Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"How did you do that?" - That's what's important these days.

Attend this OpenNTF webinar:

How did you do that? Hear from the Winners of the XPages App Dev Contest


I will be attending for sure and it is on my calendar.

Why would I be so interested in this webinar vs. the large number of other ones that I don't post about?

Because the title describes what I am interested in: How.

If you know how to program you can pretty much figure out how to use any API or platform or whatever to "do things" with an application.  When you want to get down in the grass and don't know how to code something, it is pretty much an exercise of finding some example code and combining platform concepts + syntax + your own experience + your functionality goals and, poof!, out comes a solution.

Admittedly there are pitfalls, uh "tips" we call 'em in our business, and sometimes the actual execution may be a challenge but I am a firm believer that, given enough time and desire, you can code whatever you want using your language of choice.

It's way more valuable to understand how the entire lawn is put together (versus just making the grass grow).

For instance, Phase Listeners.  Can I code one right now or put one to use at this minute? No.  Do I basically understand what they are and how they are/might be used and know where to find code examples if I need to use them? Yes.  Bam! I'm good.  No need to learn any more until I need them.

Twitter Bootstrap?  Got that, too.  When I needed it, I just tackled it.  No problem.  Learnt it "on demand" as it were but before I ever loaded bootstrap.css I knew that Bootstrap was a CSS/JavaScript UI framework.

So, for me knowing "how" you did it from a higher level is way more important than trying to understand every line of code or, in fact, actual syntax.

For me, it is much more valuable to see a complete solution and see the execution explained rather than listening to a talk about "all the things you could do" with this or that tool or API.  Do not misunderstand.  There is a lot of value in the toolbox webinar/presentations.  Depending on "where you're at" in the spectrum that might be more valuable than an architecture discussion.

For me these days though...show me something that actually works.  Tell me how you did it.  Share with me the challenges you overcame and I'm in.  That has the ingredients for an awesome webinar!