Tech 101



Girl Develop It is here to empower and assist women interested in getting into and advancing in the tech industry through affordable and accessible programs.

Some "rules"

  • We are here for you!
  • Every question is important.
  • Help each other.
  • Have fun!

Upcoming Events

Intro to WordPress2-Night Workshop

Mon. 8/25 & Wed. 8/27 @ Pillar

6pm - 9pm   |   1327 Jones Dr.

Upcoming Events

$: echo "hello, command line"
#an introduction

Tuesday 9/9 @ Atomic Object

6:30pm   |   206 S. Fifth Ave #200

Upcoming Events

Lightening Talks

Wednesday 9/17 @ The Forge by Pillar

6:30pm   |   1327 Jones Dr.

Upcoming Events

Getting Sassy With CSS
A Sass Workshop

Tues. 9/23 & Thur. 9/25 @ Nutshell

6:00pm   |   212 S. 5th Ave

Community Events

  • A2 Ruby Brigade - Component Based Architecture
    Tuesday 8/26 @ Atomic Object
  • WordPress A2 - Lessons Learned Launching a Premium Plugin
    Wednesday 8/27 @ Room 2001 LSA Building
  • GDG A3 - Android TV
    Thursday 8/28 @ Arbormoon
  • Craftsman Guild - Docker
    Tuesday 9/2 @ Atomic Object
  • AACS - Patentability of Software
    Wednesday 9/3 @ Atomic Object
  • Mobile Monday - Wearable Platforms
    Wednesday 9/3 @ SPARK
  • SEM.js -
    Monday 9/8 @ Nutshell
  • GDI Detroit - Intro to OOCSS
    Wednesday 9/10 @ AO Detroit
  • Duo Tech Talks - Modern Security Eng. Organizations
    Friday 9/12 @ Duo Security
  • A2 New Tech - Monthly Meetup
    Tuesday 9/16 @ Law School, South Hall, Room 1225
  • Plus soooo many more we couldn't fit here...


Tech 101


About Us

  • Ronda Bergman
    • GDI-AA Co-Leader, Software Engineer @Terumo
    • Experience
  • Vera Reynolds
    • Software Journeyman @Pillar
    • Experience

What We'll Cover

  • Terms & technologies
    • Acronyms, the world wide web, languages/libraries/frameworks
  • Building a web site
    • Considerations, UX & IA, tools
  • Web development professionals
    • Team structure, becoming one

What to Expect

  • This is a survey of a very broad topic
  • Get a sense of what you'd like to know more about
  • I don't know everything, and neither will you
  • Have fun! (and ask questions)

What Does a Web Page Actually Look Like?

Terms & Technologies


HTML: Hyper Text Markup Language - The code structure used to convey the content of a web site

CSS: Cascading Style Sheets - A language used to describe the presentation of the content

WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get - A type of editing software meant to be used by those who don't know how to code


IDE: Integrated Development Environment - Software meant to support the entire development process, often including compilation for a server-side language

CMS: Content Management System - A program that allows publishing, editing, and modifying content as well as maintenance from a central interface

Open source: A program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design


API: Application Programming Interface - An easy-to-use interface or set of tools made available to access a complex application

IP Address: Internet Protocol Address - A unique address for a computer or a server. Some IP Addresses are only unique to the network they are on while others are completely unique

DNS: Domain Name Service - A directory that associates domain names with host IPs to allow users to connect to web sites via URLs


SEO: Search Engine Optimization - The process of increasing your web site's perceived value to search engine algorithms, raising its rank in search results

Web 2.0: Buzzword generally describing a trend towards interactivity, rich media, and social engagement in web design

The Cloud: Services and technology that offer remote storage, processing, or other functionality by way of the internet

What is the World Wide Web?

Home and Daily Life of a Web Site

A typical web site will live or is "hosted" on a web server. Web servers are often large computers connected to a network.

  • Type a web site address (URL) into the address bar
  • DNS connects you to the hosting server
  • The files are then sent back to your computer for display
  • Sometimes code must be compiled before being sent back to you.

