Student Experience | Intro To Web Dev, Week 2 | Marianne Bulger, The DMZ

By Marianne Bulgar September 24, 2015

Intro to Web Development Course

Like many kids of the 80s or 90s, I am proud of my early start with computers. Classics like Mavis Beacon, Yukon/Oregon Trail, ICQ, Yahoo and AskJeeves taught me incredibly useful (and sometimes useless) skills for developing my irreversible love affair with all things tech.

While I can work the internet, it recently came to my attention that I have absolutely no idea how the internet works. This fact is relatively embarrassing given my current place of employment. I am a proud ambassador for the DMZ at Ryerson University, Canada’s top university-based incubator, and represent more than 80 tech startups and over 400 incredible innovators.

If you asked me a week ago, JavaScript would have been a type of coffee best enjoyed while reading a screenplay. Ruby on Rails was basically Hogwarts express full of precious gems. Better yet, CSS, HTML and PHP could very well be nicknames for illicit substances.

Everything transformed after my first Brainstation Intro to Web Development class. Aside from the “welcome swagon” of goodies waiting at my seat, listening to my peers share their experiences, goals and insecurities with development reaffirmed that I was exactly where I needed to be.


On day one I learned an abundance of foundational principles and tips for understanding web development. Here are just a few:

  • HTML, the first language of the web, is a design language that gives a website structure.
  • Mark Andresson was the father of HTML. You should follow him on Twitter if you don’t already.
  • CSS, the second language of the web, speaks to html and is what we use to style (i.e. font colour, size, alignment).
  • The C in CSS stands for ‘cascading’ and refers to the fact that the last thing you write will always override any earlier rules you may have applied.
  • JavaScript, the third language of the web, brings websites to life with animation.
  • Everything is designed within a box. Our job is to resize, reshape and fill each box with content and apply styles.
  • In the long run, “IDs” can be a pain and should be avoided. However, sometimes they are a necessity.
  • Day one was hands-on and incredible. Gone are the days of lecture-style learning. Brainstation embraces an ethos of active engagement and practice, implementing what you are learning as you are learning it. On day one we created and styled our first website. It looked terrible. But who cares? It included a responsive Tina Fey gif and I couldn’t be more proud. Can’t wait to see what week two has in store. Stay tuned!

– Marianne



Learn about BrainStation’s Intro to Web Course Here!