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Why I'm Thankful for Web Dev

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Why I'm Thankful for Web Dev

In one of five Thanksgiving-based articles, a Zone Leader provides aspects of Web Development for which he is thankful to utilize on a daily basis.

· Web Dev Zone ·
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pumpkin-on-thanksgiving-table

In the United States, the end of the month of November is when time is taken to perform a retrospective-like event called Thanksgiving. What started out as a dedication to give thanks for the blessing of harvest and the preceding year has transformed into a time to simply be thankful for one's blessings.

Since Thanksgiving is recognized on the fourth Thursday in the month of November, I thought I would introduce a five-part technical twist with the following Thanksgiving-focused articles:

I hope you find time to check out the other articles, as well!

JavaScript Frameworks

You may also like: Top 10 Web Development Trends to Follow in 2019.

When I take a step back and consider how JavaScript was initially used in web development (performing simple validation on forms/DOM objects to avoid a round-trip request to the server) and how it is utilized today, I am quite thankful for frameworks like Angular, React and Vue — which allow sophisticated applications to be written to run inside an internet browser without having to implement anything proprietary.

These frameworks are certainly a true definition of a framework. They provide the necessary components and tools to act as a starting point to build applications. After all, as feature developers, we should always be focused on writing code that helps our employer succeed — not writing generic code that something else already does out of the box. Whether you pick Angular, React or Vue, feature developers can focus on making sure the customer's needs are met.

In fact, with the implementation of TypeScript, I really feel like these JavaScript frameworks become easier to read and to debug (at least for developers used to working with type checking). Not to mention the reasons noted in this article by Ashok Sharma.

CSS Frameworks

At the same time, I am extremely grateful for CSS frameworks, like Bootstrap or Google Material Design, which make developing a decent-looking site so much easier.

While I feel like I have some artistic ability with the crayon drawings I doodle for my son, I definitely do not have the skillset to create something on the presentation layer that looks polished. Using CSS frameworks allows me to reference an existing style, or employ some type of grid, to provides a responsive application that looks nice on pretty much any device.

Like my TypeScript mention above, I want to note how I am always in awe of the UI/UX staff that I work alongside during a project. Watching a skill UI/UX developer take my original design and transform it into a professional application is well worth the time required for them to be on the project.

Package Managers

Of course, I feel like JavaScript has gained so much momentum from the adoption of package managers, like NPM. Following a similar approach to Maven in Java world, NPM provides an easy-to-use process to include all the necessary frameworks and packages your web application will require.

As a developer, I can simply invoke the npm ci command to pull in the latest updates when changes arrive to my git repository from another developer or teams work. This automation is just as effective as CI/CD processes are on the server-side.

As a result, I am truly thankful for package managers.

State Management

Maintaining state for a web application becomes more important as an application gains functionality or momentum. In the past, I have been part of the lessons learned congregation, where having services try to keep up with the current state becomes an impossible challenge — at a heavy processing cost to each user's CPU and memory.

On a recent Angular project, we pulled in the RxJS library and created this concept of a store on the browser. Using SSE events from the server-side, we were able to maintain state for each session without having to impact the services running on the web application. With a reactive programming approach, the need to check the value of "x" is no longer required, as the new paradigm knows when "x" changes.

I'm quite grateful and thankful for state management abilities within web development.

Conclusion

With this article and the other articles listed in the introduction, I was inspired by realizing just how fortunate I am to be employed in an industry that has so many wonderful facets that can be employed on a daily basis. Since Information Technology is an industry of constant change, I fully believe I could revisit this topic on a yearly basis and provide another series of articles for which I am thankful.

As a kid growing up in the United States, there were two Thanksgiving television specials that I looked forward to watching each year: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and the Brady Brunch Thanksgiving episode (The Un-Underground Movie, season two, episode four). While most have likely seen A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, I thought I would include a link to Greg Brady's school project, "Our Pilgrim Fathers," from that episode:


My hope is that you can take time this month to reflect on the things by which you are thankful. While I am blessed to work in such an amazing field, I am truly blessed that each of you have taken time to read my article.

Have a really great (holi)day!


Further Reading

Topics:
web design and development ,javascript ,css ,package manager ,state management

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