This week I've been delving into the actual technicalities of implementing some AJAX goodies with a view to both understanding the limitations and advantages of them.
In my lead-up reading, everything pointed to using an established framework, so I chose Script.aculo.us as a starting point. After an hour of playing I had lost all my awe of the drag-n-drop and roll-up type effects I had seen. With a good framework these become so simple. The challenge then, is to use the effects wisely 🙂
I then spent some time with the product managers looking at what we could apply to our demos framework to enhance the experience.
The time I spent this week, while giving me some hands-on insight into the AJAX frameworks also reminded me how much I enjoy development. In addition, the best way to understand a new technology is to get your hands dirty. As an Engineering Manager I think it's important to stay in touch with the technologies and architectures of your field.
So, if it's been a while since you last "tinkered" with some code, go spend an hour getting dirty. It keeps you in touch with what your team is doing daily and you might just have some fun 🙂