Geekuni Dancer Web Development Course
Written by Nikos Vaggalis   
Friday, 31 October 2014
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Geekuni Dancer Web Development Course
How Geekuni works



How it works

The student’s work environment is hosted on an Ubuntu VM, which in turn is hosted on Amazon AWS, and is flexible enough to be accessed both through an SSH client and a web based interface, making access transparent:


You save VM snapshots of your progress and re-load them at a later time to continue the work. But there is also another more subtle reason that this VM scheme is handy. When in need of help, the forum where the rest of the course’s participants and Andrew meet, is where questions can be asked. If, however, the case is a hard one to diagnose, Andrew loads your VM image and examines your code. That way you avoid having your code made public and instead enjoy one-to-one private consulting, something not found in other online courses.




At the end of each exercise, there is a little button called Check. This runs your code through some automated tests and validates it. This tool gives you feedback more quickly and accurately on all those simple errors (which are hard for a human mentor to identify). This way when you're asking questions on a forum, the simple errors are resolved and you can discuss things at the conceptual level, where it's much easier for humans to be helpful.

As another debugging aid, I would personally suggest that you monitor the flow of HTTP requests behind the scenes with a tool like HTTP Fox, which makes the process much easier to comprehend. Also a tool like Firebug can prove very handy for examining the generated JavaScript:



Of course there is much more to web development than Dancer itself, so the course takes a snap, but holistic, look into the other components involved, like CSS, Bootstrap, Jquery and Isotope. This doesn't consider each component in isolation but instead combined into one amalgamation. In this way it lays the groundwork and points the student in the direction he should take to become an accomplished web developer.

Having used Perl for many things, even Windows desktop GUI applications, I hadn’t had any Web development experience with it. By completing this course I’ve got the head start needed. I can now read the manual and make sense, I can now use the blogosphere’s tutorials, and ultimately, I can now follow the path to enlightenment, as everything starts falling into place.

The end finds me as excited as I was in the beginning, now wanting to delve even more. By focusing on the student, looking to engage and make him an integral part of the process, by employing a smart educational model, by being flexible enough and easy to access, the course has all the potential to raise your learning experience, and career, into new levels.

And if you want to continue your hard work, which reflects the level of expertise you've achieved so far, even after the course completion its possible to continue and hosting your finished site on Digital Ocean’s servers. If you want to know how, follow these instructions from Gabor Szabo.

Oh, and you do also get a certificate of completion. You’ll never know when that will prove handy...



If you are interested in learning Dancer or Perl with Geekuni the cost is $39.95 per month. You work at your own pace so you can take as long as you like. There is a 3-day free trial - so if you are a really fast worker you could get through the Web Development course for free. If you want a certificate of completion that's available as an $49.95 extra. See the Geekuni site for more details of pricing. 


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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 November 2014 )