About This Unit

This skill-track is an introduction to front-end web development.

Synopsis

The term front-end (at least in the context of a web application) refers to the portion of a project that runs in the browser on the user's computer, as opposed to the back-end code which runs on a server computer somewhere else.

Specifically, you will write front-end code in a language called Javascript. Your Javascript code, because it runs in the user's browser, can be utilized to create a rich, interactive user experience by dynamically modifying and reacting to the HTML and CSS that make up your web page.

Topics

In addition to Javascript, we will also spend some more time on few other things, such as:

  • an extremely popular Javascript library called jQuery
  • using Git for version control
  • using CSS (and a CSS framework called Bootstrap) to create pages that actually look nice!
  • writing nice, readable, "semantic" HTML code
  • interacting with third-party APIs to pull in data from the real world.

Structure of the Schedule

The course will loosely be split into two parts:

1. Learning Javascript. First, we will spend 2-3 weeks going over the fundamentals of Javascript, both its syntax and how to use it to interact with your page's HTML and CSS. During this time, your prep-work will consist of reading from an e-book and taking a few short online classes.

2. Miscellaneous Skills and More Complicated Projects. Once you have learned the basics, your prep-work will consist of a few miscellaneous new skills--such as communicating with APIs, using Bootstrap, and writing semantic HTML--but mostly you will be solidifying and getting more repetition and practice with the core concepts from part 1, by recombining those concepts in larger, more complex ways.