A hearty summer greetings to you from your humble senior instructor. I have occasionally brought to you in this blog space some news about our new programming track. Well, it has officially started with last month’s release of the Introduction to Programming course, which is a course that focuses mainly on programming and design concepts.
Now, about the “timing is everything” part. In building this programming track, we were (or at least I was) trying to come up with a way to bridge the Introduction to Programming courses to some of the existing Microsoft MCSA Certifications, which are more geared for those with 1-2 years of experience in programming (or possess equivalent knowledge). And, a great percentage of you looking to explore this programming track are probably new to programming (hence the Intro to Programming course).
All that said, Microsoft is rolling out, over the next few months, four new MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) certifications. They are:
- Exam 98-381: Introduction to Programming using Python
- Exam 98-383: Introduction to Programming using HTML and CSS
- Exam 98-388: Introduction to Programming using Java
These courses/certifications are the perfect gap between the Introduction to Programming course and the MCSA and other advanced courses we have for our programming track, which we are rolling out over the next several months. And, these courses fit in nicely with our three programming tracks: Web Development, Mobile Development, and General Languages. They mold so well, we even built a road map for you, which you will find a link to at the end of this blog.
Over the next several weeks, I will be posting blog entries for each of the courses in the programming track we are releasing this year.
You see, timing is everything.
Hello, everyone! Hope your summer is going well. This week, we are back in “filming” mode and the course we are filming is a course called HTML5 Application Development, which covers the material in the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) 98-375 exam.
While the focus of this course is the exam material, it also serves as an excellent introductory HTML5 course. HTML, which stands for HyperText Markup Language, is the markup language used to create webpages, like the one you are reading now. And this course covers version 5 of HTML, hence the HTML5 in the course title. We start with the very basics of HTML and then move on to some advanced HTML concepts. By the way, HTML5 makes it much, much easier to embed a video or audio clip inside of a webpage when compared to previous versions of HTML. That is just one of the many HTML5 features covered in this course.
Now, you may have noticed the words “Application Development” in the course title. Alas, HTML5 is not the only piece of HTML5 application development. To format and shape text on a page (by shape I mean boxes, rows, and columns when needed), we use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). An entire session of this course is dedicated to CSS version 3, or CSS3 for short. CSS3 is great for a concept called Responsive Web Design, which is the act of designing a webpage to where it will display well on something as large as a full screen, or, when needed, automatically move items around to display well on a 4-inch mobile device screen, all without having to build separate webpages for each.
All of the material in this course, which includes several hours of video training, a pre-assessment and post-assessment test for each area of the course, a glossary, and a project workbook full of exercises to help you practice these concepts, serves two main purposes: to get you ready to pass the MTA 98-375 exam and gain a certification, and to get you job-ready skills needed for an introductory HTML5 Application Development position.
I just stumbled across one of the coolest sites demonstrating of the power of CSS3 – css3please.com. For those of you who don’t know what CSS is, its simply the language web developers use to put style and color into an average web page. CSS3 has taken style to the next level by allowing designers and developers to not only be able to add a color to an object, but be able to have it display a gradient from any specific color to another. You can also add drop shadows, rounded corners, custom font faces, and even rotation to an object. These features take a lot of pain out of website development by making objects much easier to work with, and quicker to customize and create. Any good developer can tell you of the hassle of trying to make a box with rounded corners without CSS3 – having to first create the image in Photoshop, then cut the image into several smaller pieces, and then get them all to behave and fit tightly together to look like they never were cut up. That can take quite a bit of time. Compare all that with this CSS3 code: