Dan Byström’s Bwain

Blog without an interesting name

Archive for January, 2007

Nerds in Snow

Posted by Dan Byström on January 26, 2007

Episode IV: "The nerds discover Rubber Duck Typing"

Last week I teamed up with forty computer nerds from all over the world at Arosa in Switzerland. This was the fourth time Jimmy Nilsson‘s Software Architecture Workshop was arranged, this time organized by Beat Schwegler from Microsoft. This is an invite only event, and the people who turn up are not any stereotype introvert single minded nerds. On the contrary, this was a bunch of highly social alpha geeks with sky high IQ who also managed to drink the hotel dry of beer. And then there was me.

Some things I learnt in Arosa:

  • Virtually everything (at least as long as it can be seen on a computer screen) is in some way a DSL (Domain Specific Language).
  • If you do something without putting that much effort in it – and it still works – then you’re being agile.
  • You can do pair programming on your own. You just need a rubber duck to discuss your programming with. If the duck talks back you’re in trouble I guess, but when the duck takes over the keyboard, it will effectively be performing Rubber Duck Typing.
  • Most people would just shake their heads to the things that makes a nerd laugh.

Well, that’s not exactly what I learnt… but I like to take arguments to their extreme for a quick sanity check. An argument that still holds true at the extreme points may be worth checking up further. And it’s more fun this way – see last point. ;-) DSLs were one of the most discussed topics and while undeniably powerful, I’d very much like to see a somewhat more narrow definition of what they are. And no, I didn’t imply that agile is about laziness. Really. Honestly.

Some links I promised to provide:

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