Becoming A Web Developer: The Web Way From Start To Finish By Josh Simmons At SCaLE 14x

Becoming A Web Developer: The Web Way From Start To Finish By Josh Simmons At SCaLE 14x
Josh Simmons is a web developer, community strategist, and open source advocate currently working at O’Reilly Media. He’s spent over 14 years in web development and has distilled all that experience down into a jam packed tutorial.

This tutorial will help you understand how all the technologies fit together, why the web is the way it is, and a sense of how things get built in the real world. We’ll even cover common mistakes and, perhaps most importantly, technical decision making.

Video recorded by SCaLE and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Additional resources and a full outline are below:


This is a recording of the tutorial I gave at Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE) on Thursday, January 21st, 2016 in Ballroom F. SCaLE is the largest community-run open-source and free software conference in North America. It is held annually in Los Angeles.

Slides and notes are available:
Event listing:

Questions? Hit me up on Twitter @joshsimmons, more contact information at my website:


The web is ubiquitous, having beaten out a litany of competing technologies, and many “native applications” rely on web-based back-ends. From desktop to mobile, to watches, virtual reality headsets, and cars — the web is a core set of technologies with vast reach. This makes familiarity with web technology a valuable asset for many, many people.

Whether you’re a software engineer, marketer, project manager, junior web developer, or student — you will leave this session with the forest, the trees, and a compass for navigating all of it.

We’ll walk through a lot with brief Q&A along the way:

05:24 What is the web platform?
07:06 HTML, CSS, JavaScript
11:21 “Stacks”
12:53 Web, Name, Mail, and Database Servers

24:28 Standards
27:54 Open Source
29:58 Web Services (Standing on the Shoulders of Giants)
31:41 The Uncertain Web

38:27 Editors
40:58 Version Control
45:18 Compilers and the Build Process
48:58 Project Management
54:11 Distributed Development

56:30 I Love LAMP
59:50 Frameworks and CMS
01:04:19 Progressive Enhancement
01:09:41 Accessibility
01:13:05 Security
01:17:12 SEO and Sharability
01:20:30 Intellectual Property

01:23:37 STACKS
01:23:45 JavaScript
01:26:00 PHP
01:27:06 Python, Ruby
01:27:18 Perl, Go

01:28:25 GOTCHAS
01:28:25 Rise of the Expert Beginner
01:29:20 JavaScript Required
01:29:27 Photoshop First
01:29:59 Bloat
01:30:34 Documentation and Tests
01:31:05 Little Bobby Tables (Input Sanitization)
01:31:45 The Law of Leaky Abstractions

01:33:55 WHAT NEXT
01:34:00 Follow the Web’s Best
01:36:57 Join the Community
01:37:23 Give Back
01:37:30 Get to Work
01:37:42 Never Stop Learning

01:37:58 OUTRO
01:37:58 When Not to Use the Web
01:38:57 Key Factors in Technical Decision Making
01:40:36 O’Reilly books, videos, and conferences
01:42:23 Fin

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