When you’re crafting content for the web, how does the browser know to place a break between paragraphs? For that matter, how does it know to make a page’s background one color, and the navigation bar another color? HTML and CSS are the answer: Browsers read HTML, a markup language, to determine what shows up on the page, and where. CSS, or cascading style sheets, determines how content appears throughout a website. That is to say, HTML will tell the browser “this is a header” and CSS will say “all headers should be green.”
By 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer specialist job openings, according to the Department of Labor. There is much debate over whether or not everyone should learn code, but in a time when communicating with a computer seems almost more important than communicating in a second language, it makes sense that computer science skills be taught to all kids as part of their curriculum. The basics of coding are not necessarily difficult to master, and starting to learn young teaches kids how to ask questions, problem solve, and see new possibilities for what they are capable of creating.
Even President Obama has advocated for computer science education in America’s high schools. “Don’t just buy a new video game. Make one. Don’t just download the latest app. Help design it. Don’t just play on your phone. Program it,” said the President in his message to promote Computer Science Education Week in 2013.
Along with Chelsea Clinton, Girl Scouts of the USA, Mindy Kaling, MIT Media Lab, TechCrunch and more, Google has launched Made with Code, an initiative to inspire girls to code.
We’re thrilled to share that one of our Back-End Web Development graduates, Maddy Maxey, is featured alongside talented young women using code to further their passions. Maddey is the co-founder of Crated and heavily involved at the intersection of technology and fashion. Learn more about Maddy’s work on Made with Code in this video preview:
We had a chance to sit with Maddy and hear about this exciting initiative and everything that’s going on with her company, Crated:
1. What is it about wearable tech that’s so fascinating to you?
I find most things about the world interesting. Wearable tech has become my silo because it combines my background in fashion and my love for technology and tinkering.
Problem solving and the fast-paced nature of the field. These were strong pulls for me to jump into the development world, but the force that convinced me to stay was of a different angle. From open source projects on Github to community help support via Stack Overflow, the willingness of developers to grow and learn together represents the culture of constant learning and sharing.
We believe that people learn best by working on real-world projects that have practical applications–at work and in their lives. With over 184,000,000 blogs, Tumblr has built one of the strongest and most passionate communities of creators on the web, and the lessons we’ve built in Dash will make it easy for users to learn code to better express themselves through their Tumblrs with a custom theme. For some learners, this may be a first step toward a lifelong passion for coding, or even a new career as a web developer.
The help and support of the team at Tumblr has been instrumental in building these lessons, which are designed to make it simple for beginners with no prior coding experience to quickly and easily create one-of-a-kind themes. We’re excited about this opportunity to work with a company that so many know and love to introduce more people to web development and empower them to learn a new skill and create something unique and tangible along the way.
P.S. To kick this off, we’ll be hosting a series of meetups starting June 21st. See if there’s one in your city and RSVP to meet other theme-makers in the making.
Hackathon@HKUST is an annual hackathon in Hong Kong where teams are given the opportunity to propose an idea for a software application of their choice and build a prototype, all within 24 hours. A team of three Web Development Immersive graduates (Leo Tumwattana, Julie Ng, and Mark Cheng) developed “Rock, Paper, Scissors / Textical,” an event organizer app that combines free-flow messaging, calendar structure, and gamification. We were thrilled to hear to that they took home the “Best Innovator Award,” so we sat down to hear more about their experience.
John Hinrichs is a 2014 graduate of General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive Course. Before becoming a full-stack web developer, John was a modern dancer for Merce Cunningham Dance Company. His work can be found at johnmhinrichs.com. This post was originally posted on John’s Medium and discusses a project worked on in his WDI course and its connection to the Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) process.
Meet Matt, a Georgetown undergrad who decided to take a semester off to go through our Web Development Immersive course in Sydney. We caught up with Matt to hear about his experience.
1. Tell us about your decision to take WDI. What made you want to switch things up?
One of the reasons I decided to take a break from school was that I was unsure I wanted to stick with my major. I was a Government major at Georgetown University, but knew I had other interests, so I took the opportunity to go and explore them. Heading back to Georgetown in the fall (for Junior year) I am going to keep the Government major and add a Computer Science minor.
GA and our Web Development Immersive program strive to be an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students. We believe anyone can learn to code – at any stage of life. We’ve had students from 18 years old to 72 years old enroll in our program. This New York Times article focuses on two of our WDI alumni, Patsy Price (San Francisco) and Tim Latorre (New York City), both in their 40s and 50s, who took WDI after successful careers in marketing and design, and are now using code in their everyday job. Their quest to learn to code speaks volumes about their intellectually curiosity and grit – two of the main ingredients you need to succeed at any new task.