Or… “You were gone?”
Yes, I’ve been pretty well absent from the Ext JS community lately. For a while, actually, thanks for asking. If you noticed my absence, then you probably already know who I am and maybe even a bit about my background. If you did not notice (shame on you!) let me give a few details, if you’re interested.
A Little Background
Waaay back in the fall of 2006 I met up with Jack Slocum over the internets. At the time he was working on his YUI-Ext components (extensions to Yahoo’s at-the-time nascent JS framework) and I was doing some contract web app development and was looking around for a framework to use (again). I ran across YUI-Ext and thought it was just awesome stuff, especially coming from some random, lone dude out in cyberspace. I pulled down the code, sent a few patches back to Jack which he liked and we started talking.
Before you know it, by March of 2007, Ext JS (both the 1.0 framework and the company behind it) was officially born. In those days it was literally just Jack and me — it was a crazy amount of work, but fun and a very interesting time. As you probably know (since you’re reading this) Ext JS took off and continues to do quite well as one of the premiere web app development frameworks available. All of that sounds great, right? Then you’re probably asking…
“So Why Did You Leave?”
Well, in startup companies, as in life, things can get pretty interesting. Things change (constantly), situations change, people change… none of which is good or bad necessarily, it just is what it is. As the company grew, it simply got to a point where I didn’t fit quite as well into what was going on as I had in the beginning. That, combined with the fact that my wife and I were going to have a baby in early 2009 (which did not gel very well with my 16-hour work days at the time) meant that something had to change.
I left Ext JS in October of 2008 on amicable terms. At the time I was pretty burned out (and the baby was due shortly) so I literally switched off my brain for about 6 months and worked on the house, outfitted the nursery, read a bunch of baby books, watched movies… basically anything that did not involve writing code.
Fast Forward to July 2010
My daughter is now a happy (well, mostly) and healthy 17-month-old toddler. Wow, let me let that sink in for a sec…
I finally switched my brain back on sometime during last year and have slowly been ramping a few projects up. Even back when I left Ext JS officially, I always planned to return actively to the community at some point, when the time was right for me.
It just so happened that I had been working on some calendar components already when I heard that the Ext team was also thinking about doing something similar. I got back in touch with the current team (now rebranded as Sencha) and ended up working with them to contribute my components as a sample calendar application to the Ext JS 3.3 release (currently in beta as of this writing).
I’m still improving and adding features to those same components and will be releasing a more advanced version independently in the coming months (with Sencha’s full blessing). Contributing something back to the framework has been a great way for me to jump back into the Ext JS game with both feet. My plan for Extensible is to continue pushing out interesting and useful components for Ext, as well as other resources like tutorials and other tools, so keep an eye out here if that sounds interesting to you.
All of this is a really long-winded way for me to get to my real point, which is simply… It’s great to be back! I can’t wait to start building some cool stuff (again).