Howardism Musings from my Awakening Dementia
My collected thoughts flamed by hubris
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Computer Inspiration

Had an interview with a company where someone asked me what was the latest book that has inspired me. A very good interview question, but a particularly interesting question for me since I haven't been inspired (in a technological way) for a very long time.

Funny, but I didn't feel right about mentioning the owner's manual to Mac OS X (or the lack thereof). :-) First of all, I wasn't very impressed with the Gang of Four's Patterns book as by the time I looked at it, I had already witnessed pattern abuse. Yes, patterns are a necessary tool/skill for every engineer, but it didn't inspire me. In fact, I concur with Rod Johnson (the author of [Expert One on One J2EE Design and Development]6 and a principal behind the [Spring Framework]2]) when he said [in this interview:

Patterns are valuable, but I've seen a lot of developers go pattern-crazy. They look for opportunities to apply patterns, rather than concentrating on actual requirements. I think we need a more mature approach. We should understand patterns and use them where appropriate, rather than shoehorning them in if they don't fit. Patterns should be used as parts of good solutions, rather than driving solutions.

I guess the last book that got me excited wasn't actually a book, but an article on unit testing I had read over on JUnit's web site, as that was my first, good taste of XP(Extreme Programming)-- and that was inspiring.

I have a lot of books and projects that are currently intriguing me. Spring looks very promising, as does other light-weight projects, since I've been grumbling about Java's current over-complexity for a while now (see this rant). I've mentioned StringTemplate before, and a good template engine does lighten my demeanor.

Aspect-oriented programming (AOP) is extremely intriguing to me right now, but hasn't been awe-inspiring… yet. I think it will as soon as I can do a real project with it.

I've been grumpy for a couple of months now over the state of affairs in the computer world, and even thought about getting out of the software business and finger painting all day. I suppose that is why I've been writing about all this negative stuff on my web site.

But I'm over that and I'm definitely in the mood to be inspired. And I actually think I will be real soon.

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