Zac Gordon Launches Gutenberg Development Course, Includes More Than 30 Videos

Zac Gordon, a technology educator, has released his Gutenberg Development course. The course is $79 but is available for $49 using the coupon code earlyadopter.

Gordon says the course is aimed at developers who want to update their themes, plugins, shortcodes, etc. to work with Gutenberg and take advantage of blocks.

"There is also some content I am adding geared towards theme developers, but honestly there is not much to that," Gordon said. "I think plugin developers will fill a lot of the needs of theme developers and help prevent them from having to build too many custom blocks.

"Also, in my opinion, blocks belong in plugins, so maybe some theme developers will migrate into plugin development through working with blocks."

The course includes more than 30 videos, a dozen example blocks, access to support forums, and the community run Slack channel. It covers how Gutenberg works, how to extend and customize it, and using a modern JavaScript development approach.

Gordon learned quite a few things about Gutenberg while creating the course. "Specifically, I learned Gutenberg is really just React under the hood, and then the more traditional WordPress PHP under that," he said.

"Digging deeper into the source attributes system that Gutenberg has to keep track of dynamic data was interesting. Also, there are far more possibilities with server-side code hooking into blocks than I thought ahead of time. I also came to the opinion that I'm not sure why someone would build a block in anything other than React, so I'm interested to see what common practices evolve."

Creating the course has allowed Gordon to dive deep into Gutenberg. So does he think it's a suitable replacement for the editor?

"I think most users will feel Gutenberg is an improvement of the editing experience," he responded. "We are definitely moving in the right direction. Ironically perhaps, I still like site and page builder plugins when editing or creating content in WordPress."

Gutenberg is still in a high state of flux with rapid development. According to Gordon, if there is one thing developers should know about Gutenberg, it's that learning JavaScript deeply will pay off.

"Matt Mullenweg was right when he said 'Learn JavaScript Deeply'," Gordon said. "In terms of Gutenberg, that means a foundation with ES+, JSX/React, and webpack/babel/etc. You can learn as you go, but we are definitely moving from the time of learning to a time of doing."

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  1. Matt Mullenweg was right when he said ‘Learn JavaScript Deeply’

    LOL. The problem is that those developing Gutenberg haven’t actually learned JavaScript deeply enough. If they had, they would be using JSON instead of the nonsense of HTML comments.

    This poor decision is all the more ironic when the REST API, which was added to core only relatively recently, itself uses JSON.

    It would be nice if the New Year saw core developers be more consistent instead of engaging in such muddled thinking. But I am not holding my breath.


    1. This is the biggest root-level flaw in Gutenberg. Without consistent use of JSON throughout, it bases WordPress’s entire new direction in a huge pile of pointless technical debt.


  2. This is a nice post. It would be interesting to see a list of courses especially geared towards beginners in WordPress. Is there a such wiki or list of recommended courses?


  3. I learned a lot from Zac when he was teaching WordPress in Treehouse. I’m glad he’s still making courses. He’s a good teacher


  4. Zac you are a legend and I look forward to taking your course, just an idea it would be cool if you listed a bit more details on the example blocks.


  5. I have joined the course and I really appreciate Zac for creating it. You have done a great job!


  6. The course is very dense. I had to rewatch sections a couple times before it started to click.

    Lesson 5 has been my favorite so far. Well worth the money.

    Thanks for all the hard work Zac.


  7. That’s great news! Hopefully, this course will help WordPress developers to get ready their plugins ready for Gutenber’s release. I’ve already started working on mine and Gordon’s work is quite helpful :-)


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