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Highlighting the Release of Beyond jQuery - A Book by Ray Nicholus

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Widen is a collective of leaders, experts, advisors, and innovators who work at the forefront of content technology. And we’re proud to announce that our team now includes an author. Today, we celebrate the release of Beyond jQuery, a new book by Ray Nicholus, one of Widen’s  outstanding software engineers.

So, why did Ray write this book and why should you care? Read this interview to find out.

Ray Nicholus Beyond jQuery

Why did you write this book?

I wrote this book to share knowledge I acquired over the last several years as a front-end web developer with the rest of the developer community. But I also wrote to codify and articulate my long-standing beliefs, in hopes that others will find value in these musings. Most of all, my book is meant to empower developers of all skill levels, especially those who are relatively new to the industry and find themselves lost in the complex landscape of the web API, JavaScript, HTML, and all the various abstractions that many find themselves hiding behind. By breaking down jQuery, one of the more prevalent abstractions, and illustrating the power of natively available web development tools, I give readers the knowledge required to fully understand the concepts needed to continue to evolve as web developers.

Why should developers read it?

I wish I had access to the advice in this book earlier on in my career. Many of the lessons I learned came as such a high cost. For  example, I only realized that I had incorrectly approached the task of learning web development after several years into the venture. Instead of learning the underlying concepts first, I latched onto an abstraction (jQuery). It is this knowledge, along with the detailed manner in which I explain critical web API and JavaScript concepts using frequent code example, that developers will find useful. This is not simply another web development or JavaScript book. The perspective here is unique, and since much of it is written for developers already familiar with jQuery, it appeals to a wide audience.

What does this mean for Widen?

This book wasn't merely an outlet for me to share what I've learned over my career. It was a unique opportunity for me to grow as a developer myself at an exceptionally fast pace. I learned a lot during the course of researching material for this book. While much knowledge was gained in the development category, I also learned (and continue to learn) quite a bit about marketing as a result of this endeavor. Turns out, marketing is an important part of writing a book! I worked at this book almost every night for about a year and a half. This was quite challenging, perhaps the most difficult task of my career. The discipline gained here made me a better writer, employee, and developer in general. This experience benefits Widen and Widen's customers.

What should Widen customers know about Widen software engineering?

I suspect that many of our customers only have a basic understanding of software engineering at Widen. Of course, the products they love and depend on every day are built by software engineers (though we are only a piece of the puzzle). But the details surrounding the process in which features are coded, bugs are fixed, and new ideas are born may be outside the general knowledge of most.

Our customers should know that Widen is staffed exclusively by engineers who care very much about the quality of the code that makes up our suite of products. And this isn't directly visible to customers, but it's an important distinction. Everything we do as software engineers here, such as continually expanding our industry knowledge and reaffirming our processes, allows us to continue to deliver the highest-quality code possible. This overarching goal is in place to limit the number and severity of bugs and allows us to add new and update existing features in response to customer feedback with minimal risk. By striving to remain experts in our domain, we are able to continue to improve the experience for our customers through software innovation.

Where can people learn more about the topics?

Chapter 13 of my book explains how to stay current and further research many of the topics I discuss throughout the book. Mozilla Developer Network is a great reference resource for web developers. As for staying current, Twitter is my preferred source. Simply follow a handful of active developers on Twitter (such as yours truly) and you'll always have new approaches and technologies to research for your next (or current) project.

Learn more from Ray is continually updated with links to my articles as well as articles featuring me. See the "about" page on my site for additional links to development-related endeavors that I am proud of. For a glance at some of my publicly available software projects, check out my GitHub account at

“Ray's book has many added values both for Ray as an individual contributor, Widen as a company and the technology community as a whole,” said Annette Jensen, Director of Software Development at Widen. “Ray's book represents his commitment as a developer to the developer and technology community. His focus has always been giving back to the technology community through writing, creating and sharing the highest level of code and through educating others in this space. His book also promotes the quality that Widen is committing to our code base. His book represents both his and Widen's continued commitment to Ray's career growth and the commitment to give back to the technology community by sharing his and other developer's knowledge, expertise and experience with others.”

Get your copy of Beyond jQuery at

Contact us to learn more about the quality of engineering behind Widen’s content technology solutions.

Topics: Culture & Company

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