Completed Udacity CS 253 Web Application Engineering Class

This week I completed the Udacity Web Application Engineering Class (CS253). It was a super useful introduction to:

  • Google App Engine (my first web app framework)
  • How to architect a site
  • Glimpses of the complexity of scaling a big site
  • Password/login management, hashing, salting and secret keys
  • Cookies! (with hashes to avoid hijacking)
  • Basics of HTTP requests, GET and POST and when to use each
  • memcache, (reducing the number of database queries to speed things up)
  • using an external API
  • providing an alternate API (.json version of site)
  • permalinks
  • escaping input (to avoid code injection)

We built a blog and a wiki (since I don’t care to make them robust to spam, I won’t share them here, sorry). It was a very worthwhile introduction for me!