Academic courses on web projects: the italian digital-divide!

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I did some web scouting on italian academic courses about projecting, developing or managing web applications, looking for interesting lessons and higher level technology, but what I found is uncanny!

I looked for the state of the art in italian higher education institutes and I found just obsolete courses, incredibly not updated to “new” web features.

Over the past few years I saw incredible and fast changes in web projecting and developing like:

  • HTML5 (new browser APIs…)
  • CSS3 and programmable CSS (animations, media queries, SASS… )
  • RESTfull servers and OAUTH based web APIs
  • the Javascript frameworks explosion (someone says JQUERY?)
  • AGILE web development
  • WEB Apps
  • server side javascript (NodeJS… )
  • NoSQL (memcached… )
  • the WordPress explosion
  • new and strong server-side languages (PHP 5+, Rails… )
  • and so on…

But in every italian academic courses I could see around there are some shocking recurring themes:

  1. HTML is mostly version four, sometimes DHTML or XHTML, but never, NEVER, HTML 5!
  2. Server side languages are often Java servlets + JSP, sometimes PHP (they declare it 5, but I suspect it’s 4, for instance the deprecated use of: <? … ?>), but never Ruby nor Rails or Python…
  3. CSS are just at version 2… no complex or new features. Nothing at all.
  4. Laboratory web applications are… just web pages with some server side generated content.

Some interesting courses like “Ingegneria del software nel Progetto di siti WEB” are outdated too:

good for 2006, but not for 2014!


So, I would ask to these university professors:

  1. How can you talk about semantic web without hinting the HTML5 revolution?
  2. How can you talk about web projects without framing it like multiple types of application (eg. APIs, user interfaces, mockups, backends, etc.)?
  3. Instruments and scopes are changed: when will you take into these new conceptual technologies and practical tools?

I would not have malicious thoughts about it, but italian academic courses regarding web technologies look like beeing owned by outdated professors, or by someone that has other interests than web. The examples I posted here are just a small segment, but I didn’t find anything better.

Hope that someone could show me better examples.

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