This course is currently in-between semesters— the information on this website is presented for informational purposes only; any material is subject to change for active semesters.

Fall 2016

  • The listing for this course on the Harvard Extension site can be found here.
  • Prerequisite details are here; you must read this before registering.
  • Lectures will be Thursdays, 5:30-7:30pm Eastern Time.
  • Lecture 1 will be on Thursday, September 1.
  • This course is available both in-person and online:
    • In person: Harvard Campus, Maxwell-Dworkin G115.
    • Online: Lecture videos will be posted online and we'll use a couple different virtual tools to communicate. Stay tuned for a welcome email at the start of the semester with more details.
  • If you have additional questions before registering for this course, you're welcome to email me at

Course Description

Instructor: Susan Buck (

PHP, Git, Laravel, Composer

Dynamic Web Applications is the next step for students who have experience with HTML/CSS and are looking to take their web programming skills to the next level with server-side web development.

Websites can be relatively static mediums: a simple portfolio or a site for a local coffee shop are two examples of basic sites with hard-coded content. This format works well for presenting the same information to every visitor to the site. Web applications, however, take websites to the next level. Think about your experience with online banks, tools like Google Docs, or stores like Amazon. These are all robust applications operating with databases and offering a personalized experience to each individual user.

Over the course of the semester we'll cover the skills necessary to evolve simple static websites into dynamic, database-driven web applications.

Technologies covered:

  • Object Oriented PHP using the expressive MVC framework, Laravel
  • Basic server set up and management
  • Version Control with Git
  • Modern web development practices