Web science studies large-scale socio-technical systems, with the most prominent of these systems being the World Wide Web. Web science considers the relationship between people and technology, the ways that society and technology co-constitute one another and the impact of this co-constitution on broader society.
Web development is the work involved in developing a website for the World Wide Web. Depending on the level of specialization, web development can include all aspects of a website’s construction, from its base coding all the way to it’s final user design experience. 

Being a millennial, I am part of that generation who grew up pretty isolated in the 1990s… and then suddenly found myself suddenly plugged into a world wide web of connections and possibilities when broadband took off in the 2000s. Therefore, I have a much more objective viewpoint on the web because I can remember a time before it.

I’ve always been fascinated with the web, the potential of what it can do next and how it is radically transforming human civilization. But a major part of being fascinated with something is wanting to understand it, so I was hugely pleased when I discovered the field of web science together with a MOOC all about it. 

However, my fascination for the web goes beyond just wanting to understand it, I also want the web to work for me. This why I have increasingly got into the habit of building my own websites. I started web developing during my undergraduate studies where I built a few blogs on services like Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress.

Then, when I graduated and knew that I wanted a proper personal website (the final project for this concentration) and also a website to host my MTA Portfolio, I started to study web development from the ground up, because I wanted to be able to build a website from the ground up.

Web development comes in three specializations: front-end, back-end and full-stack…

  • Front-end deals with the coding, design and behaviour of a website in a browser.
  • Back deals with the servers, databases and applications that enable a website to exist and function on the web.
  • Full-stack deals with both front-end and back-end development.

I am definitely more of a front-end developer and I especially thrive on the web design aspects of web development. I consider my web development education to be open-ended and even when I was building this website, and the other websites that form other components of my MTA Portfolio, I learned innumerable things that went vastly beyond what I was learning in the MOOCs of this module. 

8 Courses

Web Science: How the Web is Changing the World

Platform: FutureLearn

Institution: University of Southampton

Started: 11/02/2014

Finished: 15/09/2015

Go to course on Class Central

 

Internet History, Technology and Security

Platform: Coursera

Institution: Wesleyan University

Started: 28/09/2014

Finished: 22/12/2014

Go to course on Class Central

 

Web Development Foundations: Full-Stack vs Front-End

Platform: LinkedIn

Institution: LinkedIn Learning

Started: 08/03/2018

Finished: 08/03/2018

 

Web Development Foundations: Web Technologies

Platform: LinkedIn

Institution: LinkedIn Learning

Started: 13/03/2018

Finished: 27/03/2018

Go to course on Class Central

 

Coding: HTML Basics

Platform: Codecademy

Institution: Codecademy

Started: 28/04/2014

Finished: 01/05/2014

Go to course

 

HTML, CSS and JavaScript

Platform: Coursera

Institution: The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Started: 06/07/2017

Finished: 16/07/2017

Go to course on Class Central

 

WordPress: Building Child Themes

Platform: LinkedIn

Institution: LinkedIn Learning

Started: 02/06/2020

Finished: 03/06/2020

Go to course

 

Making Sense of the CSS Box Model

Platform: LinkedIn

Institution: LinkedIn Learning

Started: 02/06/2020

Finished: 03/06/2020

Go to course

 

2 Books

Untangling the Web: What the Internet is Doing to You

Author: Aleks Krotoski

Publisher: Guardian Faber Publishing

Published: 2013

Started: 01/05/2015

Finished: 10/05/2015

Go to book on Goodreads

 

Our Virtual Shadow

Author: Damon Brown

Publisher: TED Conferences

Published: 2013

Started: 01/02/2019

Finished: 15/05/2019

Go to book on Goodreads

 

The Web is different from most previously studied systems in that it is changing at a rate that may be of the same order as, or perhaps greater than, even the most knowledgeable researcher’s ability to observe it. An unavoidable fact is that the future of human society is now inextricably linked to the future of the Web. We therefore have a duty to ensure that future Web development makes the world a better place. Corporations have a responsibility to ensure that the products and services they develop on the Web don’t produce side effects that harm society, and governments and regulators have a responsibility to understand and anticipate the consequences of the laws and policies they enact and enforce. We cannot achieve these aims until we better understand the complex, cross-disciplinary dynamics driving development on the Web—the main aim of Web Science.

James Hendler, Nigel Shadbolt, Wendy Hall, Tim Berners-Lee & Daniel Weitzner, Web Science: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Understanding the Web, Communications of the ACM, Volume 51, Number 7, July 2008