DerekAllard.com

Web Application / CodeIgniter face to face course in Toronto

Some of you who know me, know that I roughly split my professional time between development and training.  I’ve been lucky to have some success over the years, and I’ve managed to build up a pretty good rapport with local universities and colleges.  Like any relationship, after a while, your input starts to be highly trusted, and I’m fortunate to find myself in this situation.  It has put me in a position recently to get a new course on the books at area schools, I’ve called it “Building a Web Application: Concept to Completion Workshop”.  Why do you care?  It’s a course on how to build a web application using CodeIgniter and other “web 2.0” technologies.

My vision was to create a course for working web professionals who want to explore the ins and outs of CodeIgniter, professional web 2.0 application development, and/or have a vision for a web application, but don’t know how to make it a reality.  This is not a course to teach you PHP, and javascript - I expect that you already have intermediate knowledge of that - and preferably you’ve built a few things with PHP/JS before, and now want to get ambitious.  I will assume though that you’ve never used CodeIgniter before, and on that front we’ll start at “ground zero”, and quickly build our way up.

We’re going to plan, wireframe, mockup and build a full-on, functional web-application.  I’m not sure what exactly yet, but it’ll be something practical, and not a complex example of “hello world”.  It’ll be data-intensive, and I’ll probably release the final product under the GPL, just like BambooInvoice

The first run is going to be in North Toronto at Seneca College’s Markham Campus.  If I get any interest from around Hamilton, I also have permission to start up a course at McMaster University.

What happened to the design?

To know more about why styles are disabled on this website visit the Annual CSS Naked Day website for more information.

More CodeIgniter video tutorials from the community

Video tutorials are a great way to learn, which is why I built my own video tutorial for CodeIgniter, and made it available online as a working demo application.

Well active CodeIgniter member, Elliot Haughin, has decided to raise the bar, and has started releasing a series of CodeIgniter video tutorials.  The first one basic pages module had some audio trouble, but overall looked great.  The second, Dynamic Routing, Models and Page Navigation has none of these problems, and the app is starting to come together nicely.

Another fantastic contribution, thanks Elliot!  As in my tutorial, its great to see how other people do things, even if you might choose to differ away slightly.

Hear me now and believe me later

This blog post is about advice I'd give to aspiring webmasters. I'm going to try to lay down my honest thoughts here. If you are an aspiring webmaster, you might find some useful nuggets. If you are in a position to give advice to others, you might also find this interesting, if only to spark of discussion or actively and violently disagree with me.

I'm sometimes asked what advice I give to aspiring webmasters as they learn how to code and design. I always try to make up a new answer on the spot so that I can look smart, but the truth is that I don't really remember what I say from one time to the next. When I lecture and/or teach, I tend to fall into a stream-of-consciousness speaking style, and I don't really have a set script I follow. But today I had a unique opportunity to really gauge myself, and listen to what I said; today I started instructing the next cohort of Toronto webmasters in the art of code-fu...

The first day is always an interesting time, because what I invariably see are 15 or 16 highly gifted people, but they're clean slate in the sense of prior experience and expectations. They don't know who the W3C is, but they also don't use the <font> tag. They don't know about the Web Accessibility Initiative, but they also don't layout their pages in a soup of <td> elements. In short, they are starting their education without the baggage of years of bad habits and mis-information.

So today I made a concerted effort to not censor myself, and keep track of what I said. I wasn't totally successful, but I made a series of notes at the end of the day, which I present here for reference, review and general interest.

So there you have it. A few gems, straight from my stream-of-consciousness to yours. Oh yeah, one more thing... the title of this blog post? It was an homage to Hans and Franz ("We're going to PUMP - YOU UP!"). What advice would you give?

Derek Action Figure

Let me reveal the Derek Allard Action Figure to the world! Yup, that's right, an action figure! Kung-fu grip and everything. Well, not really kung-fu grip. I guess that'll be kind of obvious when you look at the pictures below. Jennifer Dungan is a former student of mine who now earns her living as a freelance web designer/developer. Despite being busy coding up actionscript wizardry, she finds time for her hobbies. Now some people (not me I swear!) would say that this is an unusual hobby... but its hard not to admire the talent, skill and patience that goes into a project like this.

Check out the images to see what I mean! But first, let's get one thing absolutely clear... this is a Derek action figure, not a doll!

Unusual fortune cookie

Those of you who know me know that I spend a lot of time teaching. I've even won a few pretty nice teaching awards for it (other award was at Seneca College). So I was very surprised to hear what my students really thought of me!

Your students secretly agree that your head is too small for your body.

Now I have a complex!

Database Driven Websites @ McMaster June 2006

I just finsihed teaching a wonderful class at McMaster University called database driven websites. It was part of McMaster’s Web Design and Development program, of which I am a principal instructor. This post is a way for us to stay in touch with each other and for continued updates into the world of PHP. If you weren’t a student, you are still welcome to browse, but I doubt you’ll find much interesting here. If you are a student, then read on!

I’ve decided not to password protect this post. You are free to create an account and comment with any alias you choose. Your email will not be publically available. I’ll be sure to post links to the source code of your final projects as I get them in. Thanks again for a great 14 weeks.

If anyone wants to track this thread, the easiest way to do it might be RSS (really simple syndication).  I have a post about Using Firefox with RSS available.