Building Courseware I Can Understand: The Launch of CSS Nouveau

Created on November 12, 2023 at 10:40 am

Breaking News! The brand-new course CSS Nouveau ORG is now available! This is the first ORDINAL release in the THE SPICY WEB Courses Series. Go take a look around and sign up today DATE !

Building Courseware I Can Understand: The Launch of CSS Nouveau It’s an initial public demonstration of a very private journey many years DATE in the making. How I learned to get over my hangups and create the kind of courses perfect for an oddball like me. By Jared White PERSON

I’ll breeze through the marketing-speak quickly so as to get to the heart of the matter. I have a new course out, the first ORDINAL one for THE SPICY WEB, called CSS Nouveau ORG . This is my very latest, up-to-date, pedal-to-the-metal thinking on how to build up a 100% PERCENT vanilla CSS architecture from scratch, from design tokens to global stylesheets to encapsulated components. When people tell me “vanilla CSS doesn’t scale” or “best practices don’t actually work” (which I agree with, but in a completely different way than they probably do!) or “only a framework will let you build maintainable software” blah blah blah, CSS Nouveau ORG is my whole-hearted rebuttal to that line of thinking. It’s designed to get you from zero CARDINAL -to-hero —even if you don’t already have a ton QUANTITY of CSS ORG design expertise.

So check it out and hopefully you’ll take advantage of the limited-time deal of $ 49 MONEY (regularly $ 59 MONEY ) for the first six months DATE (or $ 10.99 MONEY a month). Yes, this isn’t just a single course—this is the first ORDINAL entry in a whole array of courses! Which brings me to the much larger story…

Don’t Ask Me to Take a Course #

For many, many, many years, I kept banging my head against the proverbial brick wall. You see, I knew without a doubt I wanted to get into the education space, dearly. After literally decades DATE of working in the #WebDev MONEY industry, I felt like there were at least a few topics I might feel comfortable enough to touch upon from a position of freelance-driven experience across numerous client projects, “there be dragons here” cautionary tales, and genuine enthusiasm over new advances in the state-of-the-art.

However, there was just one CARDINAL problem.

I hate taking courses. 😭

Courses suck:

Courses force you to pay lots of money up front. Often hundreds and hundreds CARDINAL of dollars. Listen, I’ll admit it. I’m a cheap bastard. But for good reason— I work for myself . And I don’t have a mega-huge discretionary budget to spend on educational pursuits. I don’t go to nearly any major tech conferences for the same reason. I take one CARDINAL look at the starting ticket price and…well…some months I can either do that or eat nothing but ramen noodles for a few weeks DATE . And let me tell you—living in Portland GPE , I sure like my fancy takeout an awful lot. 😅

. And I don’t have a mega-huge discretionary budget to spend on educational pursuits. I don’t go to nearly any major tech conferences for the same reason. I take one CARDINAL look at the starting ticket price and…well…some months I can either do that or eat nothing but ramen noodles for a few weeks DATE . And let me tell you—living in Portland GPE , I sure like my fancy takeout an awful lot. 😅 Even on the chance a course doesn’t cost so much or is part of a nice subscription, they usually require you to watch videos . And here’s where things get weird: I really don’t like watching videos about technical topics. 😬 Now don’t get me wrong—I like watching videos where people show off a cool demo they made, or talk about some upcoming framework or product features, or banter about on a panel regarding a particular industry topic. That’s all fine and dandy—and I hope to put more effort into this space myself going forward (hence the shiny new Videos ORG page!). But ask me to learn anything substantial via a series of videos spanning hours TIME which touch on tons of code and specs and concepts and funky details? Ugh. I ain’t ever doing that. (For the most part, I don’t read books about technical topics either…)

And this, dear Reader, is why the years DATE rolled on by and I never managed to get a course off the ground. If you don’t intend to charge much for it, and you don’t want to produce a ton QUANTITY of videos, what do you do?

Leaning Into Your Strengths # WORK_OF_ART

From a very early age—I’m talking about the internet’s age, as well as my age!—I have received many compliments as a writer.

