Mobile-Ready Ecommerce Track: Description + Course Syllabus

Overview

The E-commerce track will be led by an Ivy League MBA graduate with an Electrical Engineering degree. The track will maintain a maximum 5:1 student-to-teacher. Classes take place twice a week in the Triangle.

Students will build a fully functional e-commerce application from start to finish. In the process they will gain experience in all aspects of (1) software development, (2) mobile web design, and (3) coding best practices.

Skill Level

This learning track is suitable for both those with zero up (i.e., beginners) to intermediate-level coding skills. Homework assignments will be tailored to each student’s skill level.

Homework & Class Assignments for New Developers

“Zero-knowledge” and beginning developers are expected to complete homework assignments, readings, and in-class presentations to get the maximum benefit of this Learning Track. Intermediate users are expected to do ad hoc in-class presentations to further hone their use of best practices.

What You Will Learn

  1. Back-end, Server-side Scripting (Controllers): Learn about Arrays, Variables, Conditionals, Ternary Operators, Logical Operators, Switch Statements, Global Variables, Functions and Variable Passing Techniques with PHP. Leverage Functional Programming best practices
  2. Front-end (Views): Web development, HTML5, and CSS design best-practices
    • Supplemental : Client-side scripting with JavaScript and jQuery
  3. Model-View-Controller (MVC): Create and use a MVC framework for
    1. Structured application development
    2. Separating project management roles and responsibilities as well as application functionality
    3. Enforcing Object Oriented (OO) code architectures
  4. Databases & Business Logic (Models): Sequential Query Language (SQL) and PHP Data Objects (PDO)
  5. Linux Systems Administration (Supplemental): Core Linux and Apache housekeeping functions

Tangible Value-Adds of Our Courses

  1. Quality & Expertise: Course instruction is lead by a seasoned Ivy League MBA graduate with an Electrical Engineering degree
  2. One-on-One Attention: In addition to the lead Instructor, there will be a Teaching Associate (TA) in the classroom to further address individual student needs
  3. Small Classes: The maximum student to teacher ratio is 5:1. However, on average we have maintained a ratio of 3 students for every 2 teachers
  4. Customized Scheduling: Class dates and times will be arranged to meet your scheduling preferences. This learning track is expected to consist of 9 to 15 classes with 20 to 35 hours of total in-class instruction time.
  5. Location: This learning track is exclusively offered in the Triangle, North Carolina

Class 1 is a beginner level introductory class. We’ll show you how to prep your laptop for web application development. We walk you through the steps to install Apache MySQL and PHP (AMP) either on your Mac or Windows laptop. We’ll then install a Database Administration (DBA) client.

After installing the needed software, we’ll introduce you to some responsive mobile-ready HTML5 frameworks. Next we’ll wire-up our framework of choice. This framework will serve as a foundation for future classes within this learning track.

  1. WAMP, MAMP, and DBA Install: Preparing your laptop for web development
  2. Website & File Structure: Development frameworks for building web-apps
  3. Building A Responsive & Mobile-Ready Site: We will wire-up a mobile-ready HTML5 framework. This will serve as a template for your e-commerce web-site
  4. At Instructor’s Discretion and if Time permits: Adding Social Meta Tags for Google+, Twitter, and Facebook into your HTML mark-up: (1) Google Authorship & Publisher Markup, (2) Twitter Card meta data, and (3) Facebook Open Graph meta data

Class 1 Learning Objectives

  1. Open Source Web Development Tools
  2. Local Server and Development Environment Configuration
  3. HTML5 Frameworks
  4. Rapid Application Prototyping

Class 1 Prerequisites

  1. A fully functionally laptop with a modern Operating System (Windows or Mac). For Windows you’ll need a minimum of Windows 7
  2. Install Google Chrome and Firefox along with the Firebug plugin for Firefox
  3. Ensure your laptop has the ability to maintain a WiFi connection
  4. We respectfully ask that you be considerate of other students’ as well as the instructor’s time. Instructors are not technicians and are unable to provide individualized tech support if you have any operating system, software, or mechanical issues with your laptop. Such issues include but are not limited to: Windows registry, computer virus, WiFi connectivity, and battery recharging issues. You will be required to sign a waver indicating you accept this policy.
  5. Complete and email Coding Assignment 1 at least 24 hours before class start
  6. Readings: Use the Mozilla Development Network to familiarize yourself with front-end development technologies
Page layout image

Class 2 is a beginner through intermediate level class. In this class you will create static web pages using an HTML5 framework. You will then develop your product catalog and product detail pages. If there is time we will also start designing our shopping cart page.

