Pardon me while I have a brain cramp (or three)

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If you have followed me this week on twitter, you saw me mention that I was working on quite a few new technologies this week. This has easily been a week of both pure joy and pain. Over the past 5 days I worked with:

  • Flex (pretty familiar with it, just out of practice)
  • AIR (kind of familiar with it, not much practice yet)
  • Groovy (never used it)
  • JBoss (never used it)
  • Hibernate (never used it)
  • Spring (never used it)
  • testng (never used it) (and I assume this is the one item most of my readers won't recognize - it's a Java unit testing framework)
I'm still trying to get a grip on what I learned this week (and a heck of a lot of thanks need to go to Joe and Sean for their very patient help) and I will most likely post more technical entries later on over at the Broadchoice blog, but here are some very early impressions.

Ok, I already knew Flex, and loved it. What made it difficult this week was getting a grip on how my coworkers were using it. I've blogged before that I felt like I had a good grip on Flex in general, but needed to move into better architecture. Much like how I had to move into using a framework to grow as a developer. This was my first time using interfaces, delegates, and mock objects in Flex, and like most things, because I had an actual need for it (after Joe showed me why) it made a heck of a lot more sense than reading about them in an abstract sense.

Groovy is what I'm most interested in right now. I find it interesting that they seem to have employed some of the same ideas that ColdFusion did. Typeless, practical, etc. I can see why it's getting so much press now, and I can see why some folks have expressed an interest in writing the model layer in Groovy while keeping the view in ColdFusion. I will say that I find the shortness of it a bit difficult at times, much like I found the abbreviated nature of jQuery a bit hard to grok at first as well. I know - it's crazy. It's almost like I want to type more and that should be wrong, but at least when learning though I find more descriptive code to be friendlier. But I've got about 1000 pages of Groovy docs to read (two books), so hopefully I'll know a bit more as time passes.

Um, boy, I really, really appreciate how easy ColdFusion makes development. The whole Eclipse setup, restart on any change, forcing Groovy to recompile at times, etc, is very annoying. I don't know. It seems like "Java Application Servers" in general have always been a pain to use - but I tend to use them in spurts so maybe its just that I'm never gotten a chance to get some good experience. JBoss is easily the part of the stack I like the least.

So I knew that Transfer was based on Hibernate and ColdSpring was based on Spring and so far, both of these are really familiar to me. I had no problem working with Spring, and I've slowly begin to learn how Groovy/Hibernate play together. Not writing SQL in other languages is just as good as not writing SQL in ColdFusion. Imagine that.

I finally got the unit testing bug earlier this year and it is not only a good development practice, it can be kind of fun as well. I get a little jolt of excitement as I watch to see if all my tests will pass. I also learned a valuable lesson this Friday when I did not run the tests my coworkers wrote. I spent hours trying to get JBoss to respond right to something I was doing, and if I had run the unit test, I would have seen the issue right away. I'm being dragged (kicking and screaming I suppose) into TDD.

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a developer advocate for HERE Technologies. He focuses on JavaScript, serverless and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

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