[thelist] Object Oriented Programming

Matt Warden mwarden at gmail.com
Wed Jun 1 09:06:43 CDT 2011

On Mon, May 30, 2011 at 6:17 PM, Kipper Timmins
<kipper_timmins at live.co.uk> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I was wondering if any of you could offer your opinion with regards to what Object Oriented Programming actually is. Most developers will know how to use it, however it seems defining it is full of a lot of different opinions.

It's a concept that too often allows really great programmers to cease
being engineers and start being artists. It excuses elitism between
senior and junior programmers, and a wedge between senior programmers
and management.

Our team is very lucky. But in most teams I have observed, software
developers are no longer interested in the cost-benefit analysis that
engineering disciplines are supposed to have at their core. Instead,
things are the right way because they are the right way. That is art.
This discussion of the definition of OOP is a great example. While at
its root, OOP does of course tackle this very cost-benefit analysis,
the discussion has evolved to the point where we have become so
divorced from that analysis that it's rarely acknowledged as the
original goal in the first place. Instead, the goal has become to know
that "right" definition of this or that, or to know the "right" design
pattern for this situation or that situation. This leads to many hours
spent discussing, whiteboarding, arguing, and finally deciding on the
right this or that, and those hours destroy the very benefit that
would have otherwise been gained.

So, I realize I am not answering your question, but I do suggest that
when you get your answer, you always keep in the back of your mind
that that all of these techniques have been constructed by very smart
ENGINEERS who have optimization of cost-benefit as a goal. In other
words, a good senior software engineer earns that title when he or she
decides, say, the team makeup is such that we should not use the
double-checked locking design pattern, even if that is the "right"
prescription for the current technical malady.

Matt Warden
Austin, TX, USA

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