Blog

Sep 29

Improving TypeScript modules

By on September 29, 2016 3:15 pm

improving typescript modules

One of the main challenges with creating modern JavaScript web applications is the relatively incomplete approach to ES modules. As an interim solution until all necessary use cases are solved, many developers create source code with ESM, and then transpile to either AMD, CJS, or UMD for easy usage within today’s browsers. As we work on creating Dojo 2 in a manner that is easy to use for both TypeScript and JavaScript users, one challenge we faced was how to support loader plugins and/or other dynamic module loading. AMD has long supported loader plugin syntax, and SystemJS supports loader plugins as well as System.import.

Jul 26

JavaScript Pub Quiz

By on July 26, 2016 6:04 am

A quintessential British tradition is the pub quiz, a test of a group’s knowledge of obscure facts and trivia, typically shared over dinner and drinks at a pub. In the era of the smart phone, pub quizzes have needed to implement strict no phone policies to make sure people are answering from their knowledge rather than their computer.

At the HalfStack conference last November, we sponsored a JavaScript PubQuiz, and this summer, we sponsored a second event in partnership with the London Ajax User Group, which was a stand-alone JS Pub Quiz at the Doggett’s Coat and Badge pub along the Thames River in London.

Jul 20

FullStack 2016

By on July 20, 2016 6:56 am

FullStack is a large London JavaScript conference hosted at the Skills Matter CodeNode. The conference brings together an impressive line-up of speakers and workshops covering five tracks over three full days of festivities. We were invited to speak at FullStack, and also enjoyed many of the other sessions and met many great engineers. The sudden popularity of Pokemon Go was a theme throughout several talks at the conference. The videos for many sessions were online within a few hours, which is truly impressive for any conference.

Jul 8

The Lead Developer: Day 2

By on July 8, 2016 6:39 am

Day 2 of the Lead Developer Conference continued with a series of excellent talks. Be sure to check out the Day 1 recap if you missed it.

Michael Lopp, Slack

Michael is the VP of Engineering at Slack and known for Rands in Repose. He gave the talk Leadership. By the Numbers which included a fun series of tips and suggestions to improve as a development lead.

Michael Lopp

Michael explained that you need to say the difficult things, in order to make sure someone fits in. Meaning that if you avoid addressing issues, the engineer will not succeed within your organization. A recurring theme of the conference was to give feedback early and often, rather than waiting for annual or semi-annual review.

Jul 7

The Lead Developer: Day 1

By on July 7, 2016 9:59 am

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Lead Developer Conference, a two-day, single-track conference with over 400 development leads from the UK, Europe, the US, Australia, and New Zealand. The event included an excellent array of speakers representing development leads at companies including Slack, Atlassian, ThoughtWorks, Amazon Web Services, GitHub, Shopify, Couchbase, and many other organizations.

Overall thoughts

Why didn’t anyone think of creating this conference sooner?

Jun 30

Building Better Enterprise Web Applications Part 3: SitePen solutions

By on June 30, 2016 5:51 am

In this installment of our series on building web applications, we look at the SitePen approach to solving challenges in web application development. We employ all of the solutions described in part 2 of the blog series. Additionally, we have some overarching principles we apply to our work.

The right architecture and an emphasis on quality

Solid applications and robust architecture begins with finding the right approach based on the goals and requirements for a particular application. There is no one right architecture for every application, but having the right approach to understanding requirements, translating those to architecture needs, and having a strong emphasis on quality lead to approaches that work for any application. We do this by making sure we ask the right questions and challenge our assumptions for every application we create.

Jun 29

Building Better Enterprise Web Applications Part 2: Solutions

By on June 29, 2016 6:36 am

While there areĀ many challenges today with building web applications, there are also many options to address the issues we face with technology, process, and people, allowing us to reap the benefits of the web as an application platform.

Technology solutions

While many of the challenges with today’s web applications come from the vast array of technologies that are available, there are clear strategies that can be employed to turn those same issues into advantages that can make building applications easier. The key is to use a technology portfolio that allows applications to be modular, simple, and isolated from any instability in the underlying platform. Another critical aspect of each member of this portfolio is that it must be able to maintain those abilities at the scale at which the application will be built.

Jun 28

Building Better Enterprise Web Applications: Challenges

By on June 28, 2016 8:45 am

Web applications provide many benefits. Most organizations seek to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of business processes through the use of software.

The benefits of web applications include:

  • Simple distribution model for end users (e.g. no installation required)
  • Instant propagation of changes
  • Unified code base to support many platforms (desktop, tablet, mobile, etc.)
  • Easy piloting of new features with a subset of users
  • Lower total cost of ownership
  • Well-established scalability models as user-base grows

Over the past few years, building the client-side portion of web applications has changed significantly. Web application development, while arguably better than any other platform available today, is not without its challenges. We categorize these issues as coming from three sources: technology, process, and people.

We thought it was a good opportunity to take a step back and look first at the challenges, and then the solutions for building modern web applications, and to share some of the strategies and techniques we use at SitePen to improve our approach.

In this installment, we’ll begin by looking at the challenges currently faced when building web applications.