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 Responsive Web Design
A Workshop

Tues. 10/14 @ Atomic Object

6pm - 9pm   |   206 S. 5th Ave

Upcoming Events

Code & Coffee

Saturday 10/18 @ Amer's

10am - 1pm   |   312 S. State St.

Upcoming Events

Intro To Agile
FREE Workshop

Tues. 10/21 @ Pillar

6:30pm - 8:30pm   |   1327 Jones Dr.

Community Events

  • GDI Detroit - Intro to HTML & CSS
    Saturday 10/11 @ AO Detroit
  • SEM.js - Browserify
    Monday 10/13 @ Barracuda
  • WordPress A2 - Work Session
    Wednesday 10/15 @ Arbor Brewing
  • GDI Detroit - Designing a User Friendly Website
    Saturday 10/18 @ Detroit Public Library
  • A2 Pyladies - Easy Functional Python
    Sunday 10/19 @ Atomic Object
  • GDI Detroit - Intro to WordPress
    Monday 10/20 @ AO Detroit
  • Ignite UX Michigan
    Tuesday 10/21 @ Conor O'Neill's
  • GDI Detroit - Concrete5
    Wednesday 10/22 @ AO Detroit
  • Duo Tech Talks - DARPA's Cyber Analytic Framework
    Thursday 10/23 @ Duo Security
  • A2 Ruby Brigade - An Overview of Ruby Modules
    Tuesday 10/28 @ Atomic Object
  • Xamarin A2 - Programming iOS
    Thursday 10/30 @ WCC
  • Mobile Monday - Automotive and Mobile
    Monday 11/3 @ Ann Arbor SPARK

Plus soooo many more we couldn't fit here...


Tech 101


About Us

  • Ronda Bergman
    • GDI-AA Co-Leader, Software Engineer @Terumo
    • Experience: 15 years .Net
  • Vera Reynolds
    • Software Journeyman @Pillar
    • Experience: 2 years Java

What We'll Cover

  • Terms & Technologies

    ACRONYMS! oh my!
  • How the web works

    Servers, and clients, and networks!
  • Building a web site

    Languages, considerations, UX & IA, tools
  • Web development careers

    Team structure, becoming a developer

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?

A typical web page is composed of a combination of:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript

Web Page Terms

HTML: Hyper Text Markup Language
A language used to create the structural code of a webpage.
ie. paragraphs, headers, links, sidebars, etc.

CSS: Cascading Style Sheets
A language used to style the structural elements of a webpage.

JavaScript: (NOT Java)
A language used to create dynamic and interactive features of a webpage.

Development Terms

Text Editor
A program for creating / editing plain text files.
IE. Sublime Text, Text Mate, Notepad, Vim, Emacs

IDE: Integrated Development Environment
Software meant to support the entire development process.
IE. text editing, automation, debugging, compilation, etc.

CMS: Content Management System
An application that allows management of site content from a central interface.
IE. WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Concrete5

WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get
A visual markup editor intended for those who don't know how to code.
Like Microsoft Word, but for the web. Often used in CMSs.

Networking Terms

IP Address: Internet Protocol Address
A unique address for a computer or a server on a network.
IE. ==, == localhost

Domain Name
A unique name that identifies an internet resource, like a website.

DNS: Domain Name Service
A directory that ties domain names to IPs, allowing connection to websites via URLs.

URL: Uniform Resource Locator
A unique character string that refers to a specific resource on the web.

Web / Hosting Server
A computer system that holds website code and processes requests from the web.

"Buzz" Terms

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

API: Application Programming Interface
A set of programming instructions for accessing a web-based application.
Twitter, Facebook, Google Maps, Meetup

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

Open Source
A code that is free for anyone to use or modify. Contributions are encouraged.
Perl, jQuery, Bootstrap, Font Awesome

How does the web work?

Loading a Web Page

  1. Enter a URL into your browser's address bar.
  2. DNS connects you to the hosting server.
  3. The server processes the request and sends back the webpage resources for your computer to display.
  4. Your browser puts all the resources together to render the webpage.

    That's it.

Clients vs. Servers

Clients make requests. Servers fulfill them.

Client is most-often a browser
search engine crawlers, command line interfaces,
and other applications can also behave as clients.

Server is a computer
And the collection of software it contains.
Typically, larger and more powerful that PCs.

