Lesson Learned

As developers of software applications we must be ever aware of changing trends and be ready to update our content when needed. This includes revision of interfaces and underlying code, though aesthetic changes tend to be the most visible. One of the applications I have been developing for some time now, the Anime Manager, is such an application that I decided to revisit.

The Anime Manager was created by me to sort the vast amount of Anime I have collected over the years as an XML list simply was no longer a workable solution. Originally I started this project in ASP.NET with C#. Very quickly I was able to create a working application, and for a time it was good enough. After a while I decided it was time to revise, however, I didn’t want to use .NET this time around, I wanted something better. Being cognisant as I am of Internet technologies in the Geek realm I decided that this would be a great opportunity to familiarize myself Ruby on Rails. As a result of hard reading and playing I was able to get a working application up and running, complete with Ajax effects. This is the application that I have stuck with for some time to this point, however, things change.

When I first found Ajax effects in Rails, I marveled at their simplicity and the quickness with which I could use them and the precision as well. However, being as I have matured greatly in my understanding of Asycnhronous technologies and now having the ability to write them myself, I looked at the interface with skepticism. “Is this really usable?” I asked. The answer was: no. Simply put, I was relying way too much on Ajax for the Admin interface and as a result I had to make a lot of compromises when using it, compromises most users wouldn’t want to make. This is something every programmers grows through no matter how much experience they have. We create things, and then when we come back to them, smarter then before, we see our flaws.

I am now in the process of simplifying the interfaces on the Admin side to make it more usable and require less compromises on the users part. But what this experience has shown me is that I have grown as a programmers and tester since I developed the interface and shows I am taking yet another step towards being a developer that can be a great asset to a company.

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