Will AJAX bring up a different kind of software developer?

From what I have read of AJAX, the people who can do a good job at AJAX need a good understanding of not only the divs, iframes and Javascript on the client side but also the business functionality and how it works on the serverside.

As the whole idea of “one page after another” goes out the window with
AJAX (think Gmail), AJAX might necessiate a rethink on the roles of web frontend developers and
the serverside developers. Currently there’s a distinction between the tasks that the
HTML+Javascript people do and the tasks left to the serverside developers. However with AJAX, the frontend develpers will have a much bigger role to play. They can
no longer generate 10 distinct pages and hand over to the serverside developers. With AJAX, it’s just one application and no pages.

Most serverside developers are well aware of
Javascript but are not experts who would understand the nitty gritties of
the language. On the other hand the web designers might know more of HTML and JavaScript but they would not have an understanding of the backend processing.

So I wonder if AJAX will bring up a different kind of
software developer who has a good understanding of serverside technology but works primarily in HTML
and Javascript.

Apart from cross browser compatibility, another important concern for AJAX apps is that JavaScript isn’t a safe langauge like say
Java or C#. Javascript won’t stop the developer from doing remarkably stupid things. Debugging javascript issues is also a task best left to the experts. So unless a developer is really good at Javascript, I
guess it would be very easy to completey mess up an AJAX application.

So what will be the division of work in a team working on an AJAX application? Will the hardcore techies abandon mundane serverside Java work and move to the more challenging Javascripting work required for AJAX apps?

AJAX throws up many such interesting questions, which I guess will only be answered if and when we start creating AJAX applications regularly.

>> Is AJAX worth adopting

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0 thoughts on “Will AJAX bring up a different kind of software developer?

  • February 14, 2006 at 11:44 am

    Groovy has had some hard times, but Groovy JSR-05 was just released. The first release candidate will be next. The last few JSR releases have been much better than the beta releases. It is going to be hard to beat once it gets better IDE support, although I still use it now for doing one-time data loads, quick web pages, web reports, and such. The linkage between Jython and Java seemed too contrived to me. Groovy seamlessly integrates with Java.

  • November 30, 2005 at 10:36 am

    Imagine the user experiance if the comment could have been taken through AJAX ….

  • August 5, 2005 at 7:51 am

    This depends on the type of organisation you work for. For myself I have to userstand the whole lot. But then if you could see my HTML pages maybe I shouldn’t

  • August 5, 2005 at 7:38 am

    An important thing you left out is that low-level AJAX development requires thorough knowledge of browser quirks in the myriad versions of browsers.

    I think the only sane way to develop AJAX apps is to use components from a mature external library. If people are coding AJAX directly in applications using HTML and JavaScript, they will surely suffer many client-side issues.

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