Languages & Tools
for Development

Client-Side vs. Server-Side Tools


  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • Flash
  • Images*


  • PHP
  • Perl
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • .Net
  • Java
  • ColdFusion
  • Sass
  • CoffeeScript
  • JavaScript (Node.js)
  • Databases*
* Not languages

Other Non-Languages

  • Libraries are collections of prewritten, reusable functions that you can call.
    jQuery, Three.js, & Compass (Sass)
  • Frameworks provide a defined structure for you to insert and run your code within.
    Rails, Cake, Angular.js
  • AJAX is a technique involving multiple languages that makes it possible to return results from a server without needing a page refresh.
    Stands for: Asynchronous JavaScript And XML

Java != JavaScript


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


  • Client-Side (primarily)
  • Parsed by any browser
  • Procedural (primarily)
  • By Netscape

Building a Web Site

Considerations Before Building

  • What is the purpose of the site?
  • Who is your audience?
  • How / Who will build / design / test / support / etc.?
  • What's the domain name and where will you host it?
    • Domain >= $10 per year
    • Hosting >= $60 per year

Information Architecture & User Experience

Information Architecture (IA) is the process of organizing and labelling website content in an intuitive, accessible way.

User Experience (UX) is examining how users feel when interacting with an interface.

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

Sitemaps & Decision Trees

Responsive Web Design

The practice of building a single website that
works across all devices and screen sizes.

Provide an optimal and intuitive experience for all users.


Three Compontents
  1. Fluid Layout
  2. Fluid Media
  3. Media Queries

Occasionally, entire features will be toggled on / off for the display.

Web Standards

Developing in a way that is consistent with current development methodologies and in a way that will ensure the highest level of browser compatibility and performance.

  • Valid HTML, CSS, and JavaScript syntax
  • Accessibility Requirements / Enhancements
    Content for screenreaders, colors for the colorblind.
  • Uses semantic formats and technologies
    Structure and identify data. Help create a "Web of Data."
  • Valid meta data
    Page title, page description (for search engines).
  • Proper character encoding

Choosing a Language

Which Language Should I Use?

It depends...

  • HTML and CSS will be used on virtually all web facing pages.
  • JavaScript may be used for interactivity on web facing pages, or for programming logic on the server-side.
  • Server-Side languages may be used for data access and programming logic.

Server-Side Languages
What are the Differences?

  • Syntax
    The alphabet, language, and grammar of programming language.
  • Strengths & Weaknesses
  • Philosophies

Server-Side Languages
Which Should I Choose?

  • What are you already familiar with?
  • What do you want to learn?
  • What does your hosting server support?
  • How active is the community and how thorough the 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!


                            console.log('Hello, World!');

Developer Tools

Tools of the Trade

  • Text Editor
    SublimeText, Notepad++, Vim, Atom
    (All of those are FREE!)
  • Browser
    Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.
    (The more you have to test with, the better.)
  • Google
    StackOverflow, MDN, GitHub, Documentation.
    (Seriously. Google ALL THE THINGS.)

Tools of the Trade - Browsers

Source: StatCounter Global Stats - Browser Market Share

Other Tools of the Trade

  • Version Control
    Keep a backup history of all your code changes.
    Git, Subversion, CVS
  • FTP: File Transfer Protocol | SSH | SCP
    Get your files on a server
    WinSCP, Cyberduck, CoffeeCup FTP
  • Image Editor
    Maybe. Depends on the complexity and design of your site.
    Gimp, Photoshop

Web Development Careers

Meet the Web Team

  • Content & Marketing
    Copywriters, SEO Strategists, Content Strategists
  • Design
    UX Designers, Web Designers, Graphics Designers
  • Development
    Front End Developers, Back End Developers, Server Admins, Database Admins
  • Management & QA
    Project Manager, QA Engineers

How to Become a Developer

  • Degrees and Certifications
    They don't hurt, but you can get by without them.
  • Curiosity
    Make mistakes. Be a problem solver. Be intrepid.
  • Build things
    A lot of things. For yourself, for friends. Build a portfolio.
  • Learn
    And learn some more. Don't stop there, keep learning.
  • Network
    Go to tech meetups, conferences, and workshops. Meet your people.

Want to learn more?

Join the community.

  • Meetup Groups
  • Hackathons
  • Conferences
  • Code & Coffees

Tech 101