Since I announced completing CS253, I might as well note that I completed the Udacity Programming Languages class (CS262) as well. I had a lot of fun with this class. Wes Wiemer is a fantastic lecturer, keeping it interesting with extensive literary and historical references in examples, ranging from Jane Austen and Urdu poetry to The Dark City. I spent a significant amount of time just chasing down the references for fun.
I don’t remember exactly when I finished this course (I think in the summer), but apparently I applied for the certificate in October.
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)
- 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!