Welcome to GD 431! Together, you’re going to sharpen the skills learned in GD2 and apply them to more complex and realistic projects.


This class will be 💯 online and mainly asynchronous – which means you’ll work through the course content and exercises on your own schedule on a weekly basis. We’ll hold synchronous meetings to review your work, discuss readings, troubleshoot your code and anything else that feels valuable to do together ‘in person’.

Just to underscore what I wrote in the syllabus: This does not mean you’re on your own! You’ll be connected to your classmates and me on Slack, and I will provide a variety of opportunities to connect over Zoom.

Your weekly course materials will include the following sections

So, for example, the ‘activities’ for this week—week one—should be completed before next Thursday and are not expected to be done before the first class meeting.

Even if the class does not meet in a given week, the activities should be completed on schedule unless we explicitly discuss otherwise.

Within the pages of this course web site, I wanted to provide as much information as possible, but I realized sometimes it may confusing which instructions, links, readings, etc. are required and which are optional. I have tried to consistently use this ✳️ asterisk emoji to identify links or materials that are optional.

This, however, does rely on me remembering to add in the emoji, so if you’re ever in doubt, feel free to ask in Slack if I expect you to read a particular link!

First Week Details

This week, we have two priorities:

  1. Have a shared understanding of the goals of this course, discuss the format of the course, and make sure you know what it takes to be successful in the course.
  2. Get you sorted with the tools we’ll use throughout the semester.

Week one is going to start off with some pretty solid technical challenges—but know that I’ve guided several classes through this in the past and we’ve always been able to troubleshoot any issues that have come up. Also, the tools you’re being introduced to are ones you’ll use for every project this semester – so, what might feel challenging or confusing in week one will be routine by week 16 (and even earlier).