Learning JSP: A Retrospective

JSP - Java Server PagesI’ve been in the world of programming for a while now and it is funny how there are always new terms or acronyms. I started learning Java when it was first introduced. It was a major headache back then because it was a new language and they were trying to figure out best practices with each release. Functions and classes were quickly deprecated and you kept having to learn the new way to do things. This turned me off of Java for a long time.

As the language matured a little, they came out with JSP. Since I was heavily interested in websites and web technologies, this seemed like something new and exciting to learn. At the time I was using either perl or PHP for dynamic features of websites, so JSP would be a change of pace from these scripting languages.

I have always thought it was funny that people say that they can program in JSP. Technically JSP is just the name given to the collection of technologies that Java uses for its front end web development. JSP can consist of pure Java servlets, JSTL, HTML, CSS,  and JavaScript.

The JSTL has come a long way since the early days. They now have commands built into the tag libraries that can do just about anything you would want to do when developing a site. This is very helpful so you don’t have to insert Java snippets. This makes it easier to keep a true separate from backend and front end work. Here is a JSTL tutorial that will help figure out what JSTL can do.

After using it in my job for the past year, I’ve come to really appreciate what you can do with JSP. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to use some of the cool and useful JSTL features in the latest version, but I have been able to figure out how to do just about anything I need. JSP is definitely a great way to go for your front end if you have a Java backend setup.

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I was originally born in Missouri, but traveled around most of my childhood. My mom finally got tired of moving while we were in Dallas, Texas and I have been here ever since. After high school I started college at the University of North Texas (UNT) and started working in the computer field. I currently work for JCPenney as a front end software engineer for their e-commerce website. Before this I worked for AT&T about 12 years and started with them in 1999 (when they were Southwestern Bell). I have many passions and I really love photography. Besides photography I also love sports. I not only like to watch it, but I also love to play. Currently my friends and I play indoor soccer and flag football.

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