Information overload

I read the book ‘Future Shock’ more than 15 years back but didn’t realize
what it was trying to explain. It seems that the term “Information Overload”
was coined in 1970 by Alvin Toffler in this book.

When I started programming using Java it seemed like any other language
but I have learnt to look beyond the language. I use Java to earn a living.
So I am expected to know it very well but the languagealone is not sufficient
in the current scenario. Now I am expected to understand processes like CMM
( I tend to favour agile practices like XP ), design, frameworks,
enterprise integration, ecommerce and so many other things.

One can’t be an expert in everything.

It is impossible to keep up with the rapidly advancing software technology. How can
one read the various blogs, mailing lists, books, technology magazines and also work
and lead a reasonable life ?

That is why I am overwhelmed and cannot understand how people like Doug Lea( I read
his thread book )( lead a normal life.

So these are the things that I have been trying to learn
There is information overload but time is limited.

Consider this shortened list.
1. BPEL, SOA, ESB etc. and Microsoft’s Web Service offerings.
2. Java 5, C# and all those new features. It will take several months just to
   investigate the generics features in Java and C#.
3. AOP
4. A deluge of frameworks like Spring and hibernate.
5. MDA and DSL.

etc. etc.

So right now my pet project is a UML 2.0 modeling utility that might help me learn
No. 5, 2 and 3 above apart from good OO programming.

Process tailoring

After my quest to understand software engineering and processes and UML started I have read so many books. I came across technical terms like XP, RUP, TDD, MDD, MDA and UML. The latest is DSL. There are comparisons of Evo, RUP, XP and SCRUM with each other.

Process engineering seems to be a black art. Eventhough Incremental and iterative development is something I like very much, Offshore development centers don’t leave much to choice. How do you adopt true IID ? How do you convince your manager ?

I read a book by Kent Beck that explains XP but before I could use it practically I read
“The irony of Extreme Programming” by Matt Stephens and Doug Rosenberg in the May 2004 issue of Dr. Dobb’s Journal.

The article states that “XP consists of 12 highly interdependent practices. However, each
individual practice does not stand up on its own. Each relies on at least one other practice”

I recently sent a message to the XP mailing list to understand this interdependency. Somebody there asked me to read “XP Explained” by Kent Beck. Oh ! Well.

You can read the thread here