Lesson 0


What we will learn today?


  • Who we are?
  • What will we learn?
    • Read this Technology Survey from StackOverflow. Pay particular attention to the technologies we'll be teaching you (JavaScript, React, NodeJS)
  • House Rules
    • How we work?
    • How we treat each other?
  • Standup


Welcome to CodeYourFuture and to the world of Web Development! Now that you have built a website in CodePen and learned the basics of HTML and CSS, it's time to learn about the tools that web developers use in their everyday job. These tools will be used during the course, so it is important that you become familiarised with them.

In order to get started, we would like you to try to complete a task at home: move your CodePen website to a web address under https://your-username.github.io/your-site-name.

In the process, you will learn how to store your code outside CodePen's website, in a location where other developers can make changes to it and view a history of all the updates that you have made.

If you wish to learn more about the concepts behind the steps we are suggesting below, please read the rest of this document.

And remember: it's ok if you are stuck and don't know how to continue. At any point, please ask for a mentor's help. We will cover these steps again in the lesson, and will explain them in more detail.

How to move your website to Github.io

  1. Export your website as a zip from CodePen
  2. Extract the contents of the zip file to a folder in your computer. Keep note of the location of this folder.
  3. Read about the terminal.
  4. Read about git.
  5. Install Git.
  6. Put the contents of the zip folder in a Gitub repository. How does Github work? (30min) >
  7. You should now have a page with your code under http://github.com/your-username/your-repository-name. This is a view of your code, and you should see a list of your files, including an index.html.
  8. Now all that remains is to publish your website! Still under http://github.com/your-username/your-repository-name, find the settings icon in the top right corner. Repo settings

  9. Find the section named "Github Pages" and select "master branch" in source, then hit "Save". Repo settings on GitHub pages

  10. Wait a few minutes, then refresh the page and come back to the Github Pages section. You should see a green bar saying "Your site is published at http://github.com/your-username/your-repository-name". Click the link, verify that your website is there, then share it with your CYF class!

Terminal basics

During your course journey and onwards, the terminal (also known as command line) will be one of your most valuable tools. It will help you to interact with you computer faster, by helping you to:

  • Create and delete files.
  • Install web development tools.
  • Start a server.
  • Use source control (explained later in this lesson).

All this will make sense as we progress with the lessons. For now, we would like you to get familiar with it by following this tutorial:

How do I use it on my computer

So now that you know what the terminal can do for you, how do you use it? Please find instructions for your operating system below. After you have followed the instructions, open a terminal and write ls, then press the Enter key. You will see something like this:


Commonly used commands

There's a set of commands you should become comfortable with during the course to allow you to effectively move around the filesystem and write software on your laptop.

  • cd - change directory. To move up into the parent directory use: cd ..
  • ls - list the contents of a directory. Can also be used as ls [directory_name] to list the contents of a specific directory without actually moving (with cd) to it
  • pwd - print the full location of your current directory
  • mkdir [name] - create a new directory, with the given name after a space
  • touch [file_name] - create a new file, with the given name (don't forget to add the extension, like .css or .html)
  • rm [file_name] - remove a file
  • rm -r [directory_name] - remove a directory (and all files inside that directory)


The Terminal is already installed. It should be in the list of applications available in your computer. More instructions

macOS (Apple)

The Terminal is already installed. It should be in the list of applications available in your computer. More instructions


Install Git. It will bring with it a tool called "Git Bash". When the mentors ask you to open a terminal or command line, please open "Git Bash".


We will use Git as our Version Control System (also known as Source Control). It's like Dropbox for developers. But much better!

What is "version control"? Version control is a system that records changes to a file or set of files over time so that you can recall specific versions later.

It allows you to revert files back to a previous state, revert the entire project back to a previous state, compare changes over time, see who last modified something that might be causing a problem, who introduced an issue and when, and more. Using a VCS also generally means that if you screw things up or lose files, you can easily recover. In addition, you get all this for very little overhead.

Extract from Git Pro book

This answer on StackOverflow by si618 explains very well why we use Version Control.

So what is Git? Git is one of many Version Control Systems available to use, and by far the most popular.

What is Github? Github is a very popular site where you can publish and share your Git repositories, share and collaborate with other people.

