The BrainStation Student Experience | Jessica Bianchi | Intro to Web Development

By Trilby Goouch August 24, 2015

We caught up with Jessica Bianchi, former BrainStation alumni who’s taking her second course this summer: Intro to Web Development. Here’s her update on the last three weeks.

Week Ten

To start week 10 we revisited GitHub. Beyond collaborating on projects, we wereshown how GitHub could become a blogging platform and support a custom URL.

We then learned that it’s possible to create different animations on a website using advanced CSS and not Javascript or Flash. The class seemed particularly excited about not having to depend solely on Javascript! Our instructor Dee showed us how to expand boxes and change background colour when hovered over and set transition timers using the animation­duration property. It was a great introduction, but I don’t think I’ll be using any of these examples in my final project.

Dee also touched on meta tags. Meta tags are stored within the <head> of an HTML document and not displayed when the page is loaded. The <description> tag is used to house a short and clear description of the web page that appears in search results. The tags used to be used by developers to store keywords that a particular site can be identified by through a search engine. Unfortunately, this method was abused and now search engines deliver results based on the content of the page itself.

Only two weeks left until we present our final projects. I better buckle down!

Week Eleven

This week we tackled the transform property ­ a new addition that came along with CSS3. It allows for alternate ways to size, position and change elements. It comes in two settings, 2D and 3D, each with their own properties and values. To achieve the best browser support, the transform property includes multiple vendor prefixes. Pretty heavy for the second last class!

Next we learn about the parallax effect. This is when the background image or content is moving separately from content in the foreground. It can be really fascinating when implemented correctly. I came across this site [] and was completely perplexed by how someone must have coded it.

To help us with laying out our own webpages, we learned about the Flexbox model. This allows you to distribute space and align items in a container even without knowing their size. A flexbox expands items to fill available space or shrinks them to prevent overflow. This might be helpful since my final project may contain images of varying sizes.

Finally, we took a look at WordPress. Having worked with WordPress before, I was familiar with the format and dashboard. What I did discover was the theme modification view and how to use HTML and CSS to manipulate a template using the WordPress user interface. I can see this being helpful for future projects.

Week Twelve

It’s finally week 12 and, once again, I made it through. That makes me a double alumni with UX Design and Intro to Web Development under my belt. *pats myself on the back* It’s been a journey!

I’ll admit I struggled a bit more with web dev than UX. I chalk this up to missing two classes (while in B.C.) and just not having a natural knack for coding. Regardless, I was pretty proud to have showed up to the final class with a project to present ­ a website for my budding artisanal jam business, Wooden Spoon.

Dee started the class by running through what we had learned over the last 12 weeks before final presentations. It seems like yesterday we wrote our first line of HTML. From there we explored CSS, Bootstrap and played around with Javascript. I was excited to see what my classmates had created over the last several weeks and really, I was impressed. The course definitely helped develop some great talent.

My Wooden Spoon website consists of three pages (Main, About and Contact). I incorporated a carousel of images, a nav bar with some hover effects, and a functioning contact form. Not to mention, the site is responsive. It’s a first iteration, however a very good jumping off point.

I’ve come out the other end with a better understanding of the language of technology. I wonder what I should take next? Let the learning continue!

Inspired? Learn More about Jess’s Course.

Intro to Web Development