Updated: Jun 10
DataWeave is MuleSoft’s crown jewel and secret sauce for data transformations. Some developers have grown into DataWeave rockstars, while others are on the path to becoming DataWeave coding Ninjas. Regardless of where you are in your journey, I have ten tips you can use to improve your DataWeave skillset and rock your next data transformation.
Before I share these tips with you, it's important to channel your inner “Dev” and chant this phrase.
“DEVS BUILD THINGS!”
Yes, developers, programmers, software engineers, integration engineers, coding ninjas, whatever title was given to you or you have given yourself, build things.
These tips are broken down into two categories: consumption vs. application. They are best utilized together. For example, pair a tip that requires you to consume learning material with a tip that requires you to apply what you have learned through coding.
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Quick Navigation (Tips)
Tip #1: Back to the basics
Before you can master any programming language, you must understand the basics. DataWeave is no different. If you are new to learning DataWeave or need to brush up on the fundamentals, start coding immediately using the DataWeave Playground Tutorial.
DataWeave Playground is an online playground tool that allows you to quickly write, validate, and share DataWeave code from anywhere. In addition, this tool is equipped with a tutorial tab. The tutorial tab walks you through eight beginner-friendly tutorials to teach you concepts and validate your learning through exercises.
Tip #2: Lighten the learning curve by taking a good DataWeave course
Online written and video tutorials are great, but a good DataWeave course can accelerate your learning and lighten the learning curve for DataWeave. MuleSoft offers the Anypoint Development Platform: DataWeave course. This is a good investment for anyone looking to learn DataWeave because it explains the basics and provides practical examples to get you started.
Disclaimer: I participated in the maintenance of MuleSoft’s Anypoint Development Platform: DataWeave course during my tenure at MuleSoft.
There are additional options on UDemy and YouTube. While taking the course, make sure to follow along and complete all demonstrations, walkthroughs, and challenges.
Tip #3: Befriend the DataWeave documentation
Familiarize yourself with DataWeave’s documentation. The documentation will give you a high-level understanding of how DataWeave as a language works, the available modules and functions, and practical examples. Bookmark this as a reference and refer back to it as needed.
Tip #4: Learn from examples
Regardless of the programming language, one way to learn is from examples. Joining an open-source project was a big deal 10 to 20 years ago. Today, you can join a big open-source project or follow your DataWeave expert's repositories on GitHub.
Tip #5: Practice makes perfect
Unlike Mule 4, DataWeave is more pro-code than low-code. This means you will have to develop your DataWeave coding muscle 💪. Force yourself to practice.
Here are a few additional resources:
If you enjoy tech books then MuleSoft for Salesforce Developers DataWeave Exercises is a must-read. This 15-chapter book serves as an introduction to Mulesoft and its products. It's marketed towards Salesforce developers, but all aspiring MuleSoft developers can use this book. Chapters 6 and 7 are dedicated to DataWeave, which alone is a good reason to check it out.
Lastly, joining an official coding challenge is another way to keep yourself accountable. I’m a massive fan of 100 days of code, but there are plenty that you can join.
Tip #6: Build a Game using DataWeave
Recently, some MuleSoft Community members have created DataWeave programmed Battlesankes and participated in Battlesnake competitions.
If you love gaming, then developing your Battlesnake is a great way to start. MuleSoft Community Legend Manik Magar has made a starter template on GitHub. In addition, Alex Martinez has significantly covered Battlesnake creation on ProstDev's YouTube channel and blog site.
Tip #7: Volunteer to work on real-world complex data transformations
The only way to become a DataWeave Coding Ninja is to put yourself out there and take on the more complex data transformations. If there is an opportunity to work on a challenging use case, take it head-on and try to solve it. You may need to ask for help, and that is okay, but push yourself to start working on complex problems.
Tip #8: Collaborate and participate in pair programming with peers
Imposter syndrome can sometimes kick in when we code on demand or share our code with others. However, pair programming with a more experienced MuleSoft developer can accelerate your learning and help you accomplish challenging transformations faster.
Another way to improve your DataWeave skills is through code reviews. During your code review session, take notes and make changes to your code after the review session. Likewise, while writing new code, refer to notes from previous sessions to avoid making mistakes found during the last session.
Tip #9: Test your Code
This is my last but certainly not least tip. Please test your DataWeave code. You can test it as you code by viewing the output section in the DataWeave Playground or VS Code for DataWeave extension.
You can also write DataWeave-specific unit tests for your DataWeave code directly in the VS Code for DataWeave extension.
Tip #10: View Community Content
One of the best features of MuleSoft is its Muleys, its employees, and its extended family of partners and customers. In addition, both MuleSoft and its community members release supplemental content to help other members. The content is top-notch, so be sure to view it.
Speaking of community, here are seven more DataWeave tips provided by a dataweave_fun.
I hope you have enjoyed the ten DataWeave tips I have shared. Please share with anyone that is looking to improve. Be sure to subscribe to my blog to avoid missing a post.