Web Development

  • Part 1: Intro to HTML/CSS/JS
  • Part 2: Intro to data-binding
  • Part 3: Intro to a backend

Part 1: Intro to HTML/CSS/JS


  • A High-Level Overview
  • Walk-through Tutorial
  • Brainstorm and work on your own website!

Don't worry, if you're out of ideas, we have some.

The Building Blocks of Websites

What is HTML?

  • Hypertext Markup Language
  • A scripting language - interpreted line-by-line by a web browser to render different elements
  • Makes use of starting and ending tags
  • The most recent version is HTML5

What is CSS?

  • Cascading Style Sheet
  • Provides web developers with ability to customize how their websites look
  • You can change any attribute of any HTML element.
  • Examples: fonts, colors, borders, measurements
  • Many frameworks exist that aid in common styling (especially for responsive styling)
  • The most recent version is CSS3

What is Javascript?

  • Provides web developers with ability to do interactions and animations on their websites
  • Most commonly used to react to user interactions on the website
  • Many frameworks that exist built on top of this language
  • The most recent version is ES6 (Ecmascript 6).

How powerful are these tools?

Tutorial - First Block

Github repository: web-skeleton

Complete tutorial: web-complete

Slides: tutorials/web-intro

Popular Frameworks

Expand the Project

  • Create your own personal portfolio.
  • Design a website for one of your favorite nonprofits or volunteering causes or businesses
  • Explore using a CSS framework or JS framework in your website
  • Explore some of the themes you find in websites today: parallax scrolling, responsive grids, CSS or Javascript animations.

Sources of inspiration

Next Up: Part 2

We'll introduce the concept of data-binding and do a project with Jeopardy questions!

Part 2: Intro to data-binding


  • A High-Level Overview
  • Walk-through Tutorial
  • Extend the tutorial
  • What's next?

The Building Blocks of Websites


  • A software architecture pattern, popular for web apps
  • Model = actual representation of data
  • View = how the data is displayed to the user
  • Controller = handles any changes / events from the view to model

Pervasiveness in Web

  • First started off with backend/server-side frameworks - e.g. Ruby on Rails, Django
  • Many of these frameworks had special mechanisms to inject different data-binding attributes into the client-side
  • jQuery can be used to do this databinding, but it was super verbose and the logic got complicated
  • As client-side technologies improved, Javascript frameworks emerged: AngularJS, EmberJS, Backbone, KnockoutJS

Some Websites Made with AngularJS

  • The Weather Channel
  • Forbes
  • GroupMe
  • Tinder

Tutorial - First Block

Github repository: web-II-skeleton

Complete tutorial: web-II-complete

Slides: tutorials/web-intro

Performance and Next Steps

  • Reading from a JSON file is very expensive
  • We need some way to integrate a database
  • Making list views - hard to do if we can't read an entire file
  • So next steps: we can do list views with pagination if we have a database

Web Components: An Alternative to MVC

  • Be able to create custom HTML tags that represent custom objects
  • Nesting becomes more semantic and more natural
  • ReactJS - the big framework that embraces this

Part 3: Intro to backend

The Building Blocks of Websites

Client vs. Server

  • Anything the user sees and interacts with is considered client-side.
  • Server-side usually means business logic. Responsible for the feedback for the user's interactions. Interacts with database. The response to the request.
  • Ex. Logging in
    • Client Side - User logs in with an email address and a password. Sanity check the user's email to be an actual email. Make sure form doesn't reveal the password characters. Sends request to server with credentials.
    • Server Side - Checks if credentials match in database of registered users. Responds with affirmation or an error (password incorrect, etc).

Types of Databases

  • SQL databases - also known as relational - uses tables to represent different data components and queries represent relations between different tables - data is structured
  • NoSQL databases - also known as document-based - uses JSON-like documents to represent different data components and might have replication and duplication - data is sometimes unstructured or semi-structured
  • Graph databases - nodes represent individual data points, edges represent relations between two nodes - unstructured

What is Firebase?

  • A Database as a Service maintained by Google
  • Allows for JSON-like documents to be stored
  • Provides easy-to-use tools for user authentication
  • Provides realtime updates to data storage.
  • Able to be integrated into iOS, Android and web apps through different SDKs


  • Github Repo: backend-intro