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Where do I even begin? Front-end dev in a Spring shop.  RSS feed

 
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As the title says I'm a front-end web developer who just started working with a large auto-parts retailer. The website is built with Java using Spring and several other terms I'm not familiar with. My role will be building out the front-end, while integrating it with the JSP templates.

I've learned a little bit of Python (Flask), Ruby, and PHP (a lot of WordPress customization) in the past so I have a decent understanding of the basics of programming. But I'm a bit at a loss as to where to begin learning Spring. I grabbed a book on it, but then realized I needed at least a basic understanding of Java.

But after that, what's next? Do I then start learning Spring? Or do I learn about JSP and Servlets? Where does Gradle, Maven, Ant fit in? I'm used to JSON files and I honestly thought XML was dieing, but that's obviously a wrong assumption.

I'm overwhelmed at this point and could sure use some pointers on what to give priority to in getting up to speed with Java and Spring. And don't get me started on Eclipse.

Thanks,
Rick
 
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Hi Rick,

Because you say that you are a front-end web developer working at a large auto-parts retailer, I would imagine that the company is not expecting you to develop back-end Spring code or hack on the build system (Gradle, Maven, and Ant are tools for building the code).

I, too, am mostly a front-end web developer, but I like to dabble in back-end technologies for personal projects. I would start by learning JSP and getting a solid understanding of the Java programming language. JSP is a fundamental technology used by a lot of back-end technologies. Also, knowing Java will be very helpful with writing JSP, and if you wanted to start branching into back-end development, a solid understanding of Java is basically a requirement. I would then learn servlets, which entails learning a little about HTTP, and then start learning Spring.

Hope that helps,

Daniel
 
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I would learn the basics of JSPs and Servlets before delving into Spring. Spring builds on top of the J2EE standard to make things easier, and in some areas do it better than the J2EE standard. However, if you don;t understand J2EE, you might be lost. You can really start using Spring without knowing J2EE. But, if you run into problems you will be lost
 
Rick Yentzer
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Thanks for your help! That gets me going in a direction that I was unsure of. I'm going to check out the Servlets and JSP Head First book along with picking up some basic Java.
 
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Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:I would learn the basics of JSPs and Servlets before delving into Spring. Spring builds on top of the J2EE standard to make things easier, and in some areas do it better than the J2EE standard. However, if you don;t understand J2EE, you might be lost. You can really start using Spring without knowing J2EE. But, if you run into problems you will be lost



Agreed. If you'll be developing JSPs primarily, then understanding the backend of Spring isn't that important to you. That said, it can be helpful to understand the relationship between Spring MVC models and the JSP views. In a nutshell, Spring MVC controllers will populate a model (which is essentially a hashmap) with data to be rendered by the view. By the time that the JSP sees it, it's just request attributes...nothing Spring about it.

There are also some Spring-based JSP tag libraries that are certainly worth learning as you build those front-end views.

Finally, if JSP is what you're being asked to do, then you gotta do what the job demands. But you might want to take a look at Thymeleaf, a JSP alternative that is much simpler and friendlier than JSP. It's essentially just HTML with some special attributes for rendering model data. I'm definitely a fan of Thymeleaf and recommend it over JSP if there is an option.
 
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