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Level up by diving into the weeds

If you taught yourself coding or attended a bootcamp, you may never have encountered a technical paper as you were learning. In the back of your mind, you know that there is a Computer Science discipline that people study in universities. But you’ve been focused on the practical — how to actually build stuff.

If you’re a software developer with a CS background, it may be a long time since you’ve dug in and read a technical paper. This is especially true if your work focuses on topics that are better covered by blogs and Twitter. …

More cost effective than college, and probably better learning to boot.

You've been to college, or you're there now, or planning to go. It’s what’s expected in order to secure your social standing and your place in the creative class. If you've been, or if you follow higher ed, you also know that capital ‘C’ College is under a lot of scrutiny.

There’s cheating, sexual assault, grade inflation, and rising tuition. In America, $1.2 trillion in student loan debt is stifling young people’s creativity and options. Businesses complain that graduates are unprepared for the workforce. There’s a glut of PhDs

You want to learn how to use APIs to make awesome things. That’s good, because that’s what we're doing in this tutorial.

This tutorial was originally part of Bitcamp 2015's Scout Trail.

I ❤ bitcamp.


API stands for Application Programming Interface. Any time you are interacting with someone else’s code, you're probably using an API. Communicating with hardware, getting data from a service, or internally in a big codebase.

In the hackathon community and web development communities, API usually means a Web API — a way to interact with data over the internet, usually through RESTful HTTP requests. …

Don’t know anything? That’s AWESOME. This is a soft intro to backend development for those who want to do cool things fast.

This tutorial was originally part of Bitcamp 2015's Scout Trail.

I ❤ bitcamp.


We’ll get you up and hacking in no time. This tutorial has:

  • A little setup
  • Some HTML and CSS
  • Easy Backend with Sinatra. Smooooooth.

We’ll point you to other resources to help you keep moving. Get in touch if you get stuck, or reach out to the internet — everyone wants to help.

We’re gonna go super fast, and you won’t understand everything yet. That’s…

I’ve been working for the past couple months on You can check out the site, and if you are interested in the technical details, we’re open source, so check us out on github.

This post will explore the vision and motivation behind the project — why this is important, what it could do for students and the school.

What is is an API for university data — a way for developers to access data about the school in their applications. There’s the website,, which has documentation explaining how to use the service, and there’s the service itself, which sends…

College is a depressing place. It shouldn’t be.

College is super depressing. It’s hard — lonely, boring, stressful.

I’m not just being descriptive — the National College Health Assessment found in 2011 that 30 percent of college students reported feeling “so depressed that it was difficult to function” at some point in the past year.

Too depressed to function.

Step into those shoes for a second. The unable-to-get-out-of-bed-to-pee kind of debilitating depression. Too sad to eat or work or go to class or hang out. Remember, this is college, the same institution society celebrates as the epitome of fun and good times. 30 percent, too depressed to function.

You've coded a site. Now, put it on the internet for people to see.

EDIT (1/2017): Google has discontinued hosting through Drive. There are lots of other great options for hosting your website — checkout github pages, or do some searching on your own.


This was written to follow the Make Your Own Resume Website From Scratch tutorial, but the steps should be the same for any other site. We'll use that site as the example. Have all your code in a folder on your computer before starting.

The first tutorial could be completed entirely for free. While there are…

You've seen those fancy resume websites. Now make your own.


Your artistic and web-savvy friends make them. Your instructors might have plain-white ones. If you have no idea what I am talking about, check out some example sites.

This how-to walks you through building your own resume site and getting it published online. If you want to buy a template or pay someone to make a site for you, there are places to do that. This is not that.

Building a personal website will take you some time. If you are like lightning, maybe an hour. If you spend time…

Robert Cobb

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