students to miss a few days here and there.

If that happens, you can catch up on the inbetween days and weekends, or continue the program a few days behind the live program. It happens all the time, and there will more-than-likely be other students doing the same thing.

When are office hours held?

Office hours are held at 12pm (noon) US Eastern to accommodate as many people as possible. Days of the week vary, but they're always on a weekday. They're recorded for people who can't attend, and you can submit questions ahead of time if you can't make it.

How does it work if I'm in a different timezone?

The lessons and projects automatically show up in the learning portal every day, and can be completed whenever you want. The Slack channel is available 24/7, and there are people from around the globe in the program.

The only "time specific" part is the office hours. If you're in a location where you can't join them live, you can send in questions ahead of time. Office hours are recorded so that you can watch them later.

I have a disability. Will I be able to follow the lessons and join office hours?

Every lesson includes a text-based version as well as streaming video with captions. Office Hours feature live automated audio transcripts. Because they're automated, they're not 100% accurate, but typically "good enough" for most people and conversations.

If there's anything else I can do to make the program a better experience for you, please email me at chris@gomakethings.com.

Does the Vanilla JS Academy cover new ES6 methods?

Yes. Academy users modern JavaScript methods and browser APIs that are supported in all modern browsers. That generally means ES6 and beyond.

What happens after the program? Do I still have access to the lessons?

You get lifetime access to all of the lessons from the program.

Do you offer any discounts?

Absolutely! There are three discount programs available:

  1. Student Discount. This applies to anyone in any type of schooling, including evening classes and coding bootcamps. Learn more about student discounts.
  2. Under-Represented Groups in Tech. 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.
  3. Location-Based Pricing. 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.
How do I access the training program materials?

After you sign up, visit the Student Portal 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 immediately. You'll get a few emails from me when the program is about to start.

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, captioned 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.

Do you have a refund policy?

Absolutely! If you’re not 100% satisfied with the Vanilla JS Academy, email me at chris@gomakethings.com and I’ll give you a full refund.

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.