Editorials

Catching Up Isn’t Easy

Keeping current is a lot easier if you keep current. When you need to catch up, it can be confusing as to what implementation is preferred, or why things have changed.

As you may remember, I have been taking a sabbatical from work due to health reasons. I determined to make use of this mandated opportunity to spend significant time catching up on technology stacks where I don’t often have an opportunity to work. The reason I don’t have as many opportunities is my lack of experience. So, I am rectifying that now.

My greatest area of weakness has been web application development. There are so many frameworks and libraries that do the same, or similar things, it is difficult for an individual to wade into the fray directly, and know what is going on. So, I decided to start with some building blocks first.

JavaScript, JQuery and TypeScript were my first areas of focus, because I had found them to be used in just about any web application. From that point things became more difficult.

I had inherited an Angular application, and was able to maintain it and make significant modifications, without a clear understanding of what was going on. I also created a Dot Net MVC application with little understanding of that complete stack of technology. Throw into that things like Bootstrap, HTML 5, Security, Authentication, and you have a mess. I had even done a few hours of Angular 1 training, but it never matched the implementations our team was doing, and didn’t make sense.

So, I decided that, since I have the time, I’m going to study chronologically. Lets go back to the introduction of MVVM in Dot Net, and work our way forward. The problem is that it is a little hard to pull it all apart, and to know what you would use if you were to start a new green field application.

So far, I don’t really have a great plan for how to approach the problem. However, what I have done is to take a topic such as MVC.Net and walk through it completely, starting with the oldest recording and moving to the newest. While this does cause me to learn a lot of deprecated implementations, I do find a lot of building blocks that later training glazes over, thinking you should already know things. It also helps me to understand why changes were made to the framework in the first place.

The one thing I know for sure is that I miss the old GUI based screen designers. Painting a screen seems to be more efficient. Oh well, there are so many benefits to code written presentation, I’ll just have to get over it.

I have a few more weeks of study yet to do. I’ll continue to drop some of the highlights from my journey in my editorials.

Cheers,

Ben

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