WATS Foundations of the Web


Course Details

In this introduction to the Internet and World Wide Web, students will increase their understanding of how the Internet works, how the web works, how to be more savvy users of the web, and how to begin the journey from web consumer to web creator. Topics covered include the history of our ideas about information technology, overviews of how core Internet and Web technologies function, and exploration of the culture of web development and the industry of web-based software. Students engage with current topics and lively discussion using our Slack community, and they leave this course prepared to engage with any modern web development product or producer.

Sample Course Schedule

Course content is refreshed quarterly and all courses are reviewed annually. The current content and schedule is reflected below, but please be aware that some of these details may change as updates and enhancements are made to the course.

Each course is 10 weeks long, and the work is divided into 10 weekly modules. Below is a description of each module.

  1. A Social History of the Web
    A look at where the Web comes from and how it got to be the way it is.
  2. How the Web Works
    Survey the technical underpinnings of the Web and the Internet; explore how information moves between servers and clients.
  3. Sharing and Collaboration
    Engage with the different ways members of a web development team interact and share code or ideas.
  4. Web Development and the Community of Practice
    How do web developers keep fresh in an ever-changing landscape? They know about these tools and resources to stay on top of technological evolution.
  5. Best Practices and Standards
    Although the web is a free and open place, there are many laws, guidelines, standards, and best practices that are helpful for web developers to know about.
  6. Users, Accessibility, and Security
    Web developers have a responsibility to be ethical in how they treat their users and data created in or submitted to their systems; explore guidelines for best practices in keeping our users safe and making our sites accessible.
  7. How Websites Work
    Explore the many ways websites are actually built using custom code, off-the-shelf components, and a wide variety of techniques and concepts. Become familiar with the fundamental approaches to how websites and applications are constructed.
  8. Finding and Being Found
    Consider the impact of search engines and “findability” on a website or web-based content; explore concepts of intellectual property and open culture and the ways these ideas affect the spread of content online.
  9. Web Culture
    Looking at the various communities, cultures, traditions, and other cultural behaviors that have grown up around web technologies; explore the various ways that different groups have made their presence known online.
  10. Final Project Sharing
    Throughout the quarter, students work on a research project designed to help them establish an area of interest or specialization that can be used to differentiate themselves as web developers. These projects are shared through online discussions and presentations.