“I think we should use Spring.”
“Over my dead body…”
“Maven is the only way to go.”
“Maven makes me want to hurt people…”
“I think we should have simple data objects and put all the logic in services.”
“No way, Eric Evans is a god and you need to read his bible…”
I’ve seen, heard and been involved in too many of these “discussions” recently. They’re wars really. I’ve not seen one come to a satisfying close. At best the warring parties walk away from each other without coming to blows, grumbling about how stupid is the other, and go on with whatever approach they happen to prefer anyway – the “right” way.
The damage from these kind of wars can be contained if they are across teams, but when they are between team members it can destroy the team. If half the team wants Spring, and the other half don’t, it can make for some very awkward pairing, “code wars”, terrible morale, and impaired productivity. And a loss of that very precious life experience – happiness.
For a long time this bothered me a lot, and I banged my head trying to find a solution. Surely there is some way “we can all just get along”? Well, recently I’ve stopped. I saw that there’s no point. There is no solution. Because there is no problem. Some people like Windows, some like Linux, some like OS X. Is there a solution to this? No, because its not even a problem. Its a blessing. A Linux die-hard could be a Linux die-hard for life, and good luck to them. Some people prefer BMW, some swear by Mercedes Benz, others by Skoda. Some people are Hindu, some are Protestant, others Muslim. Good luck to the lot of them.
Therefore, coming back to software development, its more important, in my mind, to be honest about a team’s tooling and development culture, and to hire members that fit. If a team is all about Spring, there is no point hiring a developer who openly states that they hate it. If a team is all about domain driven design, there is no point hiring a developer that states that separating data objects and service objects is the only way to go.
And for you as an individual developer, you need to be honest with yourself and with others about what your instincts are, and find teams in which you’re a fit, rather than an annoyance. And if you do hate Spring (presumably with reason), be honest enough to say it. Have the courage of your convictions. There can be a fear accompanying this kind of personal honesty that makes you think “damn, if I say I hate Spring, maybe I won’t get this job I’m interviewing for. Or maybe they will think I am close-minded.” Well maybe you won’t get the job and maybe they will think you’re close-minded. As long as you know your reasons for hating Spring, then you can rest assured that you have made a personal, informed choice. As for not getting the job, well – phew! – you’ve saved yourself and the interviewing company much unhappiness, and you stand a chance of finding a team on which you’ll flourish.
One qualification that is essential to add, and which keeps open the door to development and learning, is this: any individual or team that finds themselves aligned to a particular approach must still be open to listening respectfully to advocates of other approaches, and maybe even being friends with them 🙂 Keep questioning and reading and studying and talking to people and trying things out, and stay honest with yourself, because at the end of the way, maturing as a software developer is never about becoming finally right, but by becoming increasingly less wrong.