Pragmatic AJAX: A Review

Posted on Feb 16, 2006

I recently attended the Pragmatic AJAX training session in Reston, VA. Here’s my writeup!

The Excellent

I couldn’t have been more impressed with the speakers’ ability to quickly incorporate our feedback into their presentation. I was not alone, I’m sure, when I indicated that the attendees would benefit from more hands-on experience with coding in AJAX. Overnight, we were granted the ability to begin experimenting with some of their presentation slides using AJAX techniques during their lecture! This proved to be the ultimate bite-size morsel to accompany the more substantive formal labs.

I very much enjoyed the exposure to Selenium and the accompanying Selenium IDE for Firefox. I hope to be able to get more hands-on with this technology in the near future.

Although Stu was not married to the diagram they prepared outlining the various areas in which both client-side and server-side AJAX technologies could possibly contribute, I felt that the diagram gave me a very useful tool in evaluating any prospective AJAX toolkit that walks in the door. The first thing that happened to me upon returning from this training was “Have you heard of AJAX Framework A or AJAX Framework B?” The answer was that I hadn’t, but at least I have a good rule-of-thumb for figuring out how we might best be able to use that framework.

Our login to Codecite works, and the presentations are available there! This practically eliminates the need for an explicit debriefing session from me. Wow!

The Good

Kudos to the Pragmatic Programmers for providing a discount in order to purchase the Pragmatic AJAX book. I had already purchased it, but now their excellent Rails Recipies book can be mine. And I got it for cheap!

They’re not directly responsible, but I’m happy that Prototype exists. I would never dream of writing more than 100 lines of JavaScript without this framework in tow, AJAX or not.

The Not-So-Good

Justin, be yourself, but you could probably calm down slightly.

While it’s not the responsibility of the speakers or the organizers, I would have enjoyed the ability to discuss some of the application of what we were learning with my fellow classmates after hours.