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Teaching an old dog new tricks: Datastax's Summer Sessions

Chris Armitage
(He/Him) | Web developer | Team Lead | PHP | DDD | CQRS | LoRaWAN | IoT
・2 min read

Many years ago I decided to shift from being a full-stack developer and focused just on back-end development. This meant leaving behind jquery (and it's callback hell) and IE6 patch code. And it was wonderful!

When I switched jobs a couple of years ago, I was exposed to Vue and webpack for the first time, and realised front-end development has progressed quite a lot in those years. Then I heard about Jamstack, Netlify, serverless React apps, and realised there was now a major gap in my skillset as a developer. I've already taken part in various Datastax workshops whilst working towards my Cassandra certification, and was somewhat hyped when I saw they were running a 3-week frontend development course.

The Summer Sessions course

Over the three weeks, we developed a ToDo list, a TikTok clone, and a Netflix clone. The front-end code was written in React, with the vast majority being done for us. What we focussed on was setting up the Astra database (using the REST, Collection, and GraphQL interfaces), learning how to use those APIs, using Gitpod (never used it before, it's great!), running Netlify locally, then deploying to Netlify prod.

The result?

I've had my eyes opened to the Jamstack and the power it can bring to bear. My skills lie in the A of Jam, the service APIs. But with what I've learnt over these three weeks, I reckon I could take on making some basic front-end apps to consume those APIs.


If you want to see for yourself, the recording from the third workshop, covering how to create a Netflix clone, is available at

Discussion (1)

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David Jones-Gilardi

I'd love to see some of what you create Chris!