I've got some big news (#25)
Lee Robinson / December 16, 2020
4 min read
This newsletter now goes out to over 4,000 readers 🎉
I hope y'all are enjoying the holidays and looking forward to the new year. I've got some big news to share today.
- My course, React 2025, is now 100% free
- We've open-sourced a Virtual Event Starter Kit
- I wrote a new blog post about Tailwind CSS
- Vercel announced our $40M Series B
React 2025 is now free ✨
Yesterday, I announced that React 2025 is available 100% free. I want to thank everyone who has supported me as a course creator and taken my courses. I'm sure you're wondering – why do I make my courses free?
It seems counterintuitive. Most creators keep their courses behind a paywall forever. How could giving away your content help you be successful? It depends on your definition of success.
My goal as a course creator is to help others learn how to code. Whether they're beginners, intermediate, or advanced – I want to teach others the skills needed to improve their careers. My primary goal is not to make money. Any profit from my courses allows me to reinvest back in better gear for recording, shooting, and editing.
Many cannot justify spending $40 or $100 on a programming course. These same people have been displaced from their job due to COVID-19 or the downstream effects on the economy. Allowing everyone the opportunity to learn is the least I can do to help.
The ultimate fulfillment for me is when students tell me my course helped them land a job. Or my videos helped them learn front-end development for the first time. Seeing what React 2025 students have built has been incredible. I want to inspire and create more of that.
That's why I'm making React 2025 free. Like my previous course, all of the videos are now available on YouTube. React 2025 also has written documentation for the entire course, which is now open-source.
Open Sourcing Next.js Conf 🚀
When I joined Vercel in September, my main focus was Next.js Conf. With a month until the event, we needed to execute quickly to keep up with the growing list of attendees. After evaluating other platforms, it became clear – we needed a custom solution. It was the only way we could meet our needs for availability, performance, and user experience. We began to work.
Minutes before the keynote started, the team was on a Zoom call. Nerves were high. Thousands of messages poured through Discord. Yet strangely, I felt a sense of calmness. We had created a platform and an event that reduced almost all risk.
My team at Vercel sweats the details – marketers, developers, and designers. It's one of my favorite parts of the company. They truly care about crafting an unforgettable experience. I'm biased, but I believe the ticket registration system Evil Rabbit, Hank, and Shu built has changed developer conferences. And now, it's open-source!
Our Virtual Event Starter Kit will help you jumpstart your event and scale it to any size. It comes with some defaults:
- DatoCMS for content management
- GitHub OAuth for generating tickets
- Redis for storing ticket and user information
You can change these if you'd like – it's fully customizable. We've put a lot of work into this and hope the community can benefit from it.
Switching to Tailwind CSS 💨
My site is an opportunity to try new tech and form opinions on what I enjoy using. I learn best by building real things. After some evaluation, I've landed on the following tech stack:
- Next.js (Upgraded to
- Tailwind CSS (Switched from Chakra UI)
- Deployed with Vercel
I've improved performance, added new features, and cleaned up some code. You can view the full post here.
$40M to Build the Next Web 🍾
Housekeeping update: I moved my project (jamstackfns) to my site under /snippets. Now that all my courses are currently free, I've merged all the previous newsletter segments into one. I'd love to hear how others manage newsletter segments.
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