Chevron Left
Back to Web Application Development: Basic Concepts

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Web Application Development: Basic Concepts by University of New Mexico

181 ratings

About the Course

This is the first course in a Coursera Specialization track involving Web Application Architectures. This course will give you the basic background, terminology and fundamental concepts that you need to understand in order to build modern full stack web applications. A full stack web developer is familiar with each "layer" of the software technologies involved in a web application, including data modeling and database technologies, the web server environment and middleware components, network protocols, the user interface and basic visual design and user interaction concepts. In this course we will learn by doing. We will start by learning the major components of web application architectures, along with the fundamental design patterns and philosophies that are used to organize them. You will build and continually refine a fully functional full-stack web application as we progress through the modules in this course. Along the way you will be exposed to agile software development practices, numerous tools that software engineers are expected to know how to use, and a modern web application development framework. This course is also available in Spanish. To join the Spanish version, visit this page:

Top reviews


Dec 28, 2016

Very good introduction, with clear explanations and excellent examples! If you are new to web apps, this is a great choice to get started!


Jun 30, 2016

I have enjoyed this course so far more than others like it that were similar. I look forward to finishing it.

Filter by:

1 - 25 of 61 Reviews for Web Application Development: Basic Concepts

By Ludmila S

Sep 7, 2016

Unfortunately, didn`t enjoy this course at all. I have gone through 7 courses on Coursera and finished them with the biggest pleasure and great results. This time I had to leave the course before finishing because:

1st: content is organized awfully (for example "HTML overview" - I knew all the material so I have an idea how it should look like, but lecturer started from the middle of all concepts, than moved to the beginning and together it looked like an unlinked content. I have simply lost a logic inside this.

2nd: Very difficult to get an idea: lecturer doesn`t try to simplify the content, even opposite - I had a feeling, that he makes easy things complicated for a reason. My husbend is a programmer with 10 years experience and when he watched the lecture he said, that even for him it was difficult to understand all the thing (things he actually knows). All these terms used, no relevant examples, too complex words and so on - I lost concentration, I had to google a lot of unknown terms, I had to stop lecture every 30 seconds to reread or repeat the peace of lecture, because I could not understand it. As I mentioned, I know HTML well, but it was described so complex, that it was difficult to link my actual knowledge to lecturer words.

3rd: not international student friendly. Use of complex words in places where they were not necessary, complex structures, too fast language... I am pretty good in English, but had to stop video and to google translate some "smart" words lecturer used without particular need - I don`t mean definitions, just some epithets to make his speech "smarter". I completed Coursera specialization by Michigan University and it was completely easy with plain text, short sentences, so well made for international student.

4th: this is boring. I am sorry, but this is true. I am interested in all these questions, but for some reasons I lose my attention every time. Maybe the reason is in all points I have just mentioned, but I didn`t enjoy this course at all and it was the first time I didn`t enjoy something connected with web app development. Please, don`t be mad at me - lecturer is a very charming and charismatic person, but I simply don`t like how the material is presented.

5th: I have a feeling like all slides are taken from some scientific books and lecturer reads comments from some science articles, it is not like described with own words, simplified for better comprehension, cleared with own real-life examples and in atmosphere of friendly conversation with some emotions and humor.

Please, take my feedback just as my personal opinion and hope other students will enjoy it more.

By Calen S

Jun 25, 2020

Overall, I think this is a pretty solid course to get a good preliminary understand of how web apps work, and the sorts of services that support it. My main detractors are firstly, that while being an introductory course, does assume that the learner has some knowledge and background in development - if you don't have any background you may be a bit lost at times, or need to find supplementary information.

Secondly, the course system hasn't aged all that well - at the time I took the course, the version of Ruby and Rails I was using was a few versions newer than that used in the course, which is ok for the most part, but the grading system won't issue a passing grade unless you do a few workarounds with the actual file submission, and it doesn't look to be getting much support from its creators.

So overall, three starts for great knowledge, guided learnings and comprehensive coverage of materials, but only three because it makes some assumptions about its audience that I don't think are always true, and you must do some workaround in order pass all the submissions.

By Ajith

Sep 10, 2018

Excellent course!

