The Never-Ending Debate of Specialist v. Generalist

Another DZone newsletter crosses my Inbox, and again I feel compelled to comment. Not so much in the uber-aggressive style of my previous attempt, since I find myself more on the fence on this one, but because I think it's a worthwhile debate and worth calling out. The article in question is "5 Reasons Why You Don't Want A Jack-of-all-Trades Developer", by Rebecca Murphey. In it, she talks about the all-too-common want-ad description that appears on job sites and mailing lists: I've spent the last couple of weeks trolling Craigslist and have been shocked at the number of ads I've found that seem to be looking for an entire engineering team rolled up into a single person.

More Thoughts on Architects and Architecture

Speaking of things crossing my Inbox, Shane Paterson sent me this email: Hi Ted, How’s things in the USA? I just wrote the following little blog entry I wanted to share with you, which I thought you may find interesting. I used to work with a Naval Architect a few years back. On day we were discussing where the name "Naval Architect" came from. He explained that "Naval Architecture" is really "Naval Engineering" or "Ship Engineering".

Quotable Quotes, Notable Notes

Overheard, at the NFJS Phoenix 2008 show: “We (ThoughtWorkers) are firm believers in aggressively promiscuous pairing.” –Neal Ford

From the "Gosh, You Wanted Me to Quote You?" Department...

This comment deserves response: First of all, if you're quoting my post, blocking out my name, and attacking me behind my back by calling me "our intrepid troll", you could have shown the decency of linking back to my original post. Here it is, for those interested in the real discussion: Well, frankly, I didn't get your post from your blog, I got it from an email 'zine (as indicated by the comment "This crossed my Inbox..."), and I didn't really think that anybody would have any difficulty tracking down where it came from, at least in terms of the email blast that put it into my Inbox.

From the "You Must Be Trolling for Hits" Department...

Recently this little gem crossed my Inbox.... Professionalism = Knowledge First, Experience Last By J----- A----- Do you trust a doctor with diagnosing your mental problems if the doctor tells you he's got 20 years of experience? Do you still trust that doctor when he picks up his tools, and asks you to prepare for a lobotomy? Would you still be impressed if the doctor had 20 years of experience in carrying out lobotomies?

Blog change? Ads? What gives?

If you've peeked at my blog site in the last twenty minutes or so, you've probably noticed some churn in the template in the upper-left corner; by now, it's been finalized, and it reads "JOB REFERRALS". WTHeck? Has Ted finally sold out? Sort of, not really. At least, I don't think so. Here's the deal: the company behind those ads, Entice Labs, contacted me to see if I was interested in hosting some job ads on my blog, given that I seem to generate a moderate amount of traffic.

Object.hashCode implementation

After the previous post, I just had to look. The implementation of Object.equals is, as was previously noted, just "return this == obj", but the implementation of Object.hashCode is far more complicated. Taken straight from the latest hg-pulled OpenJDK sources, Object.hashCode is a native method registered from Object.c that calls into a Hotspot-exported function, JVM_IHashCode(), from hotspot\src\share\vm\prims\jvm.cpp: JVM_ENTRY(jint, JVM_IHashCode(JNIEnv* env, jobject handle)) JVMWrapper("JVM_IHashCode"); // as implemented in the classic virtual machine; return 0 if object is NULL return handle == NULL ?

Of Zealotry, Idiocy, and Etiquette...

I'm not sure what it is about our industry that promotes the flame war, but for some reason exchanges like this one, unheard of in any other industry I've ever touched (even tangentially), are far too common, too easy to get into, and entirely too counterproductive. I'm not going to weigh in on one side or the other here; frankly, I have a hard time following the debate and figuring out who's exactly arguing for what.

So You Say You Want to Kill XML....

Google (or at least some part of it) has now weighed in on the whole XML discussion with the recent release of their "Protocol Buffers" implementation, and, quite naturally, the debates have begun, with all the carefully-weighed logic, respectful discourse, and reasoned analysis that we've come to expect and enjoy from this industry. Yeah, right. Anyway, without trying to take sides either way in this debate--yes, the punchline is that I believe in a world where both XML and Protocol Buffers are useful--I thought I'd weigh in on some of the aspects about PBs that are interesting/disturbing, but more importantly, try to frame some of the debate and discussions around these two topics in a vain attempt to wring some coherency and sanity out of what will likely turn into a large shouting match.