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Coursera Online Course: HTML, CSS, and Javascript for Web Developers

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Do you realize that the only functionality of a web application that the user directly interacts with is through the web page? Implement it poorly and, to the user, the server-side becomes irrelevant! Today’s user expects a lot out of the web page: it has to load fast, expose the desired service, and be comfortable to view on all devices: from a desktop computers to tablets and mobile phones.

In this course, we will learn the basic tools that every web page coder needs to know. We will start from the ground up by learning how to implement modern web pages with HTML and CSS. We will then advance to learning how to code our pages such that its components rearrange and resize themselves automatically based on the size of the user’s screen. You’ll be able to code up a web page that will be just as useful on a mobile phone as on a desktop computer. No “pinch and zoom” required! Last but certainly not least, we will get a thorough introduction to the most ubiquitous, popular, and incredibly powerful language of the web: Javascript. Using Javascript, you will be able to build a fully functional web application that utilizes Ajax to expose server-side functionality and data to the end user.

Syllabus

Introduction to HTML5
In this module we will learn the basics of HTML5. We’ll start with instructional videos on how to set up your development environment, go over HTML5 basics like valid document structure, which elements can be included inside other elements and which can not, discuss the meaning and usefulness of HTML5 semantic tags, and go over essential HTML5 tags.

Introduction to CSS3
A lot of people “tinker” with CSS. In this module, we’ll take you from the very basics of CSS3 to some fairly advanced concepts like floating and CSS rule conflict resolution. We’ll go over the ‘box model’, background property, etc. We’ll finish off the module with learning about Responsive Design using our own CSS code as well as start introducing Twitter Bootstrap with its essential Grid System.

Coding the Static Restaurant Site
Ready for some REAL fun? This module is it! We’ll go over some basics of interacting with a client when managing a web site project and then go visit a real client at their place of business (a Chinese restaurant), help the owner figure out what she wants in a site, and get acquainted with the restaurant in general. We’ll spend the rest of the module building a real web site for this business from scratch and you’ll get to sit next to me and watch as the site comes together.

Introduction to Javascript
What fun would a web site be if there was no functionality to it? In this module, we are going to concentrate on learning the fundamentals of the Javascript language. A lot of even seasoned developers “tinker” with Javascript without really understanding how the language works. That leads to viewing the language as more of a nuisance instead of a powerful tool. That is why we are going to concentrate not only on the “how” but also on the “why”, so you are empowered by the Javascript language features, not confused by them. We’ll cover just about everything – from common language constructs and Javascript types to objects, functions, arrays, closures, and scope isolation.

Using Javascript to Build Web Applications
In this module, we are going to take all those newly learned Javascript language skills and learn how to utilize them within the context of a web page. We’ll start by learning how to properly manipulate the web page components using the Javascript Document Object Model API. We will then move on to learning one of the most popular ways of serving up data to a web site – Ajax. We’ll learn about the protocol that the language of the web speaks in (HTTP), how to set up and handle Ajax requests and responses, as well as how to process JSON data. We’ll finish the module by connecting our restaurant web site from Module 3 to a real backend service that will allow us to pull the data for the restaurant menu dynamically from the server without having to reload the entire page.

 

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