What is it?

This is a class about building things that make the web go. We’re going to learn how to do that by doing that.

What are we doing?

This semester we are going to focus on systems for collecting and managing public health information because we are in an ongoing public health crisis and that seems really relevant.

COVID-19 is still a thing

We’re going to be doing Zoom class for the first few weeks until we see how things are going around campus with COVID-19. None of us want to be in a room with 210 other people all breathing the same air right in the middle of a pretty bad surge of a highly transmissible variant of SARS-COV-2 (Omicron edition).

After we start meeting in-person, I will still host all sessions live on Zoom and record them.

If you are sick AT ALL IN ANY WAY, then DO NOT COME TO CLASS.

Log into Zoom or watch the sessions later instead.

What are we going to learn about?

We will learn to use a bunch of Node.js packages and write a bunch of JavaScript. We will learn to build and use RESTful APIs. We will learn to build front-end interfaces using JS, HTML, and CSS to send and retrieve information to and from an API/back-end, respectively. Yes, we will make something with React also.

What are the assignments?

There is a series of individual assignments intended to help you develop the skills necessary for working on your final project assignment.

You will work in a team on a final project application that deals with public health information, which you will begin planning in the second week of class.

What about grades?

Grading will be done on a scale of 1,000,000 points. Literally.

Grading will also be done by robots. We will give you qualitative feedback, too!

Are there exams?

Yeah, but they are not really like the exams you are used to. The exams assess familiarity with concepts and are really an assessment of my teaching rather than your ability to memorize things.

What will class be like?

Sometimes I will talk about conceptual stuff on slides. Sometimes I will do live demos of things related to your assignments.

How do we do things?

We will use GitHub. We will talk about open source and licensing. We will learn how to work collaboratively.


Do your own work (but ask for help when you need it). Do original work (but find things that inspire you and build on them). Don’t plagiarize existing work (seriously, don’t). Reference things that you find useful. Follow the license terms of any code you adapt and identify where it comes from.

*sigh* Everything is a lot right now. Will it ever get better?

Mental health and general well-being are important. We can’t learn anything if we are beset at all sides by stress. We have to tke care of ourselves and each other or we are nowhere.

Be kind to one another and the instructional staff. The instructional staff will be kind to you and we’ll all learn some interesting stuff this semester.