My Start to Finish Review of the Seattle University Web Development Certificate – Weeks 7-9

Posted by Sara Reiner on Friday, November 24, 2017 at 3:28 PM PST

A student's hands typing on a laptop keyboard


Week 7

This week we worked on styling the CSS of the CSS Zen Garden webpage. Here is my attempt at redesigning the site:

I always enjoy tinkering with CSS to manipulate the appearance of a webpage. I also continued researching articles about WordPress’ redesign of the user admin interface using JavaScript. I read about the WordPress API which will be interesting because it will allow you to create a JavaScript app that utilizes the WordPress PHP backend.

This week the reading consisted of articles about Restful APIs and Caching. I learned why CDNs are useful since they can serve content from a closer location, therefore, increasing page speed. Restful APIs provide endless opportunities for combining data from different websites in interesting ways which is awesome.

Week 8

This week we started the design and development of an imaginary product page.

Since students publish their projects on GitHub Pages, I was able to view over 20 examples of past student projects by looking at the Network Graph of the original Github repo and then modifying the URLs of student Github repos into a Github Pages URL.

I created a wireframe/mockup of my design of a product page for the “API Superstore” and used Adobe Illustrator CS4 since I like it more than the wireframe tool Balsalmiq.

I am involved with the non-profit Operation Code, an organization that helps military veterans learn how to code and advocates for allowing veterans to use the GI Bill for code schools or coding bootcamps. They have a pretty active Slack channel and I was able to connect with a software developer in Seattle who is interested in speaking at an upcoming Seattle University web developer’s meetup. I introduced her to the program director and she may speak at a future meetup.

Week 9

This week we had time to work on coding the HTML and CSS of the imaginary product page which is coming along well. I am using the Bootstrap framework for the website and it makes it easier to get my design up and running quickly.

Screenshot of Google Places API

We were assigned to write a mini summary about a research topic of our own choosing for this week about web development culture. I chose to research whiteboard interviews and found some interesting articles criticizing whiteboard interviews as a way to evaluate candidates. Some of the criticisms are that it poorly simulates a real development environment and creates unnecessary pressure. One alternative that I learned about at a Code Fellows panel on getting hired in tech is an approach by the company Substantial. Instead of whiteboard interviews they give candidates a problem to work on overnight on their own laptop. However, many employers are still relying on whiteboarding so I have set up several white boards at home to practice.

This is a repost from Charles Sipe’s blog about his experience in the Web Development Certificate program at the School of New and Continuing Studies at Seattle University. We will post a snippet from his blog every month. Charles Sipe graduated from the program in Fall of 2016. Contact us to find out more about the certificate.