Progressive Web Apps 101

Progressive Web Apps 101

Abstract

This class walks you through the steps of transforming an existing website into a Progressive Web App from the bottom up.

Together we’ll also explore the vast array of companies that have already benefited from the many enhancements PWAs offer and why they’re so successful in emerging markets.

Description

Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs for short, are a relatively new and evolving concept that is Google-backed and are on track to become the new golden web standard. What makes PWAs so unique is that they’re ordinary looking websites that can function as a native mobile app would.

You see, native mobile apps you’d usually install from the app store can do things like sending push notifications, work offline, load from the home screen, and so on and so forth. By comparison, mobile-friendly websites accessed in a mobile browser still can’t do any of these things.

Progressive Web Apps fix that issue by bringing features we expect from native apps to the mobile browser experience. Implying that if a website becomes a PWA, it is using features such as web push notifications and service workers to mimic the same interaction a native mobile app would offer.

In other words, PWAs attempt to combine features offered by most modern browsers with the benefits of the mobile experience. A user can finally get the best of both worlds with the reliability and engagement a native app can provide combined with the performance and lightweight architecture a web app can offer.

Although it may seem quite challenging to implement a PWA, the critical technical aspects only involve HTTPS, service workers, and a web app manifest. However, as long as you serve your site over HTTPS, there is a service worker with some necessary caching, and a web app manifest is registered, browsers recognize your website as a PWA.

As your professor in this class, I’ll walk you through the steps on transforming an existing website into a PWA from the bottom up and together; we’ll explore the vast array of companies that have already benefited from the many enhancements that PWAs offer.

Fit

I’ve been in love with the web throughout my academic and professional career. I love the web industry because, unlike other platforms, the web is the most accessible and easy to build on. Although the radio has served as the most accessible form of information ever since its origination, I believe the web can and will surpass the radio in both reach and value.

I’ve built multiple PWAs with my personal website scoring very high on Lighthouse and have completed almost all of the PWA related online code labs available through Google.

I’ve even attended the PWA Roadshow and the Chrome Dev Summit by Google this year in San Francisco which both allowed me to understand how PWAs work at a higher level.

Regarding prior speaking experience, I’ve given technical talks over ten times so far on web design, coding bootcamps, TypeScript and how to get started in the tech field. I’ve presented these talks not just at conferences but at hackathons and Meetups as well.

Through my prior speaking experience and tinkering outside of work, I believe I have the right amount of passion and engineering background to be able to inspire others to love the web just a little bit more through PWAs.