  1. Product Catalog Page (the “Master” Page)
  2. Single Product Page (the “Detail” Page)

Class 2 Learning Objectives

  1. Web Site/Page Design Best Practices
  2. Rapid Application Prototyping
  3. User Interfaces, Grids, and Page Layouts (Views)

Class 2 Prerequisites & Preparation

  1. Satisfaction the Class 1 prerequisites and completion of Class 1 exercises
  2. Have at least 3 product images that you would like to sell in your store. You will need thumbnail versions as well as larger versions of these images for your product catalog and product detail pages
  3. Write brief descriptions of each product you will have in your store
  4. Complete and email Coding Assignment 2 at least 24 hours before class start
  5. Readings:
    • css/#responsive-utilities-classes
    • css/#forms

Classes 1 through 5 of the LAMP Stack Foundations track are supplemented with an SSL certificate installation class.

Class 3 Prerequisites

  1. Satisfaction the Class 1 prerequisites and completion of Class 1 exercises
  2. Registering a domain name
  3. Purchase an SSL Certificate
  4. Signing-up for a VPS hosting account
building a mobile-ready shopping cart

This is expected to be a two-part class. In these classes we will build our checkout form and add client side validation using the Stripe API library along with our custom validation scripting.

Class 6 and 7 Learning Objectives

  1. HTML5 and Web Forms
  2. Client-side Form Validation
  3. JavaScript Variable Declarations and Functions
  4. jQuery blur(), focus(), toggle(), and more
  5. Using Third Party APIs

Class 6 Prerequisites and Preparation

  1. Satisfaction Class 1 and 2 prerequisites. Completion of Class 1 and 2 exercises
  2. Readings: Stripe Credit Card Validation API
  3. Complete and email Coding Assignment 3 at least 24 hours before class start
  4. Complete and email HTML5 Framework Assignment (i.e., Assignment 3) at least 24 hours before class start. Be prepared to present and discuss in class
building a mobile-ready shopping cart

Classes 8 – 10 are expected to be completed over two to three class sessions. In Class 8, we will guide you in building a web application by “PHP-ifying” the Product Catalog, Product Detail, and Credit Card Form pages from previous classes.

In Class 9, we will leverage arrays to build-out the shopping cart portion of our application. Our coding toolbox will consist of: Variables, Arrays, Conditionals, Ternary Operators, Logical Operators, Switch Statements, Global Variables, Functions and variable passing.

Class 10 will be a concept review or an overflow class. It treated as an overflow, we will cover concepts not covered classes 8 and 9 do to lack of time.

Class 8 – 10 Prerequisites and Preparation

  1. Exercises and prerequisites from classes 1 through 6. Classes 3 – 5 are are optional
  2. Complete and email Coding Assignment 4 at least 24 hours before class start
  3. Readings:

Content covered is at discretion of instructor.

We will explain the fundamentals behind MVC. We will then use PHP (or Python), HTML, CSS, and MySQL to create a MVC driven site.

Classes 12 and 13 Prerequisites and Preparation

  1. Complete and understand all exercises and prerequisites from classes 1 through 11
  2. Complete and email Coding Assignment 6 at least 24 hours before class
  3. Readings:
building a mobile-ready shopping cart

We will use Braintree’s API to create a payment gateway and tie it into our check-out form.

Class 14 and 15 Prerequisites and Preparation

  1. Complete and understand all exercises and prerequisites from classes 1 through 13
  2. Create a Braintree sandbox account
  3. Bookmark and familiarize yourself with these resources from Braintree:
    1. Braintree.js Client-side API
    2. Creating Customers (S2S)
    3. Creating Transactions (S2S)
    4. Fraud Protection Options
    5. AVS and CVV Recommendations
    6. AVS Overview
    7. Fraud Protection FAQ
  4. Complete and email Coding Assignment 7 at least 24 hours before class start

This learning track may be extended by 1 additional week to accommodate 2 overflow classes. Overflow classes are designed to cover previous class topics that were missed owing to insufficient time.