Friday, March 28, 2014

Demystifying the Dojo Build System - 2014 Dev Summit Presentation

The ESRI Dev Summit this year was awesome as usual. This was my third year and it keeps getting better and better for me. I love being able to have direct access to ESRI developers and rubbing shoulders with amazing developers working on the same problems that I am. And the plenary this year was really great.

I was privileged to present again this year. My submission title was Demystifying the Dojo Build System. Here's the abstract:
If you are not using some sort of build system for your JavaScript apps, then you are missing out on some huge performance gains. Concatenation, minification, and interning strings will almost certainly shave seconds off of your page load times.The Dojo Build System is a program that can apply these types of "deployment optimizations" to your source code. However, it can be a steep learning curve and throwing the ArcGIS API for JavaScript into the mix only complicates the situation. This presentation will untangle the build system and give you a solid overview of all of the moving parts. We will explore real world examples of how the Utah AGRC uses this system in our web applications and how it can be applied to your applications as well.
It obviously struck a cord because the room was packed. My presentation ended up turning out well and I got some great feedback. I think that there are a lot of people interested in building their applications but the Dojo Build System can be intimidating (see my first slide below).

I was concerned that it would be overshadowed or rendered irrelevant by the new web optimizer that ESRI is releasing shortly and previewed at the conference. However, this was not the case. The web optimizer looks awesome and will be a huge help for a lot of people but there will always be those that want to keep the build process local and want total control over it. Hopefully my presentation will save these people some head aches.

Here's some resources from my presentation:

Summary Sheet
Example Projects