Everything including the structure, the content, the presentation and the delivery of the course is of top quality. It is a pleasure to learn the basics of web application development using Ruby on Rails from Prof. Heileman. His teaching style is so good that learning becomes as easy as watching a movie, even for a complete beginner. I take this opportunity to thank him and his team for making this wonderful asset available to everyone and wish him good luck in all future endeavors.

By Zac S

Dec 29, 2016

Very good introduction, with clear explanations and excellent examples! If you are new to web apps, this is a great choice to get started!

By Bolatan A I

Nov 15, 2016

Very concise and well structured lecture. Also easy to grasp for beginner and pro Rails developer

By Christopher P K

Oct 2, 2018

Lot's of great information on how web applications work and best practices. Well worth the time!

By Himanshu G

May 9, 2016

till now ... the videos are wonderful - they are well - designed.

By Patrick H

Jul 22, 2021

The course is completely out of date (2021), staff participation non-existent, most things shown do not work because the used software (Ruby & Rails) has been updated years ago. The students have found some hacks to work around the numerous issues, so it is possibly to at least jury-rig your work to pass the course. However, this will neither be instructive nor pretty nor fun. Don't do this to yourself.

Many things are left unexplained, you will find yourself typing stuff without understanding anything about it. The instructors will tell you that it will be explained in a later course, but all later courses have been taken down. Probably because they are even more horribly out of date.

This is a waste of money. I regret every cent I spent.

Coursera and the UNM should be ashamed to keep this course online.

By Jason S

May 11, 2016

Very little participation so very little help to be found on the forums, and from what I can tell, absolutely zero staff participation. After a couple weeks it's looking like a waste of money.

By Aayush A

Feb 1, 2021

Things are not clearly explained and the things explained are not working properly

By Deleted A

Oct 31, 2020

can't unenroll

By Nizar H

Sep 13, 2021

It's so hard

By Abhinav S

Jul 6, 2017

I am a Performance Testing engineer working with a IT giant. As a performance engineer, in the very start of every project I have to understand what is the architecture of the application which is being tested. I find it somehow difficult but this course gave me a very clear picture of web application. One of the best explanation of n-Tier architecture available on the internet so far.

By Frank G

May 29, 2017

Very good, concise Introduction to Full-Stack Webdevelopment. Explains a lot of those "in-between" things that are important as a web developer, but that most other courses or books do not address, at least not in one coherent narrative, as is done here.

Hope to see the follow up course(es?) soon!

By David M H

Apr 27, 2017

Great introduction to web application development and Ruby on Rails. Although the course may be a little slow for hands-on learners, it does a nice job covering relevant topics needed to understand all the moving parts associated with a web application.

By Arek S

Oct 9, 2017

Retrospectively, it was a very good course. No-nonsense, rather hard presentation, demanding which is understandable considering Rails encompass database, Ruby, bunch of tools and technologies, but well organized and executed.

By Tyler R

Apr 30, 2016

I am impressed with not only the breadth, but also the depth of this course. It is a great introduction to Web Application Architecture, and sets the students up for a successful journey into Web Application Development.

By Sye

Dec 13, 2017

I enjoyed it some detail with how to change the schema, view and controllers would have helped and for it to be a little more challenging. Otherwise it was an amazing course and really helped me understand web apps.

By K m

May 4, 2016

Short course,but easy to grapse Rails about and procedure how to step by step.So before move on more detials in the future, this course satisfied me a lot.

By Jonathan R

Jul 1, 2016

I have enjoyed this course so far more than others like it that were similar. I look forward to finishing it.

By Abhishek J

Apr 8, 2020

very useful course but their is only one problem that i face ruby on rails is not installing properly .

By Avijit B

Apr 21, 2020

The course is good but discussion forum needs active support anyway thanks to professor Greg Heileman.

By Tomasz O

Jul 1, 2017

Great course. I'm looking forward to continuation ('Web Application Development' specialization).

By Sourav D

Feb 19, 2017

Its a very good course for the beginners to understand basic work flow for web development.

By Tekurala R

Sep 11, 2016

Awesome guidance and lecture delivery by the World class professor .