Microsoft Virtual Academy: Web Development

Creating applications for the internet and intranet – that, in essence, is what web development is all about. Web development is a very broad term, which encompasses many different positions and aspects within the IT field. Social networking, eCommerce, web design, and also network security – these can all be described as web development-related topics.



The internet is constantly, rapidly, unstoppably growing. And it is growing at this amazing pace thanks to the developers who are contributing to it, improving it, and stretching its capabilities past the known limits. You don’t have to be IT certified to develop a webpage or web application, but there are some things that are best left to the professionals. Web developers are the ones who are working behind the scenes, to make sure their websites are running smoothly and efficiently. They are the ones who are shaping the way we view our virtual world.

Web development courses have been available through Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) since 2012. There are 109 courses on a wide range of topics. From introductory courses on Python or Flask, through intermediate courses like Faster Insights to Data with Power Business Intelligence Jump Start, to advanced level courses such as Designing Database Solutions for SQL Server.

The top courses on web development are Updating your Database Management Skills to SQL Server 2014, HR and Payroll in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013, Project Accounting in Microsoft Dynamics SL 2015, and Open Source Questions Answered.

 Course Review: JavaScript Fundamentals for Absolute Beginners

One of the most popular courses in MVA’s web dev section is JavaScript Fundamentals for Absolute Beginners, instructed by Bob Tabor. This course is meant – just as the title suggests – for newbies. Novices, beginners, and newcomers. Whatever title you want to put on it, be my guest. The point is that this course is for those who have no experience, and who are looking to get their foot in the door that is JavaScript.

Learn JavaScript and jQuery

Learn JavaScript and jQuery

Topics of this course include:

  • Writing Your First JavaScript Application
  • Dissecting the First JavaScript Application You Wrote
  • Writing JavaScript in Visual Web Developer Express Edition
  • JavaScript Variables, Types, Operators, and Expressions
  • Conditional Logic in JavaScript
  • JavaScript Functions
  • JavaScript Arrays
  • Looping Statements in JavaScript
  • Understanding Function Versus Global Scope
  • Working with External JavaScript Files
  • Organizing and Simplifying JavaScript with Object Literals
  • Understanding the Document Object Model
  • Getting Started with jQuery
  • jQuery Selectors
  • jQuery Events
  • Installing and Utilizing jQuery Plugins
  • Unobtrusive JavaScript
  • Using jQuery to Retrieve JSON via AJAX
  • Fundamentals of JavaScript Closures

There are no prerequisites for enrolling in this course. It is worth 59 points, and runs about eight and a half hours. It includes 21 modules, all of which are straight-up video lectures. This course is categorized as a Level 100, since it is meant for absolute beginners, and is rated 5 out of 5 stars.

JavaScript is used in web-based video games, user interfaces, and dynamic and responsive webpages. This course teaches the tools, the code, the core concepts, and more. Each section of the course is broken down, in order to ease the learning process.

Bob Tabor is a .NET and C# developer, a Channel9 / MVA contributor, and the founder of LearnVisualStudio.NET. He is an author and entrepreneur, with a 12-year history of experience and success in the IT industry.

Course Review: Building Web Apps with ASP.NET Jump Start

Another very popular course is Building Web Apps with ASP.NET Jump Start, instructed by Scott Hanselman and Jon Galloway, with guest speaker Damian Edwards. This course goal is twofold. First, it is meant for those who are about to sit for their Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD): Web Applications exam, also known as exam 70-486: Developing ASP.Net MVC 4 Web Applications.

Second, this course is targeted at experienced developers who are interested in working with ASP.Net tools. It is an accelerated introduction to building apps with ASP.Net 4.5 and ASP.Net MVC 4. It enables them to build social web applications, mobile-ready websites, and more.

Creating web applications

Creating web applications

The topics covered in this course are:

  • What’s New in ASP.NET 4.5
  • Building and Deploying Websites with ASP.NET MVC 4
  • Creating HTML5 Applications with jQuery
  • Building a Service Layer with ASP.NET Web API
  • Leveraging your ASP.NET Development Skills to Build Office Apps
  • Building and Leveraging Social Services in ASP.NET
  • Building for the Mobile Web
  • Real-time Communications with SignalR
  • Taking advantage of Windows Azure services
  • Next Steps

There are no specific prerequisites for enrolling in this course, but it is meant for relatively experienced developers, not beginners. Because of this, this course has been given Level 200 status. It is worth 43 points, with a completion bonus of 15 additional points. This course runs over seven hours in length, and includes nine modules. The modules include source codes and slideshow presentations, which students can use in real time, while the course is being taught. This popular course is rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Hanselman is Principal Program Manager at Microsoft. He is one of Microsoft’s top web developers, has written several books, has spoken and met with a half million developers around the world. He has been blogging for over a decade on web development, technology, and pop culture.

Galloway is a Windows Azure Technical Evangelist, with a particular focus on ASP.NET MVC. He has been working with Microsoft platforms since the late 90’s. Galloway is also an author and popular conference speaker.

Edwards is Senior Program Manager on the ASP.NET team at Microsoft. He is responsible for the core ASP.NET runtime, Web Forms and SignalR. He’s also an active open source participant, as the creator of the Web Forms MVP and SignalR open source ASP.NET projects, as well as various jQuery plugins. He is a long-time contributor to Channel 9.

What will you learn today?

What will you learn today?

With over 100 courses in web development, MVA students are sure to find what they are looking for. Courses of varying languages and levels are at there for those who need them. Ready to learn a new skill, change careers altogether, or take your existing skills to the next level? Let the Virtual Academy be your guide on the road to success.

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