And for some odd reason, I always had a hard time believing them. Not because I thought I was a bad writer, but because I just assumed “anybody” could hop on the internet and write. Anyone could start a blog, anyone could publish a website. Who am I to think I’m anything special?

It’s taken literally decades DATE for me to get over my “imposter syndrome” and acknowledge to myself that, actually, I’m a pretty damn good writer.

Which is how I eventually arrived at my Aha! 💡 moment:

How do I like consuming and learning about intricate technical information? Blogs. Podcasts.

What do I like producing myself as a content creator? Blogs. Podcasts.

Now the ending writes itself. The solution to my dilemma was crystal-clear. The best course is one which looks very much like a series of blog posts and podcast episodes.

And so that’s exactly what I’ve done.

CSS Nouveau ORG isn’t just a “course”. It’s a series. And a series will have multiple seasons. ( This first season DATE is actually titled “ Vanilla Has Never Tasted So Hot WORK_OF_ART ” .) And each season will have multiple episodes. And an episode is structured much like how I’d write an in-depth blog post, and I literally record myself speaking the whole episode as well which you can follow along with or download to listen to at your leisure—just like a podcast.

Once I had determined that’s how I wanted to structure the courses I create, the next question was how to deliver them .

The Birth of Intuitive+ WORK_OF_ART #

I’ll be talking more about this down the road a bit on my personal blog—and I have a little already—but the gist of it is that I’ve been wanting to offer a subscription content platform in earnest for quite some time. I toyed with Patreon ORG

a few years ago DATE , but somehow the idea of merely being beholden to some other content platform never appealed to me. (I think I’ve just always had a bent towards DIY on the web. Own your own content. That sort of thing.)

Again, the Aha! 💡 moment was coming to the realization that I shouldn’t be dividing my efforts trying to build a subscription platform for THE SPICY WEB and another one for my “personal” podcast & newsletter and another one for some other project down the road. Are you getting it yet? These aren’t three CARDINAL different subscription platforms, they’re one CARDINAL platform! And I call it…

Intuitive+. 😁

Once you’re a member, you gain access to the “Jared Multimedia Universe ORG ” ( JMU ORG ). Just kidding, I’m never calling it that. But seriously, the idea is to unify my efforts right out of the starting gate, and then slowly expand outward from there—not just additional projects I embark on (and believe me, I have a slew of efforts just waiting in the wings), but bringing other creators on-board with like-minded values and goals. Nothing would make me happier than for Intuitive+ to become an indie powerhouse with tons of shows, websites, and educational materials on a variety of “open web”-themed topics.

But I’m getting way ahead of myself. Today DATE , the principal raison d’être for the membership service is to power THE SPICY WEB, and I’m very excited that day has finally arrived.

Obviously, the near-term goal I have is to release the few remaining bits of “ Vanilla Has Never Tasted So Hot WORK_OF_ART ” (the final two CARDINAL episodes will be released on November 6 & November 13 DATE respectively), and then start immediately on Season 2 DATE . In addition, I’ll be starting work on a new series about how to build legit frontend UI ORG using vanilla web components (touching on concepts like state management, the client/server divide, progressive enhancement, performance, optimistic UI ORG vs. waiting for request/response round-trips, and all of those sorts of concerns).

I could be wrong, but I think producing and releasing new material will be an order-of-magnitude “easier” than this first ORDINAL course, because the courseware and membership services have already been built. There are plenty of ways to improve it all of course, but I’m fairly satisfied with the “bones” at this point. (BTW, the process of putting that all together pretty much from scratch deserves a whole series of posts in and of itself!)

All right, enough of my bloviating. I’m extremely grateful for all the support folks have shown me through the Discord ORG and on social media ( Mastodon PERSON ), and I might not have ever gotten to this point if it weren’t for a few encouraging voices in particular. I can’t possibly thank everybody by name, but please know that I’m deeply appreciative .

TL;DR: CSS Nouveau. It’s out. Check it out. 🥳

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