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Meeting Notes: Tue 25th June 2019

Welcome! This is the notes page for our second learn-to-code-from-scratch meeting in The Avalon Bar. The plan is to run something like this every two weeks to get people up and running with basic web development and system admin.

Next meeting is Tue 9th July 2019.

What we did

As before, we worked through the following:

  • Setting up an Amazon EC2 instance - once that is complete you now have your own server, and you can securely connect to it using Putty (or directly via Linux/macOS)
  • Setting up your server with Apache and MySQL - the server doesn't have much software installed, just a basic terminal, these steps install Apache (the webserver) and MySQL (the database). At this step we also downloaded Adminer (a GUI to manage the database, similar to PHPMyAdmin).
  • Then we went through the Amazon AWS interface, and set up Security Groups for the webserver (HTTP) - this is basically Amazon's equivalent of a firewall, we had to open a port to allow access to our IP in a web browser
  • Writing your first hello world program - Now we started with our very first simple program.
  • Editing files remotely on the server - Then we looked at ways to connect directly to the server and edit files using Notepad++ (or by mounting a remote directory in Linux/macOS)
  • An example of a basic HTML form - We created a basic HTML form and showed how to access it's elements in PHP once it had been submitted
  • Some example code in PHP to connect to your MySQL server - Some others went ahead and got the PHP code working that connects to a database and pulls data out, though we stopped there as we hadn't actually put data into the database yet - maybe next time!

What we'll do next

Just like last month, I'll spend some time taking anyone new through the above steps. For those that are all set up and ready to go - we'll work on the following:

  1. Create a simple quiz page. When you visit it, it chooses a random question from a list you've supplied earlier and asks for the answer in a form then checks if it's correct or not.
  2. We'll build this using a simple array to begin with, then switch to getting the information from a database.

See the Getting Started page for some step-by-step instructions you might need tonight.


Staying in touch

  • Create an account on and follow us to keep in touch.
  • Use the hashtag #coding on the Fediverse (recommended mobile Mastodon client – Android: Tusky, iOS: Amaroq)
  • Talk to us on IRC in #coding (recommended Windows/Linux IRC client: Hexchat)


  1. Abdullah Khan
  2. Aileen McKenzie
  3. Alastair Cooper
  4. Andrew Reid
  5. Ashir (Organiser)
  6. Benami Ark
  7. Chris Cavani
  8. Ezra Rowan Wilson
  9. Fung
  10. Gareth King
  11. josef da silva bernardo neto
  12. Mohamed Ali
  13. Nebay
  14. Neil McKillop (Event Organiser)
  15. Qasim Mohammed
  16. Victoria B
  17. Youssef S
  18. Zoher Wakaf
2019-06-25.txt · Last modified: 2019/06/26 11:09 by nmckillop