Having blogged casually for over a year now, I gave some thought to the prospect of blogging specifically about various technical topics. Initially I’d hesitated to start a technical blog simply because I don’t believe I have quite the level of expertise required to write or speak in detail about any particular technical phenomenon. The technical blogs that I’ve frequented so far have been owned by pioneers of the cutting edge programming technologies and were thus a natural place to turn to for a green horn such as myself to gain ideas and inspiration to start wetting my toes into these technologies that are taking the industry by storm.
I’d originally started coming across blogs through searches for solutions to small problems in C# and Java I’d encountered at work. Upon reading a few of them, I noticed that these blogs left the realm of personal blogs altogether in that they were publicized and discussed on sites and forums and considered to be the words of gurus. This relatively new phenomenon has, I think, created closer and possibly interactive (two-way) connections between application developers, new and experienced alike, and the leading pioneers of the technologies application developers build on. Among these technologies are the likes of frameworks and tools such as Spring, Tapestry, Struts, and Hibernate, to name only a few. The fact that the developers of these technologies themselves are very much alive and active (as opposed to traditional gurus who limited themselves to writing esoteric books) in the forums and communities gives application developers the encouragement that there are at least going to be experts we can turn to for help if and when we need them. This wasn’t always the case. How many times have you scoured the Internet for the way to do something simple that isn’t quite obvious within the constraints of a particular language or technology? The specification documents or references are good starts but usually do not provide specific enough guidance as to how to accomplish a specific task. Forums are full of frantic cries for help and responses that can range from a mild rebuke to go back to searching Google or to figure it out by trial and error and the occasional inaccurate and often hack solutions. These problems could otherwise could be solved elegantly if only some consideration and collaboration took place to accumulate and expose the community’s knowledge in a reliable and easier to understand manner. These “pioneer blogs”, as I see them, have afforded the developer communities just that and I think this should be inspiration for the rest of us to lend our hands in similar ways to solving problems (however small or big they may be based on our capacities) and continue to build on repositories of knowledge for the generations to come.
It is with this in mind that I embark upon this journey so that I may not only record my trials, frustrations, and triumphs, but also contribute whatever little I can to those that tread the paths I’ve tread in my professional life and academic life. I hope this spirit of collaboration and sharing ideas will help me to grow as an engineer as well as help others to grow in dimensions never before explored.