It turns out that back in early 2010, I had ordered jQuery In Action by Bear Bibeault and Yehuda Katz during some book buying binge, but never read it. It got loaned out to a couple of people at work, and I didn’t see it for the longest time. It wasn’t until I finished working on that big jQuery project that I even remembered that I still had it. I tracked it down, and it flew to the top of my reading list.
What I find amazing about this book (and jQuery), is how many times I thought back to projects I already have in production, and said “Wow, the UI could be so much better”, or “If I had only known about jQuery, the whole architecture would have changed.” The former makes me happy that I can now say “Yes, we can do that.” more often to clients. The latter makes me question my skills as a software architect. I had never even considered some of the approaches presented in the book, and not only would the UI have been more user friendly, it would have been faster and more reliable. I’m disappointed in myself for not taking the time to learn about jQuery before now. I can rationalize all I want about being busy with other things (like learning Windows Azure, MVC, WPF, writing 4 books, etc.) but the truth is that I considered the UI side to be the ‘poofy’ stuff and let other people handle it. The UI, I thought, was just for displaying the results of all the ‘hard work’ done on the back end.