Saturday, 10 August 2013

London Code Dojo 23

A belated summary of London Code Dojo 23 which centred around learning how to use Meteor.

What Went Down

This didn't really follow the traditional format of the London Code Dojo as we were focussing on a single technology and we weren't doing TDD! *shock horror*

Meteor is a new and exciting JavaScript framework for creating web application ridiculously fast. There are some very powerful concepts in there and we were introduced to them through enhancing the Leaderboard example.

I was lucky enough to "pair" with Ole and Dave and the code we hacked out is available here:

My Impressions

The learning curve is brutal
Throughout the night, we kept running into brick walls due to some completely foreign pieces of knowledge you have to have. Meteor is apparently tied quite closely to a MongoDB under the covers, so if you don't know Mongo at all, you are stuffed! Trying to wrap your head around the general data interaction isn't trivial either.

JavaScript is still hard to work with
Having gotten very used to IntelliJ and all the magical help it offers you with Java, using JavaScript still feels really painful. No doubt it is a lack of knowledge on the available tools out there but to me JavaScript still falls down with regards to IDEs and proper debugging tools...

Lessons Learnt

Meteor can deliver feedback fast
The main selling point on Meteor is the sheer speed with which you can develop. Once you have the program running, you can see your code changes take effect in the browser right away. There is no refresh necessary! For simple web applications that you need to throw together quickly for a proof of concept, Meteor is your best bet!

JavaScript is evolving rapidly
With the emergence of so much new and exciting stuff in the JavaScript world, there is a lot to get excited about. AngularJS, Yeoman and Meteor are shining examples of this and I look forward to seeing more great stuff to come :)

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