CS 5610/4550 - Web Development

Discusses Web development for sites that are dynamic, data driven, and interactive. Focuses on the software development issues of integrating multiple languages, assorted data technologies, and Web interaction. Requires each student to deploy individually designed Web experiments that illustrate the Web technologies and at least one major integrative Web site project. Each student or team must also create extensive documentation of their goals, plans, design decisions, accomplishments, and user guidelines.

This is a dual-listed class providing both undergraduate and graduate level credit. Students taking this course for graduate credit will be expected to complete additional tasks on some assignments.

Essential Resources


Section Location Time
01 EL 312 11:45am-1:25pm MoTh
02 WVG 102 3:25pm-5:05pm TuFr

Office Hours

Name Location Hours Email
Nat Tuck NI 132 E 2pm-3pm MoTh ntuck ⚓ ccs.neu.edu
Manognya Koduganti BK 210 noon-1pm Tu manognya ⚓ ccs.neu.edu
Navya Kuchibhotla WVH 462 noon-1pm Fr navyakuchibhotla ⚓ ccs.neu.edu
Hoang Pham WVH 362 noon-1pm We pham.hoa ⚓ husky.neu.edu
Arvin Sharma WVH 164 4-5pm Th sharma.arv ⚓ husky.neu.edu


This is an initial schedule, subject to revision as the semester progresses.

Week Starts Topics Work Due
1 Jan 8 Intro: Development on the Web; Server Setup & Deployment HW01: Setup, Server Index
2 Jan 15 MLK Day*; (HTML & CSS); JS & DOM HW02: Frontend Exercises
3 Jan 22 Brunch, Assets, Bootstrap, & React HW03: Client-Side Game
4 Jan 29 Elixir Language; BEAM VM HW04: Elixir Exercises
5 Feb 5 Phoenix Framework; Sessions; Websockets HW05: Server-Supported Game
6 Feb 12 Resources, REST, Postgres, Ecto HW06: CRUD A
7 Feb 19 Pres Day*; (NoSQL?); Relations HW07: CRUD B (Relations)
8 Feb 26 JSON Resources; Canvas / React Konva -
- Mar 5 Spring Break -
9 Mar 12 HTTPS; Security & Passwords -
10 Mar 19 SPAs, Client Side Routes, Client-Side State Project 1
11 Mar 26 Using Web APIs HW08: CRUD C (SPA)
12 Apr 2 ??? -
13 Apr 9 Web Assembly -
14 Apr 16 Pats Day*; Tuesday Class = Office Hours Project 2

* Monday holiday; no class for monday section. Tuesday lecture is optional.

Assignments will frequently be due at 11:59pm Sunday.

Required Supplies

There is no required textbook for this course. Your primary resource should be the official documentation for the languages, libraries, tools, and frameworks we use in the class.

Each student must have virtual private server and a domain name, accessible from the public internet. Getting these will be part of the first homework assignment. This will cost around $30 for the semester.

Domain Registrars: joker, gandi, namecheap.

VPS Providers: vultr, linode, prgmr.

Your VPS should have Ubuntu 16.04 and at least 1 GB of RAM. Either your domain registrar or your VPS provider should provide DNS hosting.

Library, Framework, Tool, and Language Documentation

Prof Rasala’s Web Dev Links: Web Dev Links


We will be writing code in several languages. Programming is much easier with editor support, so you must find and configure an editor that supports the languages we are using. Most editors will do HTML / CSS / JS well out of the box. Elixir is supported less broadly - these editors should work well:

Submitted code with indentation that shows that you aren’t using an editor with automatic indentation support (and using it successfully) will be penalized harshly.


Letter Grades

The number to letter mapping will be as follows:

95+ = A, 90+ = A-, 85+ = B+, 80+ = B, 75+ = B-, 70+ = C+, 65+ = C, 60+ = C-, 50+ = D, else = F

There may be a curve or scale applied to any assignment or the final grades, in either direction.


Most weeks there will be a homework assignment due. You’ll have to do some web design, programming, system administration, database manipulation, etc.

The homework portion of your grade will include some “virtual” assignments which you’ll get a grade for but don’t require assignment submissions:

Project 1

Project 1 will exercise the techniques of a modern, stateful, network application that happens to use web technologies.

Possible assignment:

A multiplayer game (e.g. Snake, Poker) with tables, lobbies, chat, and challenges. Server is stateful, but there’s no persistent state. Uses react or react-konva for rendering. Uses websocket for chat & game state comms. Uses GenServers.

Project 2

Project 2 will build a more traditional web application, and will take advantage of a relational database and a remote API. This project most likely will not require the use of websockets or heavy client-side logic.

Late Work

For homework and Project 1, late submissions will be penalized by 1% per hour late.

Late submissions will not be accepted for Project 2.


Grade Challenges

Homework and project grades will be posted on Bottlenose. If you think your work was graded incorrectly, you can challenge your grade through the following procedure:

First, go to the office hours of the course staff member who graded your work. If you can convince them that they made a concrete error in grading, they will fix it for you.

If the grader doesn’t agree that the grade was wrong, you can issue a formal grade challenge. This follows a variant of the “coaches challenge” procedure used in the NFL.

Here’s the procedure:

Special Accomodations

Students needing disability accommodations should visit the Disability Resource Center (DRC).

If you have been granted special accomodations either through the DRC or as a student athlete, let me know as soon as possible.

Code Copying & Collabaration Policy

Copying code and submitting it without proper attribution is strictly prohibited in this class. This is plagiarism, which is a serious violation of academic integrity.


Non-Code Work

Obviously, written text for something like a project report can also be plagarized. The standard rules for writing apply.

Lecture Notes

Lecture notes are not starter code, and should not be copied without attribution. As long as attribution is provided, there is no penalty for appropriately using code from the lecture notes.

Collaboration and Attribution:

Since it’s not plagiarism if you provide attribution, as a special exception to these rules, any code sharing with attribution will not be treated as a major offense.

There is no penalty for copying small snippets of code (a couple of lines) with attribution as long as this code doesn’t significantly remove the intended challenge of the assignment. This should be in a comment above these lines clearly indicating the source (including author name and URL, if any).

If you copy a large amount of code with attribution, you won’t recieve credit for having completed that portion of the assignment, but there will be no further penalty. The attribution must be obvious and clearly indicate both which code it applies to and where it came from.

Penalty for Plagarism

First offense:

Avoid copying code if you can. If you’re looking at an example, understand what it does, type something similar that is appropriate to your program, and provide attribution. If you must copy code, put in the attribution immediately, every time or you will fail the course over what feels like a minor mistake.