Firstly, for this to make sense it needs to be put in context:

February 6th I was in Linköping for the yearly conference Datatjej. Daniel Deogun from Omegapoint held a great lecture called “Bra kod luktar inte den doftar”. I appreciated the way Daniel talked about code, refactoring and used old school design patterns to optimize processes. I posted my appreciation on Twitter.

Skärmavbild 2014-03-16 kl. 08.04.09

Daniel’s college at Omegapoint, Dan Bergh Jonsson saw my tweet and found my personal website through my Twitter profile. I had recently posted home assignments about my reflections on different aspects of software development. Dan read the assignments and liked them. One thing lead to another and before I knew it I sat at Omegapoint’s head quarters in Stockholm surrounded by senior Java developers ready to participate in their competence day with the theme ”Java8 – klämma och känna”.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Dan writes a blog called ”Dear Junior, Letters to a Junior Programmer”, check it out, it is absolutely brilliant! The day at Omegapoint was above all expectations! Therefore I will combine my impressions and learnings from the day with my general feelings about coding right now in a reply letter to those in Dan’s blog.

Dear Senior,
After today I realize yet again how different our worlds are. Most students only get introduce to the threads we use to attach our badges to our student overalls. Therefore testing the ability of parallell streams on 109 virtual CPUs in Virgina, ”just for fun” is pretty mind blowing for us. I commute between moments of understanding, inspiration and motivation and moments of complete hopelessness, fear and frustration.
When I see the possibilities that unfold and hear about exciting projects I want to speed up time and graduate tomorrow. It is truly a great insight and motivation to see how much more advanced working life code is compared to laboratory university code. Why don’t they teach us more, I find myself thinking, I want to learn more! But there is too much information out there to know where to start. I am not stupid, I did very well in all programming courses and is a fast learner. But I feel exhausted by the amount of information available. I think many of my fellow class mates feels the same way. It is not about being lazy, it is about wanting to spend time on meaningful things. But what is meaningful in this constant over flow of information?
The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. It creates contradictory feelings towards the field I love. To twist it even further the part I love the most is that you can never be fully learned and that there is never a ”right” answer. Typical ”born in the 80s”-syndrome, never satisfied… I guess I have a longing to feel confident, it is not really about knowing everything but knowing how to obtain the needed knowledge. “Nothing is just a String” you say. Which is one of the few things I actually felt confident in.
I can honestly say I’m a control freak. Therefore I wish there was a mind map with an overview of IT as a whole. What is working right now? What is outdated? What are the up and coming trends? I have a feeling this wish is too naive, the field as a whole is too complex and many ”rights” and ”wrongs” depends completely on the implementation. Am I right?
You, like myself, also have a fondness for metaphors when writing, I especially like the one where the memory size of your new laptop is a suitcase:
“A small suitcase will become full fast, but you can put more stuff into a larger suitcase before it gets full. The size is still a “technical detail”, but it is a detail that cannot be ignored, and it is put in a form I can understand.”
Or the comparison between being a student and focusing on the right thing when handling scrum related user stories:
“During my student years there was a joke that it was easy to be well-dressed, social, and sober – but you had to pick two out of three. The same applies for user stories:
As <role>
I want <feature>
So that <benefit>”
I read about your reflections and parallels between a project leader and a product owner and I feel that I am that person, I feel that I want to be that person.
”         personal   organizational
social:       engaged    involved
formal:     decisive    empowered”
But how do I get there? I know a little about everything but do not have in depth knowledge about anything. All I know is that I have sky high ambitions, an over flow of energy, creativity and passion. 
Maybe I get back to you when I know more than this about my future ambitions,
until then, take care and thank you again for a great day.
Ps. The blueberry jam for dessert was definitely the surprise of the day!


brianjriddle · March 25, 2014 at 9:50 am

“I can honestly say I’m a control freak. Therefore I wish there was a mind map with an overview of IT as a whole. What is working right now? What is outdated? What are the up and coming trends? ”

This reminded me of when i started working and wished i had the same information. I have seen 2 that come close.
One specific to rails but has a ton of other good stuff to know or at least be familiar with

and then there is thoughtworks technology radar which has a broader view of the technology stuff that people are using in real projects:

updated irregularly but still informative.

Sofie · March 26, 2014 at 6:15 am

Thanks a lot for the tips Brian, I especially like “thoughtworks”!

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