Tag Archives: front end

The Making of Drakeweather.com

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Settling into work one morning a couple weeks ago, I began a brisk stroll through Facebook.  Several of my friends had shared a site called drakeweather.com, most with accompanying copy along the lines of: “Just hold on, it’s raining down,”  “Started from the cloudy, now we clear.” This was an obvious call to action for me to click through and so I didn’t waste any time. Once there, I discovered Drake delivering my current weather. “Clever,” I thought, “Genius, actually.”

Working in social media, I tend to analyze viral hits more than the average person. I took note of some prominent social sharing options, a visually appealing image, useful information, and that guy Drake of course. Powerful ingredients to a viral hit. Fast forward a few days when my eyes widened with excitement as I found out that the site was actually created by a GA Front-End Web Development student, Tom Galle. It was hard to track down Tom for an interview (he was busy dealing with People, Huffington Post, and Time to name just a few) but we finally made it happen.

Where did you get the inspiration to make drakeweather.com?

My friend Bob and I are Drake fans, and love to make projects that are related to hip-hop culture & technology. Previously we made ‘one million dollars for iPhone’.

We figured that for our next project, we should do something with Drake. We both like his Nothing Was The Same album cover and felt we should try to do something with that since it’s such a cool image.

Very random, but we quickly came up with the idea to make a weather app that changes the background according to your current local weather. We both found it super funny and immediately said to each other “We should make that ASAP.”

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Alumni Interview: Melody & Grace

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Meet Grace Kim (left) & Melody Tran (right), graduates of our Front-End Web Development course in NYC, both currently working at ExpandTheRoom.

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“Lights, Camera, Code” Scholarship Winners

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This winter, we teamed up with LaunchPad LA, Cross Campus, and Los Angeles Venture Association to offer a select number of $2,000 scholarships to our full-time Web Development Immersive program at our brand-new campus in Los Angeles, California. After pouring over thousands of applications, we are excited to present the five winners who will be embarking on a 12-week journey to become full-stack web developers.

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A Website is like a House. Here’s Why

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Website House Metaphor

Metaphors are great ways to bridge the knowledge gap between technical and non-technical team members. But instead of bombarding non-technical folks with acronyms and jargon, it helps to first establish a baseline understanding of how different technologies work together. One way I like to do this is by comparing a website to a house.

1. The Frame: HTML (HyperText Markup Language)

A house has rooms, and each room contains furniture and electric appliances. Similarly, a webpage has sections (e.g. header, body, footer), and each section contains images and text. HTML organizes and presents elements of a webpage in a structured hierarchy. Here’s an example of pseudo-HTML describing the elements in our house:

[code language=”html”]
<house>
<second_floor>
<bedroom>
<bed />
</bedroom>
</second_floor>
<first_floor>
<living_room>
<television />
</living_room>
<kitchen>
<fridge />
</kitchen>
<entrance>
<front_door>
<door_bell>
</front_door>
</entrance>
</first_floor>
</house>
[/code]

2. The Look: CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

Not all rooms, tables, and chairs look the same, nor do words or images on a page. That’s where CSS comes in – CSS defines how elements look, describing their color, size, position, shape, and more. Here’s an example of how we’d use pseudo-CSS to style a bedroom in our house:

[code language=”css”]
bedroom {
width: 12ft;
height: 8ft;
walls: 1mm wallpaper matte;
floor: carpet
}
[/code]

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Preparing for an Immersive Coding Program? Don’t Stop at the Pre-Work.

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Web Development Immersive

The past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the onboarding experience for students entering General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive (WDI) program. WDI is a 12-week, full-time program that gives people the foundation and skills needed to become full-stack web developer.

From 9 am to 9 pm on weekdays, and all day Saturdays and Sundays, students are immersed in code. Because the program is so intense and the learning curve so steep, we, along with other coding immersives (also known as “bootcamps”), advise students to start preparing before they arrive on day one.

Pretty standard is the concept of “pre-work”: 50-100 hours of readings, tutorials, and exercises designed to give everyone a foundation in basic web development concepts, as well as level set the class. At GA, students cover Git, HTML, CSS, and Ruby before starting WDI.

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