Changing Times For Web Developers – 6 Tips You Should Read To Survive
The context of this post is about the changing times for a web developer, and I see a lot of web developers still lagging behind especially in the .NET world. If you haven't yet started mastering your art and adapting to the changing trends, you should start today.
Think about crafting your web applications properly. Use commonsense to mix and match based on scenarios. Here we go with 6 Tips to be a responsible web developer, and to stay on top of what you do.
- JQuery – Alright, you know this, don’t you?
- modernizr – HTML5/CSS feature detector
- history.js – History State/APIs
Oh yes, start learning TypeScript especially if you have a Microsoft technology/C# background.
On the CSS Side, familiarize with SASS and/or Less – Skim through the CSS 3 techniques, keep an eye on the CSS 3 features available in various browsers. Understand responsive concepts and start using media queries.
2 – Familiarize yourself with a Responsive Framework
These days, the usage of web is increasing more and more in mobile devices, so most websites are expected to work in different form factors by default. If you don’t want to hand craft all those web pages using media queries, better familiarize yourself with few responsive frameworks.
Responsive web design (often abbreviated to RWD) is an approach to web design in which a site is crafted to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones)
To compare and contrast them, have a look at TodoMVC – I found it pretty useful. It is
4 – Understand REST and HTTP
Understand Restful services and master a server side technology to create one. For example, Node Js. If you are in the .NET world, start with Web APIs. More than that, understand proper REST. Understand Hypermedia. Go beyond the terms, and carve out some examples. Tie your REST services with one of the above MVC frameworks, and create something useful. Use proper HTTP codes for your services.
- WOA is here to stay
- Richardson Maturity Model – Article from Martin Fowler
- REST in Practice
- Hypermedia and Forms
The above reads should help, to start with. Also, keep an eye on implementations, like Meteor, SignalR etc that could leverage Web Sockets once they are ready.
5 – Understand HTML5 Beyond the Buzzword
HTML5 standard is not yet finalized and is still in progress, but already there is lot of adoption every where. Along with developing websites, there are lot of containers available (like PhoneGap etc) that’ll allow you to package your HTML5 applications with a browser like container for mobile devices (hybrid applications), to distribute them much like you distribute native applications.
HTML5 is a markup language for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web and a core technology of the Internet. It is the fifth revision of the HTML standard (created in 1990 and standardized as HTML4 as of 1997) and, as of November 2012, is still under development. Its core aims have been to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia while keeping it easily readable by humans and consistently understood by computers and devices (web browsers, parsers, etc.).
There are lot of good articles about HTML5
- Step by step article from Nettuts with examples
- This article in Smashing Magazine is a pretty good starting point to understand more about the design philosophy and thought processes involved
- Top 25 HTML5 Features
Understand the HTML 5 features and value adds you can use.
- Here are few quick demos of various HTML5 feautures
- Use something like http://html5please.com/ or CanIUse, keep yourself updated about the HTML5 features you can use to improve use cases based on requirements
Also watch for the big players in the space who are leveraging HTML5 as a platform for building cross platform hybrid applications – not for web, but also for desktop and mobile.
6 – Optimize
Optimize what ever you do, optimize when you are ready.
- Inspect your network traffic when required and this will come in handy every time– Familiarize with tools like Fiddler
- Use tools like Screenfly to check your screen for multiple form factors
- Use simulators like Ripple for checking the behavior of your websites in Mobile devices
Alright, that was lot of tips. So, happy coding.
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