Note to geeks: look beyond the end of your nose

I know this has been going on for quite a while, but recently I’ve seen so many examples of it that I feel like stating the obvious that so many seem to be missing. Every time I see the new term ajax talked about online, there’s a harsh knee-jerk programmer/geek reaction. “We don’t need your stinking labels” and “XMLHttpRequest is a perfect fine name and has worked for years” are things you often read. On some level, these reactions are to be expected when you give a new label to an old technology, but lately, those reactions have been drowning out more substantive discussions.

But what baffles me most is that programmers are missing the big picture. Yes, XMLHttpRequest has been around for years, and ajax is just a pretty term for DHTML and javascript, but the beauty of the term ajax is that we now have an easy way to sell the technology. I know engineers have a natural fear of anything and anyone in the marketing world, but now that managers, VC, and funders all know what ajax is and that users want that kind of application interaction, they’re much more likely to pay for it.

When a programmer drops the umpteenth comment on a weblog saying the term ajax sounds stupid and is unnecessary, they don’t seem to realize how much more business they can pull in (if freelancing) or how they could score a raise (if salaried) if they would just add it to their next web application. Yes, the term is simply a marketing one and yes the technology has been around for a while, but it has been misunderstood and/or unknown until now. Ajax now means more money will funnel to your projects and users will prefer your products over the competition. In the end, the more people that use and understand what “ajax” means, the better off you’ll be as a programmer.

One thought on “Note to geeks: look beyond the end of your nose

  1. Well, in Europe, up until now Ajax either meant a household cleaning product or a Dutch football team.
    The potential confusion amuses me greatly 🙂

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