Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

Thinking Like the Web

Jon Udell's 1999 book Practical Internet Groupware was a revelation for me: it was the first coherent explanation I'd ever read of how the disparate collection of technologies and social conventions that we call "the web" fit together, and what the deeper patterns and concepts beneath them are. After a lot of further work and thought, Jon has condensed those ideas into seven principles—or as he puts it, "Seven Ways to Think Like the Web". These concepts are the most meaningful definition yet of what the phrase "computational thinking" actually means, and of what people who aren't programmers need to know in order to use the web effectively. As I said in the post on Tom Limoncelli's plea to software vendors, we'll know we're teaching the right things, the right way, when people who have done this course understand these principles and how to apply them.


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