by: Christine Swartzendruber, Chief Technology Officer
I’ve been programming on the web for about eleven years. I’ve learned so many techniques and applied them over and over until I can code just about anything, quickly and efficiently. I didn’t start out programming on the web though. I was an application developer first, using primarily C++ to do everything. A loyal back-end programmer to the core, I knew the best way to start on the web was to pick up .Net and C#, and that’s exactly what I did.
Not only did I pick it up, I perfected it. I spent countless hours teaching myself how to do the most complex things in the shortest amount of code I could produce. I tackled ADO.net by developing my own internal web service that called on SQL through stored procedures. I could now hit my database in a fraction of the time and with an unbelievable one line of simple code.
My methodology is from spec to deployment. So I had to learn how to work with businesses to change their problems to solutions. Then, I had to learn Information Architecture, so I could produce apps that users could navigate easily and understand with very little training. I had to create graphic files, so I taught myself Photoshop. Of course my sites and apps needed front-ends so I had to learn HTML and CSS, which I did. I threw some .Net objects in there and coded everything in C#. Easy, fast and visually appealing.
I started hearing about JQuery a few years ago, but by this time I was writing pretty high-end apps for healthcare, so while I liked some of the things I saw JQuery could do, I wrote it all off as just visual appeal, and graphical “nice to haves” and decided that taking time to learn a new language would be needless.
Instead, I adopted Telerik and fell in love with RadControls. I use them everywhere, even in favor of .Net objects whenever possible. Sure they inherit from .Net objects, but they make any app come to life, with form objects like the RadGrid and RadAsyncFileUpload. These were tools I could use practically to improve usability in my apps.
I wrote my first little applet, a slide out login for my clients, and ran into a few problems David didn’t account for in his tutorial. URL rewriting and dynamic content bound from an XML DataSet were not playing nice with the perfect little tutorial that would have worked just fine in the HTML page David provided for me. This, as break-fix issues always do, helped me understand some of the details of JQuery especially how to chain functions, and more importantly, how not to.
My login slide-out was finished, and it was perfect. What made it even better was, no post-back. Obviously JQuery is a client-side language. C#, alas, is not. And using C# means posting back and forth to the server with every touch. I was sold. I was all in.