Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I'm an abstract thinker

You know those idiot savants who see numbers as colors and can do complex multiplication? I'm kinda like that... I don't think of code or abstractions, I just know them immediately for every problem I encounter... kinda like seeing numbers in color, though I'm far from a programming idiot savant.

I see connections and patterns in everything, and I spent a lot of my early development days building frameworks. This was fun. At one of my previous jobs, I built so many frameworks, they created an unrelated (successful) product leveraging the frameworks from the original (also successful) product. There was a third, but I wouldn't call that as successful; its scope and complexity were too large and initial requirements were unrealistic (though I do think a poor developer is working on it and cursing me at this moment, sorry Eli).

I digress...

At Oxygen, we don't build frameworks, we use other peoples. In the beginning of my career I used many c++ libraries and frameworks that made my life more difficult than if I wrote the code myself and I stayed away from using other people's code -- it never did exactly what I wanted, it was buggy, and I had to take time to learn how to use it.

However, Kris and Luke are really good at finding the right frameworks and learning how to use them. This makes using other people's code a lot more approachable and I've grown to love some, like Castle.

Here are just a few reasons to use other people's frameworks:
1. The code evolves for you
2. Luke and Kris will figure out how to use it*
3. Respect from peers who use the framework (oh, you use castle, you must be extra cool and smart! -- I don't know if this happens in real life, but you never know)
4. Common language between developers
5. Global reduction of rebuilding of the wheel (wouldn't it be great if we shared all our code?)
6. You don't have to rewrite it when you change jobs

Here are some reasons to write your own:
1. It works exactly how you want to and you can change whatever you want (yeah, you can do this with open source, but I'm lazy and don't want to work in other peoples stuff :P)
2. You don't need to learn how to use it
3. Its fun
4. Pride of writing something cool (this can be misinterpreted as stubbornness or vanity so I would leave this one on the down low)
5. You could contribute it to open source and be super nice and cool :)
6. It doesn't exist

*You don't necessarily need someone named Luke and/or Kris on your team, just someone who's patient and interested in learning how to use other people's work :)


hammett said...

I don't know if you will be coolest kid on the block by using castle, I, for one example, am not.

Btw if you like castle you could at least link to us properly. Take the links section as an example. Readers will think castle is about formating code in html...

wunda said...

Hammett, do you want to become the official editor of my blog? You're finding mistakes anyway :)

I was trying to keep castle exclusive with that incorrect link... but since you deserve your props I'll end the masquerade...