Perspectives on Lightning Web Components: AURA vs LWC vs W3C

Unless you’ve been on an extended holiday vacation, with your devices offline and your head deliberately down in the sand rather than up in the Salesforce cloud, you most likely have been keeping up with all the hot news around the Lightning Web Component rollout on the Lightning Platform. If not, then it’s time.

Team Trailhead has done an absolutely awesome and thorough job providing timely supporting educational material, and making it immediately available to the developer community. They’ve also been traveling the globe, helping to organize and promote global developer events where developers can jump in and ramp up their understanding and grasp of this technology shift that’s been long needed.

We’re piling on to offer some in-the-trenches complimentary perspective with the release of twoFREE Salesforce Play By Plays on Lightning Web Components for both Salesforce Developers AND non-Salesforce Web Developers.

Before you do anything else, make sure you’ve read this seminal blog post by Salesforce Principal Architect and Developer Evalangelist Christophe Coenraets. He makes it pretty clear what the primary intent, benefits and objectives are of moving to these open standards.

Many in the global Ohana have also posted their perspective, and I believe the top three goals are performance, standards and metadata awareness. As the cries went up from the Lightning customer and developer base, Salesforce listened and the time was right. Advances in modern browser technology allowed for this significant architectural shift, and the result is both quite evident and very satisfactory.

But…many questions still linger — such as:

”Exactly how and why is the Lightning Web Component programming model the same or different than implementing Aura components, and what has changed conceptually with implementation and why?”

”What will the impact be with regard to any developer’s investment in their personal development skills, and how can they map their current Aura knowledge and skills to the new model?”

”How does this new model impact customer teams and their existing work, and what will the impact be to any Salesforce org and the investment in Aura custom components?”

And then of course there are those non-Salesforce Developers that this shift clearly targets, yet they are likely unfamiliar with Aura and the rest of the platform. They may be asking:

“How does the new model compare to the vanilla web component model?”

”How do the two different component programming models compare and contrast from a web developer’s perspective?”

And most importantly:

”How does this technology shift help bring my existing web development skills and knowledge to bear for opportunities in the Salesforce eco-system?”

So lots of questions, which brings us back to our offering up some perspective with two freely available Salesforce Play By Plays on Lightning Web Components — one for Salesforce Developers:

and another for non-Salesforce web Developers:

First, we brought Chuck Liddell back into our studio to share his perspective with Salesforce Developers around what he’s been learning about the Lightning Web Components programming model as a Salesforce Technical Architect, MVP and product ISV.

In his course Understanding Lightning Web Components for Salesforce Developers (2h 26m), Chuck introduces us to the new model, provides a history of its evolution along with newer W3C web standards and modern browsers, and dives into how Lightning Web Components differ from Aura Components.

He dissects both Template markup and JavaScript modules, walks us through many key aspects of the new model, discusses directives and differences using ES6 JavaScript modules, and wraps up with a demonstration and discussion of some challenges he faced during his own Aura to LWC migration efforts.

Then, we brought Adam Daw back to share some of his perspective around what he’s been learning around the new programming model from the perspective of a full-stack web developer.

In his course Understanding Lightning Web Components for non-Salesforce Developers (55m), Adam introduces us to the modern day concept of component-based UI web development, the W3C ‘vanilla’ Web Component standard, and its underlying philosophy. He dives into the standard Web Component specification and breaks it down into its four main parts: Custom Elements, the Shadow DOM, JavaScript ES6 Modules and HTML templates. Then Adam shows how Salesforce has implemented the standard, and takes a deep dive into the structure of a Lightning Web Component.

He focuses on some of the Salesforce specific aspects that web developers need to know about, and provides some perspective around how to leverage existing HTML5, ES6 JavaScript, and CSS web development skills to succeed with Salesforce UI development.

BOTH of these courses are totally FREE and available to all on

A Pluralsight account is NOT needed, not even a free trial! While I always shamelessly plug and encourage everyone to try out a free trial to access the 6000+ courses, that’s not needed for these two courses. Just go to the URLs linked above and start each course.

Once logged into Pluralsight, you can also check out the linked Channel of related supplemental material, including sample source code, Trailhead, videos, documentation, posts and additional content related to each course. You’ll find that link in the course’s Exercise area.

For additional expert perspective on other Salesforce Developer and Architect topics, you can see the full catalog of Salesforce Play By Plays on my Pluralsight author page with links to each course page containing a table of contents along with a brief overview video of what is covered.

Or you can view the entire trailer collection on our Youtube playlist on the Pluralsight Channel. And remember, these courses are transcribed, closed captioned and localized into over fifty languages.

So go carve out a little time to watch these two new FREE Salesforce Play by Plays, and as always — we hope you enjoy them!

Originally published at