COMP_SCI 396: Intro to Web Development

Quarter Offered

Spring : 2-2:50 MWF ; Van Wart


COMP_SCI 150 or COMP_SCI 211


What does it take to build a website from scratch? How do designers create beautiful and functional interfaces? How do websites send, store, and use data? This course aims to answer these questions by giving students exposure to some of the technologies and techniques of web development – with particular focus on front-end web interfaces. 

Course Format

The course format is synchronous: class time will be used to discuss concepts and techniques and work on short coding and design activities. There will also be weekly discussion sections, where you will work with a member of the teaching staff to complete short assignments. You will be assessed based on (a) weekly homework assignments, and (b) a final project (which can be completed individually or in a group) – where you will create a website of your choosing.

Learning Goals

The learning goals for the course include:

  1. Gaining exposure to the various components of a ‘full-stack’ web application and how the pieces fit together (e.g. database, web server, user authentication, and front-end client).
  2. Building proficiency with commonly-used tools and technologies related to web development (e.g. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, GitHub, Node.js, Heroku, and React).
  3. Gaining familiarity with different types of design architectures across the web stack (REST, MVC, etc.)
  4. Learning some fundamental UX/UI design principles (usability, accessibility, visual design, prototyping) in the context of web development


COURSE INSTRUCTOR : Prof. Sarah Van Wart (Spring)