Content over layout

Grading this course will not take into account how beautiful results of the work are formatted. We more easily focus on content by using Markdown, an increasingly popular language used to document code and/or write blogs published on the web.

Markdown is convenient as a tool to publish on the web, especially when used in combination with GitHub Pages and git. Equating webpages to files in a GitHub repository means that we edit and publish a website the exact same way as we version our code: git add, git commit, and git push the website, collaboratively and versioned. When setup correctly, a tool called Jekyll will automagically convert the markdown into HTML.

Github for Education

Did you already request your github student pack? Please go to github for education to get benefits like private repositories.

If you are not yet fluent in git and Github, then go ahead and study the online training material provided by Github. If you are unhappy working with the command line (a skill which I do recommend taking the effort to acquire), consider Github’s OS X or Windows tool suites (the Windows one is convenient).

How to Create a Blog Post

After familiarizing yourself with git (or refreshing your memory) with the resources above, continue to write a mockup blog post in Markdown syntax, as a model of the process of creating the results of an assignment.

Follow carefully the instructions provided in this tutorial to create a simple site in Markdown and have it hosted for free.

Note: details matter; for example, pages written in Markdown that omit the header information will not render as HTML, as I learned the hard way myself. Unless you know exactly what you are doing, follow the instructions carefully.

The goal in this first assignment is to just complete your first repository that contains a simple site, composed in Markdown, published online for free; with no actual content, just to make sure the process is familiar. You can use the results of this template as your own simple site, and deploy the same steps in the rest of the course to bootstrap new blog posts, one for every real course assignment.

Finalize the Test Assignment

When you have finished your test blog post, finalize the assignment by pushing it to the correct assignment repository - I distribute this URL via a Blackboard announcement.

Follow this link to the Classroom for Github Test Blog 2017 assignment, login with your github account, and accept the assignment.

This creates a private repository under the rubigdata “organization”, specifically for this assignment. Push the blog post that you wrote as the result of Assignment 1a using the commands “to push an existing repository from the commandline”, that you find on the github page for this newly created repository: rubigdata/bigdata-blog-2017-USERNAME.

See also


If you get stuck, my command history provides a quick reference of the series of git commands that I use to create this course site.