Monday, January 10, 2011

A personal review of GWT for 2010

2010 has been an exciting year and I wanted to thank everyone who commented, got in touch and generally helped out.  A big thankyou goes out to the people at GWTP project.  Philippe and Christian thanks for all your help in utilising the framework in my example application.

The year started with a change of career.  For the past 15 years I have primarily been a Microsoft developer working for various commercial interests in London, Iceland, and now the USA.  Currently living in Seattle, the Gaceland for computer programmers, or as we are now known Software Engineers, I decided that it was time to change my career track and learn a proper programming language (let the flame wars begin).  

I am now sure whether I particularly dislike Windows, or whether I just needed a change of scenery but the Microsoft programming platform doesn't jive with my liberal view on life.  I always wanted to learn an open source language, partly because I am an academic at heart and partly t stick it to the man.  So the scene was set, and the only real option was to learn the current professional language de jour, JAVA.

One thing I also failed to mention was my love of Google.  Any company which adopts open source as much as they have means they have to be admired in some way.  Computer Programming tools are not proprietary systems. They are ideas that should be shared with everyone, in the same way that the cure for Malaria, will one day hopefully.  I am not saying that all software built with open source tools should not be commercial far from it.  But the ideas and tools we use should be at their core.

So I was learning Java and has a long term ASP.Net developer was looking for something that improved my programming environment.  Google App Engine was the first oh wow moment three years ago, where I thought, this takes all the hassle out of programming.  Then when I discovered Google Web Toolkit and what that actually means for feature rich internet applications.  I thought oh wow oh wow.

So for the past year I have been learning Java with GWT on GAE.  I learn best by example and building a contact application was the best way forward.  I have a passion for helping small businesses and developing software which is functionally logical.  So much software is plain old bad.  GWT liberates the developer to programme professionally at all levels in the stack, thus improving and professionalising their daily routine.  Google continues to build on this great architecture by partnering with Spring and Roo, to introduce Rapid Application Development tools.  Plus they continue to enhance and develop the library.  Speed Tracer looks awesome, performance tuning built in on the server and client side.  Need I say more.  Google needs to be congratulated for this piece of kit because it has improved my development daily routine no end.

Where am I now?  Well on the basis of my skills developed during the past year I have landed a job with a startup, doing yes you guessed it...  Java-GWT development.  2011 continues to be exciting.  I also transferred to a Mac which I have been wanting to do for ages, and with the launch of this new career it will help me do so.  Here is to 2011.  

Continue to read, continue to ask questions, and lets have a great 2011.

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  1. Well done fella! Good luck with it all

  2. Nice.
    Can you give some tips on how to start with Java-GWT.any specific, book/blog/site you can recommend for learning by doing?