Web Development the Smart Way

What does Web development the smart way mean?

Very simply, Web development the smart way means to develop proper solutions using the Web that will also advance the Web development community.

To accomplish this we must first break the process down into two phases. The first phase is developing proper solutions using the Web. This consists of efficiently executing all the major aspects involved in software development (analyze, design, develop, test, maintain) to create a solution that should work the way it is intended to. And of course this is done using Web technologies (Web browser, JavaScript, HTML, AJAX, etc…).

The second phase of advancing the Web development community involves using and building upon the Web’s best parts when creating Web Applications and Websites. Determining the Web’s best parts is a tensely debated subject that has yet to be resolved; hence the lack of a clear set of standards. But one major part of Web development is JavaScript. In my post on Lessons Learned at the Rich Web Experience 2008, I give a brief synopsis on ways to bring out JavaScript’s best.

So, to develop proper solutions using the Web that will also advance the Web development community, we must be disciplined in our software development methodologies while ensuring we are using the best parts of whatever Web technology we choose to use.

Lessons Learned at the Rich Web Experience 2008

First I would like to extend kudos to the No Fluff Just Stuff group for putting together an excellent Rich Web Experience symposium.  All who attended had the opportunity to hear from and talk with some of the industry’s best and brightest.

With JavaScript now garnering respect throughout the programming community, it is up to Web developers and designers to help move it forward by promoting innovation (object capability) and solving problems (standards).

So until we can get everyone on the same page and move forward, there are some things we can do to bring out JavaScript’s best:

  • Refactor your code to ensure you are using JavaScript’s good parts.
  • Use existing JavaScript libraries because they have done the dirty work for you.
  • Know that browsers are software built using either incomplete or miscomprehended specs. So don’t get caught up in complaining about what the browser does not do. Start exploiting their good parts.
  • No one ever has time to document the entire code base. So help the open source community by documenting a part of a JavaScript library.
  • There are ways to test JavaScript code (JSSpecJSUnitJSLint).
  • Always remember that to the user the UI is the system. So usability should be very high on your list.

Using leadership to manage strategic organizational change

What drives leadership is different than what drives management. I have found that knowing the responsibilities, actions, behaviors and mentality of a leader and the difference between leadership and management can mean the difference between successful change and failure. Knowing when to incorporate the actions of a manager with the actions of a leader is an important aspect of leadership.

In order for an organization to survive over the long term, it must have a solid view of its external and internal environment. Changes in the external environment trigger changes internally. Some environmental changes require an organization to make small, incremental changes while others require an organization to make strategic changes which includes changes to structure, culture and strategy.

Leadership is an integral part of managing strategic organizational change. Leadership provides the plan, vision and motivation for implementing strategic change. Leadership has the ability to influence people and move them in the direction to accomplish a goal.