Week 2: HTML and CSS Basics; Résumé Workshop

I hope our first two class sessions haven’t left you feeling overwhelmed! I’m taking things very gently for the first couple of weeks, but if we’re moving too fast, please let me know. Some of you who have experience building websites may find the next few class periods moving a bit too slowly, but trust me — you’ll have plenty of opportunities to push yourselves in the coming weeks. And if you feel like you aren’t being challenged enough, please come see me and we’ll find ways to make this introductory assignment valuable for you.

Next week, we will continue our tour of the basics of HTML and CSS, using the Landing Page and Online Résumé project to learn some of web design’s foundational concepts. Here’s how we’ll spend our time in class each day:

  • On Monday, we will finish applying basic HTML tags to your résumés, learn how to link two pages together, and upload drafts of your pages to the web. Before you come to class, please read Chapters 4 and 5 in Learning Web Design and finish converting your résumé from MS Word format into HTML format. (It’s OK if you’re not sure about which tags to use throughout your resume; just do your best to apply the concepts you’re reading for Monday’s homework.) Be sure to bring the HTML file containing your résumé to class. In addition, you should select a domain name (Domainr can help you see what’s available) and register it through Reclaim Hosting. (If you already have your own domain, please let me know.) You don’t need to do anything with your new site yet — we’ll work on that in class.
  • On Wednesday, we will learn how to alter the visual appearance of your résumés using cascading style sheets (CSS). Your only homework for Wednesday is to read Chapters 11 and 12 in Learning Web Design. A word of warning: these chapters mark the point at which the textbook begins to get a little more complicated, so you’ll need to spend enough time with each chapter to really understand the new concepts before you come to class each day.

By the end of Week 2, you should have a fully marked-up résumé and the makings of a well-styled résumé. If you’re doing all the reading and paying attention in class but still feeling lost, I recommend watching the tutorial videos titled “HTML Essential Training” on Lynda.com. If you need additional help beyond that, please come see me during office hours. The material in this class will only get more complex as the semester progresses, so if things aren’t clicking for you, now is the time to address the problem.

In order to complete your homework, you should download and install one of the following programs on your own computer:

  • Komodo Edit (Available for Mac, Windows, and Linux — this is what we will use in the computer lab.)
  • TextWrangler (Mac only — my personal favorite.)
  • Notepad++ (Windows only — highly recommended by my former students who are Windows users.)

Finally, consider this one last reminder to sign up for Twitter and add a comment to last week’s post if you haven’t done so already.

If you have any questions about our plans for next week, please send me an email or contact me on Twitter. Otherwise, I’ll see you in class on Monday!