Going to the Web

There has been a desire by my customer organization to migrate our client/server application to a web environment. I think they are tired of rolling out our Windows application to hundreds, if not thousands of desktops. They have a whole system administration team who is responsible for dealing with application installation. These guys have a lot of better things to do with their time. Moving to a web based system may help alleviate this type of problem.

My background is developing client/server applications on Microsoft Windows using Visual Studio. Specifically I have worked with Visual C++ for over 10 years. Although I have done some Oracle PL/SQL back end programming, most of my experience is desktop applications. The problem is that I really like the current system I am working on. I really spent a lot of time learning the business of my users. So I do not want to throw away all of this business domain expertise. The solution for myself may be to move to the web along with my project.
The question is where do I start to become a good web developer. Another contractor already tried to rewrite the system for the web using Java. I do not know a lot about that effort. I did some back end PL/SQL work for them that had to do with complex business rules. But I do not know a lot about the details of the technologies used. In general, what type of topics should I learn about? I checked out a local training vendor. Here were some interesting course topics that seemed relevant for this change:

  • Developing Web Applications
  • JavaScript
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • Java and XML
  • Java Enterprise Edition
  • Struts
  • Spring and Hibernate
  • Ajax
Do any of these seem like good investments in the future? My company allows some budget for training. I am looking to make the business case that they need to invest a little more in my training. The result will be that I can help them make it to the web in a safe manner. The hard part of our system is hardly ever the technology. It is the business side. What kind of courses do you recommend I take to get to be that Java web developer that is essential for my company?