CS 20: Student Onboarding

As part of the course, we will be using various technologies and tools and you will need to create several accounts.  Some of these will not be used until the second half of the semester, but it will be helpful to have all of the accounts established at the beginning in case you have any problems.

Most of the accounts and downloads are all free.  If you are asked to pay for something, you are probably requesting the wrong thing.

Project Teams

You will be doing a group project for both the midterm and final.  There should be 4 people per team.  Start to think about who you want on your team  Tip:  choose team members with a variety of skills.


All assignment submissions and grades will be done via canvas.  If you are registered for this class, you should be in Canvas.  If you do not see this course in your list on Canvas, please let the teaching staff know ASAP.


All course communication including announcements and Q&A is done via Piazza.
All students were invited to the course Piazza.  Accept the invite if needed.  Let us know ASAP if you do not see an invite,


Sign up for a free account on Zoom.  You may need this for Office Hours help.

Website hosting (C-Panel)

You will need a website hosting account through the semester.   There are several companies with low cost hosting.
I have worked out a deal with siteground.com for one year of free hosting for my students at Tufts.
Sign up at:  https://www.siteground.com/students/
Make sure you sign up for cPanel hosting, not WordPress hosting – and use your tufts.edu email.

FTP Client

You need to get an ftp client to be able to transfer files on to the web.  I suggest WS-FTP or FileZilla (which I use).  Both are free downloads.

Code Editor

I like Adobe Dreamweaver if you can get it for free.  W3Schools has an online editor for free: https://www.w3schools.com/tryit/tryit.asp?filename=tryhtml_default
Or search “HTML Editor” to find one you like.


Github will be used for file storage, website hosting, version control and collaboration.  Create an account on github.com.  Note that a Github account is needed in addition to C-Panel based website hosting.


Postman is a slick tool for testing API calls.  Sign up for a free account.


You will need an account on mongodb.com to create a cloud hosted MongoDB database.


Heroku is an app deployment engine.  You will use it to deploy a Node.JS application.  Heroku now charges $5 a month for the lowest level.  There is a free student option which you can try to get if you contact them in advance.