Although Ajax is neither new (debuting in 1998 with Outlook Web Access) nor a technology (in fact, it's a way to use established Web technologies), Ajax programming requires a learning curve surpassing that of a new technology, since it requires as much unlearning as learning. Ajax also attracts different types of IT professionals; there are enterprise developers who want to brush up on improving presentation layers, there are graphic designers and desktop developers aiming to build back-end applications, and there are system admins called on by end users to build nifty UIs.
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This was first published in January 2006