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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to common questions about CS 4640 in general and our semester in particular. We’ll update this page throughout the semester with additional questions and comments, so please check back often!

General Questions

Why are we using PHP?

A common question for CS 4640 is “Why PHP?” While there are many arguments for and against using PHP, it is still the most-used language in web development. Specifically, 77.4% of websites use PHP.

Why not use Django? React? Java? Ruby?

Relatedly, I’ve been asked why we don’t discuss other languages. First, it would be difficult to cover all possible languages in CS 4640, so our goal is to give a good taste of many languages, while providing a foundation for exploring more languages on your own. Part of that foundation is incorporating knowledge gained from other courses: CS 3140 and CS 3240 utilize Django, Mobile apps frequently teaches React Native, and many other courses focus on Java. By not discussing them in CS 4640, we’ll be able to cover a wider variety of languages and provide a bigger picture overall.

Why use PostgresSQL instead of MySQL or MSSQL?

This semester, we’ll be using PostgresSQL instead of MySQL, MariaDB, Microsoft SQL, or Oracle. All these databases are similar and use a flavor of the SQL query language, but they differ only slightly. CS 4750 will use MySQL/MariaDB, so we’ll use PostgresSQL to cover a slightly different flavor and gain experience administering and connecting to a different SQL database.


How will you accommodate a student who needs to isolate/quarantine?

If a student informs us that they cannot attend class in-person because they have been requested to isolate or quarantine due to possible exposure to COVID-19, we will treat you as we would any other student absent due to illness. You will have access to the recordings of the lecture as well as lecture slides. You are also encouraged to post questions on Piazza.

What if the Professor has to isolate/quarantine (either for themselves or because of a family member)?

If Prof. Hott has to isolate or quarantine, we may have a virtual class session, recording, or guest lecture.

Are office hours going to be in-person or online?

We anticipate offering a mix of in-person and online office hours. Some staff may only offer online office hours. We will make this clear on the calendar found on the course webpage.

Do I have to wear a mask?

Our class will diligently follow all University regulations in effect at that time. If masks are required during a certain period, then they are absolutely required for class. If policy has changed, then we will adjust accordingly. Failure to mask if a regulation is in effect will result in reporting to UJC and a professionalism penalty for the class.

Note that some members of the staff and class will continue to mask for the entire semester for various reasons. They also may request that you remain distant (or wear a mask as a courtesy) as well. Please be kind to each other!