Like many geeks, I learned most my development skills in bits and pieces. Google was (and always will be) my friend along the way; Googling different functions and examples as I needed them served me well before.
I used my own knowledge of my own learning style along with some deep work concepts I've been learning about to chisel out time just for learning deeply. This meant immersing myself in learning the course material by spending time every day going through the course, practicing, or reviewing notes.
Know the Kind of Course you're Getting
- I wanted to learn from someone I was at least familiar with. Someone trusted.
- I had to cover not only my best learning style, but a variety of them, because when I immerse myself in a subject I like having lots of different ways to learn something!
- It needed to be paced in mostly shorter, well-documented steps, with examples and easy-to-understand audio
- It needed to start from the beginning and fill in that foundational knowledge
The WordPress Way – Learn it I Will
So I wanted to learn deeply, but also with a bit of an emphasis on WordPress standards and resources as well.
I spend time taking notes, reviewing videos and looking at further resources, and sometimes re-writing my notes (I can't help it; I have a problem with perfection).
Zac spends time at the end of most sections explaining how you can more deeply learn the material by practicing in the browser and by playing with code yourself. And he usually gives examples of specific things you should try to emulate before continuing on to the next lesson.
The Course Modules:
Each of the four parts of the course include a depth of videos, notes, links to further documentation, and a lot more. As an example, I just finished the first part of the course, except for the full hands-on project.
I've spent over 20 hours (closer to 30-40) going through all the modules within this course, reading additional documentation, and hitting up some of my fellow humans for help explaining some topics.
If you click below, you can see a list of all the modules and submodules available in the first section so far (yeah, it's a lot! I know!):[bs_collapse id=”collapse_186b-c1bb”] [bs_citem title=”Click to See all the Modules Available:” id=”citem_d465-981a” parent=”collapse_186b-c1bb”]
- 1.2.02 – Statements, Expressions and Keywords [3:58]
- 1.2.04 – Data Types – Boolean [1:18]
- 1.2.05 – Data Types – Strings [4:52]
- 1.2.06 – Data Types – Numbers & NaN [7:22]
- 1.2.07 – Data Types – Objects [2:52]
- 1.2.08 – Data Types – Symbols [2:59]
- 1.2.10 – Strong versus Weak Typing and typeof [2:14]
- 1.2.16 – Do While and While Loops [5:34]
- 1.2.17 – When to Use For, Do While and While Loops [1:12]
- 1.2.19 – For In and For Of Loops [3:36]
- 1.2.20 – Introduction to Functions [6:07]
- 1.2.21 – Function Parameters [5:28]
- 1.2.22 – Returning Values from Functions [5:19]
The DOM [4:55:28]
- 1.3.01 – Introduction to the DOM [5:57]
- 1.3.02 – Exploring the DOM in the browser [6:30]
- 1.3.03 – Selecting Nodes in the DOM [9:47]
- 1.3.04 – Traversing the DOM [12:28 – 2 Videos]
- 1.3.05 – Getting and Setting DOM Node Values [15:13 – 2 Videos]
- 1.3.06 – Getting and Setting Attribute Node Values [15:00 – 2 Videos]
- 1.3.07 – Getting and Setting Form Values – Part 1 [42:43 – 5 Videos]
- 1.3.07 – Getting and Setting Form Values – Part 2 [38:29 – 4 Videos]
- 1.3.08 – Styling Nodes in the DOM [32:21 – 4 Videos]
- 1.3.09 – Creating Nodes [13:55 – 2 Videos]
- 1.3.10 – Adding Nodes to the DOM [13:12 – 2 Videos]
- 1.3.11 – Cloning Nodes [21:09 – 3 Videos]
- 1.3.12 – Removing Nodes from the DOM [8:44]
- 1.4.1 – Introduction to DOM Events [41:28]
- 1.4.2 – Inline Events [12:41]
- 1.4.3 – Global Event Handlers [16:31]
- 1.4.4 – Event Listeners [8:28]
- 1.4.5 – Removing Event Listeners [15:14]
- 1.4.6 – Event Propagation – Capturing and Bubbling [20:26]
- 1.4.7 – The Event Object [10:13]
- 1.4.8 – A Look at More Events [5:57]
1.5 – JSON & Local Storage [0:51:02]
- 1.5.1 – An Introduction to JSON [11:42]
- 1.5.3 – Introduction to Local Storage [14:17]
1.6 – PROJECT – VanillaPress V1 [2:57:02]
1.9 – PROJECT – VanillaPress V2
Behind each Module is a full complement of Learning. Gordon is releasing content and updating more content as he continues releasing the other parts of this master course.
If I sound like a cheerleader at this point, it’s because I’ve been impressed by the completeness of Gordon’s course. It includes a huge number of targeted videos, additional resources, and hands-on learning WHILE you’re learning and via a huge project after you have gone through the full module content.
But I wanted to show a bit more to help illustrate how in-depth the different sections are.
Sections Within Modules Drill Down to Specifics
You can see from the list of modules I included above that Zac broke it apart into multiple sections: learning about loops in general, then learning about the most common loop types.
Here’s the first video from that section in the course, available for free on his site!
A little unsure if you’re understanding? Zac includes code examples with each section that you can download as well (early in the course, he links to JSBin). Here’s a link to a JSBin example for his Loops section: https://jsbin.com/jemezu/edit?js,console
And here’s the link to the rest of that post on his blog, where you can look at the other videos in the series. There’s actually over 20 minutes of content in this section within in the course, as well as over a dozen links to additional resources. But his post is a great, FREE, introduction:
So it’s no real surprise I’d recommend this course to anyone serious about filling in the gaps in their foundational knowledge. I know it might seem expensive, but definitely take a look at everything you get. It’s not really just one course, but four ongoing courses.
The investment is definitely worthwhile, but I definitely recommend you try to invest the time to work on the course daily as well. That daily work will help you learn at a deeper level and serve you well as you move into the projects and further parts of the master course.
Were I to give a rating I would give 5 out of 5 stars, as the course is just that full of information. The only drawback I’ve found is that this is a video-heavy course. If you find learning via videos difficult, it might be harder to justify the cost right now.
I know that Gordon is working on getting transcripts of the videos, and filling in more written material, including additional resources. It’s very likely it will be available when folks find this post later 😉
I didn’t find the lack of written materials to be a problem, but I think it’s important to note in case others need that available.
I’m excited to move forward into the project at the end of the first part, and I’ll be sure to update again as I move through other parts of the course.
Have you taken any online courses? What did you think? Were you happy with what you learned or feel let down? Have any questions about this course? I’ll be happy to answer what I can!
Disclaimer: Not-so-Big Little Note
I had a chance to talk with Zac at the Day of Rest conference in Boston earlier this year. So I was able to ask him specifically about how he broke apart the content. I went on to look at his site again and decided to take the course.
Another disclaimer, because this is just that kinda thing, the company I work with, Human Made, is one of Zac’s partners for his course – so I didn’t just stumble on his course. I don’t remember a specific conversation, but I’m sure I probably heard some of my fellow humans chatting it up at some point or another.