Learn the basics of how the internet works, in order to have a solid foundation of all other web-based technology.
- Unless you've been living on a remote island somewhere in the Pacific, you've probably heard a lot about cloud computing or cloud-based applications. The cloud is just an invention of marketers who realized that over the internet didn't sound techy enough to get you to spend lots of money. So they came up with this term the cloud. It's just another name for the internet. So now, let's get into the basics of how the internet works. The internet is a lot of devices connected together in a huge network. If we want to connect our devices to this network, that is, computers, phones, thermostats, et cetera, we need to go through an ISP, an internet service provider.
The ISP provides you with a portal into this network, and they charge you monthly for this service. The devices on the internet can be sorted into two different classes, servers and clients. A server is a machine that stores data and allows others to access this data. A client is any device that you use to access a server. So this could be a laptop, a smartphone, or an internet-connected device like a printer or even these days a refrigerator. When you go to a website or use any online service, you're really connecting to a server that provides data in the form of a webpage or a service like email.
These servers have an address so they can be found just as you and your friends have addresses and phone numbers so you can contact or visit each other. The address of an internet server, called the IP address, is a series of numbers that is not easy for us humans to remember. Web servers also have a human-friendly address called the URL. Google.com or any dot com or any dot anything address is a URL. These are easy to remember, but they are not a real address. A URL is like your friend's name. It identifies them but it doesn't tell you where they are or how to contact them.
Luckily, when we do go to a website, we don't have to get out some sort of address book to find the IP address. The internet provides an automatic address book called DNS, the Domain Name System. DNS translates the easy URL like Google.com into the IP address so your computer can access Google web servers. Here's how it works. When you type the URL into your web browser, your computer sends a request through your connection to your ISP through their network to a DNS server. That DNS server then returns the IP address to your web browser and now you can communicate directly with the web server.
Your requests for information are sent through your ISP to the website, and then the website returns the information to you over that same path. So there we have it, a short and sweet guide to the basics of the internet, and I even got you some insider knowledge on buzzwords like the cloud. If you have a decent understanding of what we've discussed in this video, you are miles ahead of most folks working in nontechnical roles in the industry. Use this newfound knowledge to your advantage.
Instructor Cole Mercer reviews the fundamental building blocks of modern software applications-from the web that connects all the working parts, to the data, users, and the build tools that developers use every day. He discusses the differences between desktop, web, and mobile development, and reviews the role of version control systems in deployment and release.