I'm Danny de Vries, Web development lecturer at the Amsterdam University, Ask Me Anything!

Danny de Vries on February 12, 2019

I'm a lecturer and researcher Communication and Multimedia design at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. I mostly lecture about web deve... [Read Full]
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Hey, Danny.

  • What are the most challenging concepts or topics for the students?
  • What techniques do you use to improve students' presenting and communication skills? Thanks.

Motivation is the most important aspect. Every student can learn how to program. Getting started is not the hardest part, it's to keep pushing true if you feel like you don't understand anymore.

From a technical perspective, specific to JavaScript, the difference between console.logging and actually getting input from the DOM is one of the hardest conceptc to understand. Oh, and CSS layout / Box model!

I would treat presenting like public speaking, these book recommendations from Notist are a nice way to start. Design is a Job from Mike Monteiro is a good confidence booster.


Could you answer one more question:
What's the biggest challenge for you as a teacher? Or maybe what was the biggest challenge when you had just started teaching?


  • Not every student has the same motivation and eagerness to learn.
  • Coaching is hard, it's not about slides and theory. It's about motivating students and getting them interested in particular topics.
  • Making students realize they are not making assignments and exercises because I want them to and they get a grade but it's theory that is needed for their own career paths.
  • Students shouldn't compare themselves to others in their classroom but compare who they were yesterday. It's hard to make them set their own goals and define their skill level and learning path.

Hey Danny, Thanks for doing this. I've got a few questions, if you don't mind.

  • What's your recommended way of animating SVG. I've looked at GSAP but I'm curious what you think.
  • Any recommendations on my portfolio?
  • What's the best way to handle animating things onto the screen (fade in boxes on page scroll, etc)?
  • What's your favorite thing/place about Amsterdam? It's definitely on my bucket list of places to spend some time in.

No problem at all, thank you for the questions.

  • Most of the time I don't need a library or framework to do SVG animation, but if you do feel the need to use one anime.js is the way to go.
  • I would expand on the case study's of your projects a bit more. You could give some more explanation about the project and show more of the process instead of the final result.
  • Either Intersection Observer or Resize Observer but support is limited.
  • Amsterdam is a good hub for digital creatives. Lots of agencies and a big network of different people in the creative field. It's still a 'managable' city, everything important is within reach but still big enough to find all different types of new places every day. Zeedijk is a must see!

Hey how should i start career as web developer


Can you be a bit more specific? What do you want to focus on? What projects do you want to work on?


As a frontend but i have no idea exactly from where to start n resources..

The front-end handbook from 2018 is a nice overview of different types of developers and contains lots of resources for you to get started!

Thank you sure i will refer it n i am learning from free code camp !!!


Hey Danny! What are your go-to web animation resources? (also a headsup that your Visual Interface Design link is 404'in)


Thanks for the heads up!

I'm a huge fan of the weekly newsletters from Val head and Donovan. I also check the feed from Sara Soueidan her blog regularly! As far as books go I would recommend Practical SVG, SVG Animations and Animation at Work.


Depends on the needs of the animation and the technology behind it. You can go with SVG and CSS without using JavaScript wich you need with the Canvas API. I would say, go for Canvas if you need full-screen animations that loop.


as a student, how do i improve my presentation skills? Especially in creating powerpoint presentation using visuals that make sense


From my answer to @lightalloy

I would treat presenting like public speaking, these book recommendations from Notist are a nice way to start. Design is a Job from Mike Monteiro is a good confidence booster.

As far as visuals go: less = more. Always think about the message you want to tell not the aesthetic of the slides, that being said using visuals instead of text is always a good choice when used properly!


What can you say about the current state of the Security of the web?


I'm no expert by any means so I don't really have a solid opinion. I know you shouldn't store passwords in plaintext ¯_(ツ)_/¯

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