Despite quite a few new novel methods for web development, integration of basic functions in web applications has always been done best by the simplest of solutions. Ajax has been around for a little over a decade and continues to be a mainstay programming technique for industries of all sizes and scopes.
If you’re looking to develop your Ajax toolkit in a meaningful way, here are some tips to get you started
#1: Get Practice Building Dynamic Forms
Seeing as the majority of implementation of Ajax are online forms, this is probably the best way to get started. Forms are also great practice for Ajax because they be built incrementally. For instance: start with a one step form, then try to:
- Add additional forms that populate based on what was entered before. A survey form is a good practice here;
- Add validation to your form, to check if information is entered correctly and throw prompts if it isn’t;
- Save form data between sessions, or transfer form data between pages.
- Return an automated populated paged based on form submissions. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious with your databases, set up an email response instead.
#2: Start Dissecting the Popular Libraries
Being a library expert is easy, isn’t at all time-consuming, and pays off with a huge range of applicable functions and great deal of exposure to essential functions.
As for the popular libraries? Here are our recommendations:
#3: Set up a System to Get Feedback on Your Work
If you know any web developer friends, start talking to them again. For one, they might appreciate the social experience. For two: nothing validates your work like experts telling you that you’re wrong.
Feedback, both technical and procedural, is immensely important for refining your work. And it’s also useful to set up a feedback environment to test the technical limitations of your form. From a user perspective, this means confirmations on your home, a help option to direct your user, and prompts to help guide them from the preliminary steps of your first Ajax form to a completed one.
#4: Make use of IDEs
The days of frontier coding on Notepad aren’t dead, but they’re a step away from where most web developers want to be when developing tangible products for their client. Most web development firms make use of a number of different IDEs, from as simple and well-accepted as Dreamweaver down the line to more refined editor options such as SublimeText or Atom. Get familiar with your development environments and you will, without question, work faster.
#5: Get Involved in Development Communities
Ajax’s strengths are found in its ability to provide specific, tailored solutions to HTML’s defined limitations — and recognizing how Ajax is changing web development means connecting with those that do it every day. Building Ajax into your skillset isn’t difficult, but you do need to reach out to the right communities for your questions and to take the next step in your skill-building.
To that end, we have a few Ontario-based communities that might be helpful to get started:
- Shift8Web’s Blog, a web developer catalog.
- The Mozilla Developer’s Network
- SitePoint, a wider community for web application developers.