React.js and Firebase

12 years ago I wrote a PHP app for John Muir Health System, and it was my first serious SQL Database and Web application. Since then everything I’ve done has been back office, server side programming with no interface.

Last week I completed a superb intro class, and it was by far the best $100 training course online that I have ever taken:

Last quarter I completed the basic foundational framework for Credit Karma’s Enterprise Data Dictionary, and now I see how any company that is using a far flung, multi data store system needs a Data Dictionary. Its one of those things that if you haven’t had one, you probably don’t know what you are missing, but once you leverage the power of your own meta data and start driving processes with data, its amazing what happens.

The problem that I had was that people across teams were running around with spreadsheets to try to coordinate this meta data – who gets to describe what, what is automated, and what requires some manual data entry.

I have hooked up Google Sheets as temporary data entry forms that are basically external tables in Googles Big Query, but it sure feels like it better be only a stop gap measure. Using spreadsheets this way gets out of control fast. And while Big Query is a great big place to park your data (I hate the term “Data Lake”), but it takes serious discipline and a Data Dictionary to ensure that you aren’t piling up reams of useless or redundant or even “dirty” data. I am using Firebase to help ensure that the data that gets into the Data Dictionary is of the highest Data Quality. This is something spreadsheets can’t do. All of the same data entry and validation rules that I used to code at Gupta Technologies – when I taught SQL*Windows classes back in the late 80’s holds true today, except it now must be browser and smart phone based.

Enter what I think is PHP’s replacement – React.js plus Google Firebase and several other parts to the framework – Redux, Material-ui, etc.

What blows me away is where Javascript is these days – WOW – this is not the wimpy Javascript I remember 10 or more years ago, and what is out there is just incredible.

Its funny that the most fun I am having these days is not Ham Radio, but coding. I’m neck deep in coding C, Python, Javascript and really getting into HTML5, CSS (which is really powerful once you start spending serious time with it).

Between the Maker stuff and work, my life has become coding – and I love it more than I ever have.

In fact, I can’t get enough of it  . . . .

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