Archive for February, 2012

Learning Scala and Functional Programming is a psychological challenge…

February 20, 2012

I just finished reading an interesting article which describes the author’s “Aha!” moment around how he is seeing adoption of Functional Programming in general and Scala in particular is occurring with “code density is too high”. Here’s the comment I left which describes more accurately what is actually occurring for me as I attempt to move from Java imperative programming to Scala functional programming:

Very nicely put.

From what I can tell, the fundamental issue has to do with misplaced optimization (i.e. efficiency) combined with a psychologically undermining fear based self-suggestion of “what if this next abstraction I’ve yet to learn is the one that is just beyond my limit of capability”. At least that is what I am currently facing as I attempt to learn Scala and Functional Programming after having _invested_ two decades into OOP (Eiffel, Delphi and Java).

Do I spend the time attempting to make the leap to understand Functional Programming with all it’s weird foreign and non-OO way of doing things? Example: the term monad has kept me up with nightmares of non-grokking now for almost a year, and that’s after reading article after article attempting to explain it. Or, do I leverage what I already know and for what the market is already paying top dollar, or take the risk and time to invest in something that is foreign, it will be years before I am at an expert level again and during that time, I will suffer internal confusion and a confidence crisis as I continue to do OOP in my day job and attempt to do OOP + FP in my spare time?

At this point, I am making the investment to learn Scala and Functional Programming. And I am framing it as an intellectual challenge knowing I might not ever get to leverage either in any real financial way like I have been able to with Java and OOP. And the cost, psychologically to me, has been pretty expensive. I figure I have another year, at least, of being uncomfortably ego-challenging confronted before I finally feel a sufficient level of Scala and FP confidence. So, that’s two years I am pushing myself to invest.

So, given that, I can see how many will choose to wait until Scala and FP are much more mainstream before taking their own investment risks, both psychologically and intellectually.



Apple’s hypocritical crying of patent-abuse…

February 9, 2012

I enjoyed seeing this blog post about Apple not liking how the patent game is turning out for them. And here’s the comment I left there:

Very well said!

Apple wanted it one way while it was obvious it was to their advantage. Now that Apple has felt some pain (lost battles, bad press, and an injunction or two) and realizes the absolute gargantuan number of companies aligned with Android who are now repositioning to be against Apple which will include an onslaught of new patent infringement litigation from this mass of entities, Apple realizes that regardless of their huge cache of cash, they can be litigated right out of that entire pile of money.

And thanks to Apple’s legal stupidity, they have enabled Microsoft to gain some power such as to become a threat to Apple’s smartphone and tablet markets, too, both through direct Win8 competitors (small) and Microsoft receiving Android royalties (large). And if B&N are able to get Microsoft pushed back into the anti-trust corner again using the Nokia collusion, and in time time lopping of Microsoft’s patent head with the US Feds back in an oversight role, the freed value will enable Android to become that much more powerful an IOS foe.

Apple made a strategic mistake. And now the multi-national megacorporation retaliation genie is out of the bottle. Apple’s just set themselves up to be the “this is what happens when you attempt to be legally aggressive and abusive with patents”. And honestly, from a Karma perspective, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving company.

Job’s unbelievably immature and irrational anti-Android ranting is coming back to haunt his precious Apple. Too bad he’s not here to see and experience the undesirable consequences of his legal temper tantrums.

Isn’t this a very nice example of what goes around comes around?! {smirk}