Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Programming Defined

General Assembly

General Assembly

This past fall, the Blank Center hosted General Assembly for an all day workshop at the Blank Center: Programming for Non-Programmers at Babson: Basics + Front-End Development. As a non-programmer, the workshop was an eye opening experience into how tech works and the ways entrepreneurs can apply it to their ventures. Here are some takeaways that I got from the session:

What is web development?
Web development refers to the process involved in creating a website on the world wide web.

What is the typical web development cycle?
The typical web development cycle goes from:

  1. User experience (UX)
  2. Information architecture (IA)
  3. Design
  4. Development

How does the web work?
This process of how the web works is something we don’t think about nowadays! The process is:

  1. Request/response
  2. Rendering in the browser
  3. Local/remote
  4. Front end (on a web browser, this is the client end)/back end(on server computer)

What does “front end” mean?
Front end is what the client sees; it is the visuals and interactions between the client and the web. It consists of HTML, CSS, JavaScript.

What does “back end” mean?
Back end is what lives on the server computer. It consists of Ruby, PHP, Python, PERL, C++.

What are the options for launching a business online?
There are pros and cons for websites, CMS (content management systems) and custom web apps:

  • Websites: the benefits is that it quick and easy to put together and generally, does not require much technical expertise. Website can help optimize a venture’s SEO. The drawbacks no access to the back end and it is not as easily customizable.
  • CMS: having a CMS allows for more features and templates. Like website, a CMS can help optimize a venture’s SEO. The drawbacks are for a non-programmer, it is harder to put together (will need someone with technical expertise) as well as being bound by templates and widgets.
  • Custom web app: the benefit of having a custom web app is that there is complete control of the product. The drawback is that a technical expert will need to be involved.

What are some resources for deploying a website?
Here are some websites that General Assembly shared:

Programming for a non-programmer may seem like a different world but knowing the basics can help bridge the gap when speaking to programmers. It can open opportunities for integrating and maximizing technology into a startup.