Lightning Strikes the Trails
Just in time for Lightning Developer Week around the globe, new Lightning modules were released for Trailhead including one for Lighting Components. Up until now, most of the content on Trailhead has been subjects that i’m very familiar with (although that hasn’t stopped me dropping points through not reading the challenges properly :)
The Lightning Components was a different experience - as these have not long made it into beta, and more importantly still don’t play nicely with canvas apps, I’d been dabbling at best, mainly around follow along tutorials where I didn’t have to concentrate too hard. The Trailhead challenges get you to write real code against a set of requirements and then automatically validates whether you’ve succeeded.
We’re not in Kansas any more
This is really useful as Lightning Components present a different programming challenge to the Apex/Visualforce paradigm we’ve used in the past:
- The Apex that you do use is stateless - if you don’t send information from the front end as a parameter, the controller won’t have access to it.
The Lighting module has a guide time of four hours, which is a pretty good estimate. This isn’t something you’ll want to dip into for 5 minutes here and there. Its also a good idea to have the Lighting Components Developer’s Guide open while you are working it, so that you can read more around the various concepts.
There are currently 9 steps in the Lightning Components module. In addition to the steps that cover the points I’ve made above, there’s one that I’d like to particularly draw attention to: Debugging Your Components - this will stand you in good stead when you apply the learning from the module to build your own components when they inevitably don’t work.
Douglas Crockford described browsers as “the most hostile software development environment imaginable” and he should know! Knowing the tools that are available and how to use them will make things a little easier on you.
So what’s keeping you?
As Columbo would say, just one more thing: if you haven’t tried Trailhead yet,consider how much content is now available and hazard a guess at how much you’d have to pay for that sort of training elsewhere. If that isn’t a reason to get started straight away I don’t know what is.
- Trailhead - Interactive Force.com Developer Training
- Musings of a Trailheader
- Head for the New Trails