This course is a survey of web technologies that are used to build back-end systems that enable rich web applications. Utilizing technologies such as Python, Flask, Docker, RDBMS/NoSQL databases, and Spark, this class aims to cover the foundational concepts that drive the web today. This class focuses on building APIs using micro-services that power everything from content management systems to data engineering pipelines that provide insights by processing large amounts of data. The goal of this course is to provide an overview of the technical issues surrounding back-end systems today, and to provide a solid and comprehensive perspective of the web’s constantly evolving landscape.

If you are interested in learning about front-end systems please check out Info 253a: Front-End Web Architecture, typically offered in the fall semester


The content for this class is based on the Web Architecture class taught by Jim Blomo.

Lecture Format:

The three hour lecture time will be split into two sections: 

  • A 40 minute teaching session followed by a 30 minute lab
  • A second 40 minute teaching session followed by a second 30 minute lab
  • Class discussion/Office hours for the remaining time


Labs (20%), Assignments (40%), Project (40%)

  • Labs are due at 11:59 pm of the Monday after the class they have been assigned. Labs will be self-graded
  • Assignments and the Project are due 11:59 pm on the day of their due date
  • Late labs will not be accepted
  • Late assignments will be deducted 5 points each day they are late.
  • If there are any issues please contact me asap


  • Kay Ashaolu kay@ischool
  • Office hours after Session 2