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
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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