Get Started

Follow this tutorial from Github to setup Git: https://help.github.com/en/articles/set-up-git

Then learn how to use git from the Terminal

Try completing this tutorial as well to learn more intermediate features, like branching.

A typical workflow

Using Git through the Terminal

  • git init if it is a new project, i.e. a project not cloned from a repo (or a fork of a repo)
  • git add . to add local files to the index
  • git commit -m "Good explanation of your file changes" to commit files to the local repo
  • git remote add origin GitRepoRemoteUrl if it is a new project (to setup the remote url)
  • git remote -v to verify that the remote url is set correctly
  • git push -u origin master to push your commits to the remote url (Github in our case)

You will also typically need to set up your email and name once when you install Git git config --global user.name <name> and git config --global user.email<email>.

Using Git through a graphical interface

If you don't feel comfortable with the terminal just yet, download the Github client. If possible, however, we recommend becoming comfortable with the Terminal commands and understanding the steps for the different workflows before moving on to visual Git clients.

Github client guides

Pull Requests

You should also learn how to create and work with Pull Requests.


During our course, we will be using Github to store our code. Github is the most popular Git service around, and is used by many large companies, like Facebook, Airbnb and The Guardian.

CodeYourFuture's Github page

More Resources


IDE stands for "Integrated Development Environment". It is the software that you will be using to write most of your code. It is designed to help you develop your apps quickly, focusing on the problems that you need to solve instead of having to search Google for minor details.


One of the most important features of an IDE is that it provides "auto-completion". This means that it will give you suggestions of what you can can write next, while you are typing something.

For example, when writing a CSS property, it will tell you what values you can assign it to.

IDE auto complete

File tree view

The reason why we call it "Integrated" is that you almost don't need to leave the window to write your app. For example, creating, renaming and moving files can be done directly from the IDE. This functionality can be achieved from something called a "Tree view", which you can usually find on the left side of your IDE.

IDE file tree

Finding files

When working with big projects, you will often need to find a file quickly, without having to go through the tree view manually.

IDE find file

Most IDEs will allow you to do this with a sequence of keys.

VSCode sequence: Windows/Linux Ctrl + P | Mac Cmd + P

Install an IDE

For this course, we recommend the usage of VS Code. Please go ahead and install it, then try opening an HTML file with it via File > Open.

Install VS Code

Other IDEs

Besides VS Code, the IDEs below are also popular with web developers. Feel free to check out their websites and see the differences between them and VS Code.


During our classes, Students and Mentors will share their code with the rest of the class using a tool called Airtame to present their laptop screen wirelessly to the projector. The instructions below were tested on Ubuntu only. Installation will differ on Mac OSX.

To install Airtame:

  • Download the Airtame version for Ubuntu here.
  • In the Terminal, navigate to the directory you downloaded the file. For example, if you downloaded Airtame to your Downloads directory:

    $ cd ~/Downloads

    The downloaded file should have .tar.gz extension. You can see the full name with:

    $ ls airtame*

  • Extract the file using:

    $ tar -xzf <filename> replacing <filename> with the name of the downloaded file.

    The command above will extract the contents of the downloaded file into a directory of the same name.

  • Launch Airtame with the following command:

    $ ./<airtame-dir>/launch-airtame.sh replacing <airtame-dir> with the directory created in the previous step.

  • Install Airtame with the following command:

    $ ./<airtame-dir>/install.sh

    This will create a shortcut (icon) so you can launch Airtame from your Applications

Common Issues

If you have errors returned when executing launch-airtame.sh or install.sh you may need to install one or more missing libraries in your System. Check the error message and:

  • If it contains libgtk-x11 as part of the message, then execute the following command: $ sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0
  • If it contains libgconf as part of the message, then execute the following comand: $ sudo apt-get install libgconf2.0

For any other errors, contact the Mentors on Slack, including the error message from the Terminal.


  • If you have not yet moved your website from CodePen to Github, do it now. Please use the information in this section to complete it.
  • When your website is live at https://your-username.github.io/your-site-name, please send a link to the slack channel of your class.
  • Learn how to navigate your computer using a Terminal (view files, copy files).
  • Install VS Code.
  • Open your website with VS Code and add something to it: text, images, update CSS. Commit your changes to Github and verify that https://your-username.github.io/your-site-name has been updated!

It's alright if you are getting stuck or if something doesn't look right! When it happens, please ask your mentors or classmates for help in Slack.

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