I have a very good friend in the IT industry. He is a programmer by trade, and we call him Mookity. He and I have fundamental differences when it comes to the IT world. He is a fan of Apple and Java and so forth and so on, and, well, I am not. Yet, today, I have had to put my opinion in my pocket and have listened. I have identified that I don’t like change in certain fundamental aspects of my IT world, and that Linux, or Unix, any form of ‘ix is going to be my own personal bugbear; but that isn’t going to stop me from learning something new, and something that seems, according to this website, something popular and a little future proof.
I enjoy programming. Not really as a career, as I have considered it before, but as something that allows me to express my own little creative flair along with rubbing my god complex lovingly. It began several years ago with simple Basic programming with the Commodore 64, but only really came into its own when I began work in a corporate environment and was put in charge of developing the local intranet in order to allow helpdesk functionality and general sanity in a company that was inundated by German Corporate Policy.
Eventually time wove on in its unusual stream, and I ended up in a company where I had the power to develop my own policy, and, much to my surprise, free range in what languages and systems we would be installing. What I didn’t realize, at the time, was the swath of destruction our production system was about to lay upon the component of my life called sanity. Within a few months I realized that I would be spending more time developing than anything else. Because of time and resources I was pretty much forced to use what was one hand; this meant deployment of new applications in languages that haven’t seen the light of day in a while. The cast majority of the software that I write is in VBSCRIPT, version 3.0 to be precise. That’s right, I write in ASP and IE. Hate me if you must.
Mookity decided to demo something new, and something vibrant. Groovy. No, not a sense of appeasement or status of enlightenment. The programming… language, if you can call it that, is called Groovy. And it runs on something that they call Grails. Not the holy kind either. If some out there are thinking that they recognize the lingual phonics therein, they might associate it with Ruby on Rails. Well, guess what, you’re right. Groovy on Grails is Ruby on Rails, only it’s for the Java platform, and it’s Groovy on Rails (with a G to make it Grails). I’m sure someone spent a lot of time on that one.
I purchased a book on VB.Net 2005 in order that I can upgrade what I knew, and make the transition from VBSCRIPT to VB.NET and ASP.NET. Well, the short version is that it didn’t happen. The long version is that I spent so much time swearing at VB.NET that I lost the enjoyment of it. I found that it had become overly complicated and was trying to be something that it wasn’t. It was trying to be an enterprise level programming language instead of a language that weekend warriors could use. The ultimate fall of VB.NET for me, was when it came to database functionality. I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
In ASP using VBScript, I can create a function to allow for on the fly database connection with a couple of lines of code and a handful of minutes. In VB.NET – unless you’re using the professional edition or have thorough knowledge of the IDE, well, you’re screwed. It’s lines and lines of code, and still doesn’t actually get you anywhere. And that, my friends, sucks. So I fell back to VBScript on ASP pages and looked longingly at PHP and MySql. I was going to get there, I just didn’t know how, where or when.
The here comes Groovy. And for the first time I must admit that Java code has actually looked pleasant. That’s another thing for me. Code must look good. Sure, functionality and all that, but those numskulls that think that it’s better practice to place sixty five billion commands on one line using single letter variable names and arcane looking hieroglyphs for their code. You can kiss my heinie. You, obviously, haven’t had to fix someone else code six months after they’ve left the building. Who needs comments? I do. Who needs indentation? I do! And if you don’t do that, I don’t want your code. Go flog it off on some poor bastard that doesn’t know any better.
So there it is; my opinion of Java (and C/C++/PHP/Etc) has had to go into my back pocket. I have had to look at taking direction from the people I know and trust and weigh it against the people who are in the business. It’s odd how somethings turn out. But what does all this mean in a personal sphere?
It’s a recognition that personal opinion isn’t always right. Be it the result of misinformation, ignorance or some other aspect of the human failure, one must always, always be willing to alter their opinion. One can never state with utmost certainty that their perception is the one true perception. There is always going to be a situation or scenario whereby ones opinion is flawed. Despite ones own inherent need to be right, one must recognize the observations of others and either find a way in which to incorporate other perceptions into ones own perception or to find logical proof of the correctness, validation, of ones own perception upon the perception of the other. Ergo, maintenance of the self perceived purpose of being is at all times a variation of the experience and perception of the other incorporated into the perception of the self or as imposed upon the other for the edification of the self.
It is important, and it is something that I am slowly training into myself, that I am not, despite evidence to the contrary, right. Well, on obscure occasions at least. I am learning to place my opinion in my pocket in order to learn something new. Sometimes we have to listen to those around us because they may very well know more about a given situation. And this is what I seek, to be aware of this, and to listen, consider, and apply. Let us hope that those in positions of power learn the same thing.