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When Did a Cubicle Become Such a Prize? And Other Rants

  • February 3, 2005
  • By Paul Kimmel
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OOP Wars

Recently, I read an article by Richard Mansfield, a published author, in which he raised the question of whether OOP was a valid paradigm or not. At first, I thought this was a satirical piece inspired by the number of VB6 guys who don't want to upgrade to VB.NET. However, after reading the article I realized Mansfield was serious. My visceral response was "what a nut-job." After looking at the picture posted with the article, I thought "old dog can't learn new tricks."

Oddly enough, the article fomented a tremendous amount of debate, although much of it was basically OOP guys condescending to the author about his lack of OOP prowess. The general response was that those who don't do OOP probably really don't get it. (Even Grace Hopper is rolling over in her grave at the prospect of going back to flowcharts and procedural programming.) OOP will not be the last evolutionary step in software development, but most engineers and non-technical people intuitively grasp the idea that state and behavior go together.

I think the next phase will be more and better components, higher-level abstractions. If I could see into the future beyond that, I could afford to dictate my articles to a bodacious twenty-something made mostly of silicone, but that's the way it goes.

Note: This weekend I finished Michael Crichton's book State of Fear. Crichton does excellent research and State of Fear is no exception. In it, Crichton's characters face eco-terrorists and challenge conventional wisdom, but some really eye-opening discussions occur after the story in the Appendix, entitled "Why Politicized Science Is So Dangerous."

One of the discussions in the Appendix is about Eugenics. In short, Eugenics is the science that ultimately was the basis for the Holocaust. The basic cautionary argument was that sometimes conventional wisdom is both wrong and dangerous and, if brave souls aren't willing to challenge such wisdom, bad things can happen.

Richard Mansfield wrote the OOP article for DevX.com. While I don't think OOP is wrong or dangerous like Eugenics, I think Richard is probably one of those guys willing to publicly challenge conventional wisdom and that is a rare quality. I still maintain that we are not turning back the clock on OOP, but I encourage you to read Richard's article and the discussion that ensued.

Employee Appreciation

Generally, I don't feel compelled to summarize my residual brain droppings, but I did in this case.

I encourage you to stay home. Find an employer that gives you some flexibility in your daily schedule, pays you enough money to take a real vacation every year—driving to Myrtle Beach doesn't count—and drive any kind of car you want, and invests in a retirement plan that is not solely based on company stock. If you are extremely talented, look for a company with a nap room, a library, Starbucks coffee, free snacks, covered parking, a gym, and a game room—but don't hold your breath.

Disclaimer: This article and all of its contents are completely fictional except for the part about the rats, Michael Crichton, and Richard Mansfield. My customers and the customers of Software Conceptions, Inc. are the best, most generous people anywhere in the world, and the managers are particularly bright.

About the Author

Paul Kimmel is the VB Today columnist for www.codeguru.com and has written several books on object-oriented programming and .NET. Look for his upcoming book UML DeMystified from McGraw-Hill/Osborne (Spring 2005). Paul is also the founder and chief architect for Software Conceptions, Inc, founded 1990. He is available to help design and build software worldwide. You may contact him for consulting opportunities or technology questions at pkimmel@softconcepts.com.

If you are interested in joining or sponsoring a .NET Users Group, check out www.glugnet.org.

Copyright © 2005 by Paul Kimmel. All Rights Reserved.





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