After Digital was excited to attend the third Glasgow Coder Dojo held once again in the stunning Glasgow Science Centre on Sunday 23rd September.

Following on from the second Coder Dojo session, which welcomed founder Bill Liao and focused on algorithms, attendees were encouraged to work in teams to build something together. Due to the long holiday weekend numbers were down a bit this week but are expected to be back to full capacity for the next session. A few fresh faces were in attendance at the Glasgow Science Centre and lots of familiar ones from previous sessions.

After recapping what we’d gone over in the last 2 sessions and making sure the young coders were all geared up for their next challenge, we turned our attention to responsive design.

Responsive web design is a hot topic in the digital world at present and refers to a specific type of design and development that allows sites to adjust to the user’s viewing device (platform, browser, resolution, and orientation, etc). Responsive design promotes optimal accessibility and usability, meaning that organisations can simply maintain one central web presence, which caters to all audiences, i.e. mobile and tablet users as well as desktop visitors. With mobile browsing becoming increasingly omnipresent being able to code and build responsive website designs is a hugely beneficial skill for these young coders to possess.

Attendees were tasked with building a simple responsive web page from scratch locally on their laptops, with guidance from the experienced mentors. The aim was to teach them a series of new skills and increase their knowledge on:

  • How an HTML document is structured
  • How to use basic HTML tags to display headers, paragraphs and images
  • The basics of CSS to style up HTML documents, whilst also dabbling in some more cutting-edge CSS3 properties such as transformations and rounded corners, as well as how it is linked to the HTML document
  • How to make a website responsive with 'media queries' and why responsive design should be used.

Initially the whole team constructed a web page together to give the young coders an idea of what to do. The young coders were involved throughout with the champion and mentors asking them questions on how things should be done based on what they had already learned. Towards the end of the session, the kids were given the initiative to modify their web page as they saw fit, some updated the look and feel of their web page, and others even managed to link it to a second web page without being shown how. This was particularly impressive and really captured the essence of what the Internet aims to do and what these sessions are trying to teach - to connect data together.

As the session drew to a close the young coders were asked what else they’d like to learn at future Coder Dojos. An overriding theme was that they wanted to learn how to build smartphone apps, as these are hugely integrated into their everyday lives and modern society. This is something we will look into in future sessions, perhaps even developing some in tandem with the Glasgow Science Centre.

The next session will be a very special one, held on the evening of Thursday the 25th October at the prestigious Scottish Parliament buildings in Edinburgh. More on this to follow soon.

If you want to find out more about responsive web design take a look at our blog. If you have any queries drop us an email or give us a call and we'd be happy to help out!