The other day I got an interesting comment on an old blog post of mine and I felt like it really deserved a separate post in response rather than being lost in the comments. This is a personal assessment of my skills and the need to future proof myself – it is not a sermon – just personal musings which will hopefully inspire.
I have copied the comment here for context.
The past several months, I’ve been working on many Notes client applications, but now we’re ready for a big web based application! So, back to jQuery (YAY!) and some dojo (boo!).
From the outside world, it just seems that jQuery is the better long term decision. Any thoughts?
So a couple of things to address directly from the comment:
- IBM is a significant contributor to Dojo and has been for many years – I think it is unlikely to “shut down”
- I do not agree that jQuery is a better long term decision – I think it is a much better “today” decision and probably at least the next couple of years decision – but what is “long term” anyway? 🙂
So I really take the original question as one about future-proofing yourself rather than XPages specifically. For those of you who have already taken the plunge to XPages you have already “evolved” your skillset and you have almost certainly learned new skills (like them or not). Really that is what is important is the adaptability of your skillset – not what should I learn today and what should I be ready to learn tomorrow.
Future Proofing Marky
So I set out to learn……and jQuery helped me do that. But……..
There are people who believe that jQuery is an unnecessary safety blanket used by people who do not really understand the language. They also believe that jQuery encourages people to be able to program websites using plugins while they understand very little of the underlying concepts. To that I say *crap*. I do not understand how C and C++ work but I use an operating system and developer tools written in those languages – is anyone fussing about not knowing that? I think not.
- The code is free and easy to read – the non-minified version is well documented, easy to read and well laid out
- There are many blog posts on how does jQuery work (this is the funniest)
- You owe it to yourself to better understand web technology. It is not going away. You may as well start using the tools and understand them as you go along.
Web technology moves on a <2 year cycle – welcome to the future of constant re-invention of your skillset if you want to remain relevant.
For your own sake, make yourself better and more flexible – you have no one else to blame if you don’t and the worst happens.
For the record
If XPages is no longer in 3 years what will you do? 2.5 years from now will not be the time to figure that out.
I have no evidence or reason to believe XPages will be going away any time soon 🙂
jQuery is not intended to build “websites”. It is intended to help in the development of websites and simplify the developer experience through standardized functions and removal of browser dependencies.
Ember.js, Angular.js, backbone.js and many others are the new, modern “today” libraries for architecting websites. MEAN is the new LAMP stack and if that all means nothing to you – you should at least do yourself the service of some reading.
Sheer coincidence that I saw this from Tim Tripcony today – same deal – different perspective – same conclusion (metaphorically speaking) 🙂
10 thoughts on “Future-proofing yourself.”
P.S. I had to Google IIFE, even though I use that pattern all the time. 😉
thanks Tim and well said !!
Having said that though, Java also falls part of my future proof plan. There’s still massive scope for Java, both inside and outside of IBM’s Product Line.
Great post. I was using Dojo back in 2008 before XPages came along and was actually rather frustrated when Domino 8.5.1 only had support for Dojo 1.1. As you say, the involvement of IBM in Dojo is an important point for longevity. Look on developerWorks and you’ll see a host of Dojo-related posts, very few of which relate to XPages.
I’m quite lucky to programm mainly XPages applications.. only rarely i bump into a traditional Notes Application..
Also my collegues hat quite problems after the server of their application updated (and so the DOJO Version).. before XPages and DOJO, we Notes / Domino developers weren’t actually really worried when a new Server version was coming out, weren’t we?
sry, actually i meant “after the SERVER updated to 8.5.3 ” ..
Thanks for the comment Frederic – you have hit on something I too have experienced – I tried to mess with the Dojo controls for a specific version – wrote in 8.5.2 – broke in 8.5.3 so i fixed it – broke again in R9 and I decided that I was wasting my time and gave up trying.
This certainly makes the case for a great advantage that you have with jQuery — you can easily update it as needed! Dojo provides a lot of great functionality and it’s very useful that it’s available out of the box with the server, but the downside is that you can’t get newer features nearly as easily.
Well put. From my perspective, however, Notes, and XPages, are dying. I’ve been working at the United Nations since 2006, and in those days we built TONS of applications! At that time, many banks, financial institutions and governments were big Notes shops, as well. Since then, UNICEF, the World Food Programme, Peacekeeping Operations, and soon, the entire UN system will be moving to Exchange. The US government switched, and Chase Bank and the Canadian government are in the process of moving, too.
As the Notes world crumbles around me, I feel that “Future Proofing” myself with web development is the best course of action, at this point.