How long have you worked at Sencha and what led you to join the company?
Funny story! I joined Sencha in December of 2014. I developed Ext JS applications for many years before joining Sencha, and held the company in high regard because of all the amazing things the framework allowed me to do over the years. I never knew that Sencha had an office 20 minutes from my house until a member of the Sencha Architect team reached out to me about one of my side projects, Mockaroo. I wasn’t ready to leave my day job just yet, but I kept the idea tucked away in the back of my mind. A year later I was ready to move on, and excited about the prospect of joining Sencha, if not a little intimidated by the challenge of working alongside developers who were no doubt much more skilled than I. Fortunately, Sencha hired me and the rest is history.
What will be the biggest opportunities and changes in web development over the next 3-5 years?
How do Sencha tools make it easier for developers to build web apps?
UI and UX consume so much developer time and effort on every project. The web development ecosystem is overflowing with libraries that aim to provide an architectural foundation for apps. React, Angular, Ember, Backbone, Aurelia, Polymer… the list goes on forever. They all provide solid plumbing, but don’t include actual UI components that every app needs. You’re left to build things like trees, grids, dialogs, charts, and forms yourself, or glue them together from a handful of open source projects using more plumbing like jQuery and Bootstrap. Ext JS provides everything needed to build a robust user interface with a single, consistent set of APIs, so developers can spend less time integrating and more time delivering value for their users.
What advice can you give to new developers who are just starting to use Sencha tools?
Use Sencha Fiddle! It allows you to play around with Ext JS, mock things up, and try out new versions without having to set up anything locally.
Also, install one of the Sencha IDE plugins. They provide code completion and other helpful features that allow beginners to get up to speed rapidly. I’m partial to JetBrains IDEs, but we offer great support for Eclipse and Visual Studio as well.
What’s your oddest obsession?
UI nitpicking. Seriously, I can spot off-center text a mile away. I’ve been known to drive other developers crazy with this passion.
Outside of software, it’s probably my lawn. I like a nice thick green carpet. My dream is to have a US Open quality rough in my backyard.
— Mark Brocato, Engineering Director