Clients vs. Servers

Clients make requests, servers fulfill them (usually).

For our web discussions, client = browser, but search engine crawlers, command line interfaces, and other applications can also behave as clients.

While any type of computer can be used as a server, they are generally larger and more powerful than others.

Parsing Languages & Media


  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • Flash (with plugin)
  • Images


  • PHP
  • Perl
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • .Net
  • Java
  • ColdFusion
  • Databases

Not Languages

  • Libraries are collections of programming shortcuts for a language
    • jQuery, Prototype, & Mootools
  • Frameworks may include libraries, software, and more. Basically, a collection of assets/tools that helps you work in a particular language, usually from scratch
    • Rails, Cake
  • A specification is a set of currently acceptable rules for a given language
    • HTML5 expands on the HTML4 spec and deprecates some older HTML syntax

Not Languages

  • AJAX is none of these, but is a technique combining multiple languages to return results from the server without needing to refresh a page. It stands for Asynchronous JavaScript And XML.

Java != JavaScript


  • Server-side
  • Object-oriented
  • Requires special parser (JVM)
  • By Sun Microsystems


  • Primarily client-side
  • Primarily written procedurally
  • Parsed by any browser
  • By Netscape

Web Standards

In general, this means a site should:

  • Have valid HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Meet accessibility standards
  • Meet semantic guidelines
  • Have valid meta data
  • Have proper character encoding

Responsive Design

  • Laptop, ipad, ipad mini, smartphone...
  • Goal = easy viewing/interacting experience across devices
  • Fluid layout
  • Selective features

Building a Web Site

Considerations Before Building

  • What is the purpose of the site?
  • Know your audience
  • Hosting and a domain name
    • Domain name registration should cost about $20/yr
    • Hosting should cost around $75/yr
    • Hosting choices may depend on supported server-side tech
  • Whether to build it yourself or hire someone

User Experience & Information Architecture

A user-friendly, well-architected site will:

  • Deepen engagement
  • Increase conversion
  • Raise satisfaction
  • Bring users back

Sitemaps & Decision Trees

What Languages to Use

That depends...

  • HTML and CSS will almost certainly be used
  • JavaScript may be used for interactivity
  • Server-side languages will likely be used for any data storage or retrieval

Server-side Languages: What are the Differences?

  • The main difference is syntax
    • The set of rules that define the combinations of symbols that are considered to be correctly structured programs in that language
  • They have slightly different strengths and philosophies
  • Which you choose to use will depend on
    • What you are familiar with or want to learn
    • What your host supports
    • Community and documentation

Hello World


    echo "Hello, world!";


    class HelloWorld {
      static public void main( String args[] ) {
        System.out.println( "Hello World!" );

Hello World


    'Hello, world!'


    puts 'Hello, world!'

Hello World


Not server-side, but just for example

    document.writeln('Hello, World!');

Tools of the Trade

To build your web site, you will probably need:

  • A simple text editor or code editor such as SublimeText, Notepad++, or TextWrangler to write your code. Many can be found for free.
  • A web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Safari to test your code. All popular modern browsers are free.

Tools of the Trade - Browsers

Source: StatCounter Global Stats - Browser Market Share

Tools of the Trade

You will also need:

  • An FTP (file transfer protocol) client such as WinSCP, Cyberduck, or CoffeeCup FTP to get files from your computer to the server. Many are free.
  • Optionally, an image editor such as IrfanView, Gimp, or Photoshop to edit images which will be used on the web site. Some are available for free.

Web Development Professionals

Meet the Web Team

  • Front end
    • User Experience Designer
    • Graphic Designer
    • Web Developer
  • Back end
    • Server Admin
    • Database Admin
    • Software Engineer
  • Overall
    • QA Engineer
    • Project Manager

How to Become a Developer

  • Degrees and certifications: they don't hurt
  • Be curious, a problem solver, and intrepid
  • Build things. For yourself, if no one will pay you
  • Through all of this, learn your craft and how things work