Interview : Pascal Precht de Thoughram à propos d’Angular 2

Nos Sfeiriens ont profité d’Angular Connect 2016 pour interviewer Pascal Precht et recueillir ses impressions de formateur concernant Angular 2.


SFEIR: Thanks for being with us, can you please introduce yourself?

Pascal: Sure ! My name is Pascal, I’m from Germany and I’m a software engineer and trainer at thoughtram. I do trainings on Angular and Git with a couple of friends and we create content (articles, videos), that we’ll publish on our own platform quite soon. It’s not announced yet, but it’s coming, we just want a bit more content before unveiling it officially.

We are at Angular Connect 2016, two years after the Angular 2 announcement. How did you manage this waiting time?

It was like riding a roller coaster. It went up and down. At the time of NG Europe (2014), I was already reading Angular 2 design documents. This was kinda funny actually, because I could see what problems were about to be solved, and how the Angular team approached them. I’ve been following that for quite a long time.

Then we reached the point where we could play with some versions of Angular 2. It definitely wasn’t stable, but we could use it to get a little idea of what it will look like. Then they showed a bit of the syntax used with it, and that’s when the Internet started to hate the whole framework because everything was so different. However for us [thoughtram], the most challenging part was to keep our content up to date. It was really fun to play with that bleeding edge technology but keeping up with the changes was pretty much a full-time job. It was worth it after all (and still is!) because now we have a lot of readers, people seem to like our content and we could give back to the community.

Now that Angular 2 is here, what is your favorite feature?

What I really like in Angular 2 is a set of features you don’t necessarily find in other frameworks. For example, it supports different platforms. We can run it in a browser or in a server, or in a web worker, or we can use it with offline ahead-of-time compilation, etc. That offers very interesting ways to build front-end applications. It feels a bit like a window into the future of development, one that you can open today.

What do you think of the learning curve of Angular 2?

That’s an interesting one! That really depends on how you teach certain things, what you teach and, of course, the experience of the people learning that stuff. I would say that many concepts are simpler in Angular 2 compared to Angular 1, but on the other hand, there are many new concepts that people have to pick up: Shadow dom, dependency injection is more powerful but more complex in Angular 2, Change Detection is significantly different, … and so on and so forth. I would say the learning curve itself is not as steep as angular 1. It’s just that there’s *another* set of things to learn.

Do you feel that some of your attendees feel the « JavaScript fatigue »? That they hate to have to install so many things to make a simple Hello World?

I don’t think they really feel it in our courses because we use Angular CLI, and all that stuff is abstracted away. We have a starter kit for our training, all they have to do is to clone the repository and run npm install and they’re ready to go. But as soon as they want to start to integrate these tools into their projects for whatever reason, that’s the part when they’ll realize there is another huge landscape of tools they have to learn in order to get something done with them. That’s why we have Angular CLI, it kind of fix that, to some degree at least.

When you’re doing your classes, do you get the feeling that some people don’t accept TypeScript? Maybe people used to JavaScript?

No, actually it’s the opposite. From what I see, people really appreciate it. When we do a public training, we get people who really are into Angular and want to learn everything about it and TypeScript is not an obstacle. When doing in-house training however, we may get people that aren’t necessarily familiar with Angular, maybe back-end developers, and those people especially, they really like TypeScript, as a language : they have Types that helps them out, they can use an actual IDE or editor that can support them even further. We don’t have any issue with TypeScript.

Thank you for your time, Pascal!

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