Finishing 2013 classes for Polycademy

It has been a while since our last blog post, but we've had quite a bit of activity here for the last several months.

When we finished term 1, our students created various MVP versions of their ideas. Two of them can be seen online: Buhloon and ChessDimensions. The students found out that learning software development is an arduous process. But it's something that can be learned with commitment, and also something that allows you to create original applications in a short amount of time. It's also a life long learning process, since they've only scratched the surface of application development.

After and during term 1, we learned new development techniques. We wanted to streamline some of the course content, since during term 1 we transitioned between static web applications to more dynamic interactive applications, facilitated by single page frameworks such as AngularJS.

Term 2 unfortunately didn't run, since I was finishing up University examinations as I was about to graduate from the Australian National University. Once I had graduated, I decided to move Polycademy to Sydney.

So Polycademy is now located at the Vibewire co working place. It's in the heart of Sydney, close to Fishburners and Central station. This place is designed for social enterprises and organisations, so we're in good company.

Just before I launch into talking about what's happening in term 3, I want to point that we finished building an application for a client. It's called Dream it App ( It's a platform for people to generate and discuss ideas for new web, mobile and desktop applications. If you have an idea for a cool application or if you already have built applications, add it on Dream it App and try get people talking about it.

It took about 2 and half months from start to finish, and it's a full single page application built on top of PHP, AngularJS, and Bootstrap. We learned that building large scale single page applications is much more difficult than static web applications. Static web applications refer to when the "view" (what you're seeing) is pretty much generated completely by the server side environment. Then people generally use jQuery to spice things up and make a few things dynamic. It was difficult because the javascript development practices haven't really been standardised, so we are often juggling competing best case practices. Every development company has their own opinion on javascript architecture and workflow. For example there are 5 different package managers for client side javascript: bower, ender, volo, component or jamjs. Of course there's the problem of browser incompatibility. Every browser has their own idiosyncrasies that you have to shim or monkey patch. These problems are being flattened with the introduction of Yeoman, RequireJS and Grunt, but JS development is still quite fractured. Regardless, it was great experience. One thing that tends to happen after producing something new is that you experience overruns that produce new code that can be reused in other projects. Some of these are on my gists, such as Masonry with AngularJS, Disqus with AngularJS.

Now in term 3, Polycademy has been working with Mustafa Sharara a student from Qatar on creating a new service coined SnapSearch. SnapSearch will help developers and site owners make their dynamic, interactive and HTML5 web applications indexable by search engines. Currently major search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo cannot index or get incorrect results from their index when they send their robot to index dynamic sites, SnapSearch will prevent that problem, and remove any economic disadvantages when using single page application frameworks. Hopefully this will usher in a world of web 3.0, where every site can dynamic and interactive. More news on SnapSearch will be posted here in the future.

In preparation for 2014, we are going to be redesigning For now, we've updated the course page with new content regarding the course content. Some of the major things include: Asynchronous Programming, Automated Development Environment Deployment using Vagrant and Chef, Build Automation using Grunt, Polyglot programming involving PHP, JS, and Ruby, Behaviour Driven Development with Codeception, Concurrrent Programming using Gearman and Redis Message Queues, and Authentication and Authorisation with PolyAuth.

But of course with so much course content, we have to be flexible depending on what kind of technology stack is suitable for the application that students want to build!

Upcoming blog posts should be more regular as I can talk about various technologies and what we're doing with them.

Posted by CMCDragonkai on 2013-10-02 09:15:25 Tags: teaching coding business coworking events Want to Comment?