The Progress Developer Community is always ready to help. Read and watch a collection of lessons shared by several members of the community at DevReach 2022.
Developers are certainly no exception to the cadence of a Q&A, constantly facing challenges and finding answers. The Progress Developer Community usually relies on each other to ask and answer questions. Whether in a forum or at a conference, lessons always abound.
During each of their presentations at Progress DevReach 2022, members of our community shared their points of view on several unique topics—ranging from the steps developers need to take building apps in .NET MAUI, how to use various aspects of Blazor across platforms, and what you could learn from the “lies developers tell themselves.”
Billy Hollis, a veteran software development generalist and current partner at Next View Systems, discusses common misconceptions during a developer’s workday in his keynote, the Lies Developers Tell Themselves. For example, estimating a larger time window instead of guessing a job may take one or two days. If you believe a recent assignment from your manager is going to be a breeze, taking a step back to provide yourself with extra time can lead to better results.
Other aspects to note are how diverse a developer’s skillset is beyond coding. Hollis encourages developers to look outside the coding world and see what else they can do for their team and organization.
“Your job is to deliver high-value software that suits the needs of the business and the users,” Hollis says. “In performing that role, yes, you have to write code, but you have to do that in addition to a lot of other things.”
The Women of .NET panel featured Alyssa Nicoll, Sr. Developer Advocate, Progress; Layla Porter, LiveCoder, Microsoft and Developer Advocate at VMWare; Rachel Kang, Software Engineer, Microsoft; Maddy Montaquila, Program Manager, .NET MAUI, Microsoft; Sweekriti Satpathy, Senior Software Engineer, Microsoft; and moderated by Lebogang Madise, Azure Developer Audience PMM, Microsoft. The discussion focused on what everyone can do to make strides in their respective development careers.
Porter, who paved a unique career path, urges those curious to get into development, saying that the field is different and more welcoming than when she started.
“I think where there is a will, there is a way,” Porter says. “There is so much out there to enable you to get into coding careers. It’s not like a medical or law degree. You do not have to have professional training. In the right environment, you can teach yourself and go from there.”
Ed Charbeneau, a Principal Developer Advocate at Progress, discusses the various Blazor targets and which one to choose for your development projects. Also, he mentions the pros and cons of Blazor Hybrid, Blazor Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and Blazor Electron. He told his audience about how Blazor is efficient at developing web UIs. However, the additional challenges developers may face come from the more CPU-intensive tasks that require more resources.
“If you are building charts, graphs, data grids, dashboards, it’s more than sufficient to build those forms over data,” says Charbeneau. “If you have something taxing, maybe you’re creating a PDF on the fly. We typically tell people not to use those in WebAssembly on the client. You want to put that heavy lifting stuff on the server, put it behind a web API, do your PDF generation, or whatever heavy lifting task is at hand, and send that data down when it’s finished.”
Those living with disabilities, whether a user or developer, face challenges with using specific technologies. Applications included. Rachel Kang explores methods of building more accessible apps for users with disabilities. Using her experience with .NET MAUI, Kang presented how a developer can easily change the settings of an application to make it approachable for any user. She also touches upon why empathy is so crucial to the development process.
“When it comes to developing accessible apps, empathy is truly the name of the game,” Kang says. “Putting ourselves in the shoes of our various users in different scenarios. And we can help build empathy by exploring accessibility settings and features, researching models and APIs and finally, testing our apps while leveraging our available tools and resources.”
Pawel Kozwoloski, Senior Software Engineer and Angular team member at Google, discusses how to transform how users write Angular components. Kozwoloski details how valuable sets of “standalone” APIs can make NgModules optional for many practical use cases. However, his demonstration’s biggest takeaway is the ability to create a whole Angular application without using NgModules.
“It is possible to write components and entire applications without creating a new NgModule,” Kozwoloski says. “You might need to use existing modules from existing libraries, but you don’t have to author the new ones, if it is your preference.”
Sweekriti Satpathy addresses the DevReach 2022 audience with a step-by-step process for migrating applications to .NET MAUI. Using an application built by the developer community, Satpathy displayed what it would look like on a simulated phone screen. She also went into detail on what developers should and should not do.
“Let’s say you have an app that needs to be evaluated. Is it even ready to start migrating?” Satpathy asks. “First step is if you are using customer renderers, it is a significant roadblock as it involves a rewriting. If you can, move away from those.”
Another session involving migration to .NET MAUI, Sam Basu, a Developer Advocate at Progress, took a modernization approach. During his session, Basu made one central point about the benefits of migrating apps developed in cross-platform environments. He discusses how going native can create speed bumps in the modernization process and how .NET MAUI can smooth the developer path ahead.
“If you have to go native, whether it is iOS, Android or Windows, it may offer a great user experience, but it’s expensive,” Basu says. “You’re maintaining three code bases for one app, and it’s hard for individuals and enterprises.”
As stated above, developers are no strangers to asking questions in their community. Our developers and users were welcome to share their lessons at DevReach 2022. And we hope you, or another developer you know, can utilize what they learned throughout this blog.
What lessons have you learned during your development career? You could speak DevReach 2023! You can submit a session proposal to the open call for speakers by March 19, 2023. Or if you’d rather simply attend the conference, you can learn and share a lot through meaningful conversations and by hearing from other developer community members.
Also, if you are curious to know about the other sessions at DevReach 2022, watch them on our YouTube playlist.
Copywriter Colin Barry has spent the majority of his career in the tech sector of Boston as a journalist and content marketer, writing about early-stage startups and consumer electronics. However, it is the combination of marketing and creative writing that draws him to the world of copywriting. Colin lives in Massachusetts and is a self-described film geek, rock music nerd and video game enthusiast.
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