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I have tried not to rant lately about certain topics that frustrate me to no end. I feel like ranting, while it tends to be really good for venting frustrations, is not a constructive way to approach a problem. So, to that end, I will try to be constructive about presenting these feelings I have been experiencing lately.

There are a couple of behaviors that really bother me. One of them is people who act like they know everything and they always have to be right. Without naming any names, there are plenty of people involved in debates about Microsoft vs. OSS that approach their positions with religious-like fanaticism. This bothers me. Anytime you are blinded by such hatred or pure emotions, you are bound to have facts slip through the cracks. Sometimes, facts don't even matter anymore. This becomes quite obvious when you ask someone why they believe “Microsoft is an evil corporation”, and all they reply with is “Because they are!”. Really? Are, just as bad, they start justifying their position with circular reasoning or false arguments.

Last night, I was engaged in a wonderful conversation with my best friend's roommate. The biggest reason that I say it was a “wonderful” conversation is because he was capable of seeing an argument from both sides. The fact is that I am quite still young. At times, I see myself accelerating quickly toward religious fanaticism and have to force myself to back down and regain a level head. I really appreciate people that can see an argument from both sides and even point out a flaw in your argument (and perhaps explain how to fix the flaw?).

Awhile ago, I shared the quote “The only thing I know is that I know nothing”. As a developer, this is a motto that I try to live by. I guess you could say that my approach to development is more scientific than religious. Meaning, if evidence is presented that proves that my belief is wrong or flawed, I am not going to throw away the evidence just because I like my belief. In the development world, I believe this is an extremely important characteristic to have. Methodologies can shift and change quickly and drastically in our world. If you are not paying attention constructively to what's going on around you, it is likely that you will be swallowed up by a huge crevice only never to see the sky again. What would have happened if all those involved in the COM world would have stuck to their guns and ignored the fact that there were better ways to solve the problems they were trying to solve? What would happen if all OOA developers totally ignored SOA because it was “different” and their way was right?

We developers live in a computer world that is ruled by people who can adapt the quickest to new technologies. Stagnation equals death here. We all have to keep our wits about us if we want to keep our balance with a shifting world underneath us. So remember, when it comes to being a developer, it is vitally important to take a scientific approach rather than a religious one if you want to survive for any length of time in this industry. At any one time, any of us could be proved wrong. The best way to accept this is to be humble and realize that it is possible.

I hope this wasn't too boring. For any of you that got this far, thanks for reading my current thoughts on the Jason Olson Propaganda and Developer Manifesto.

Until next time, this has been Jason Olson and that's the world with .NET (just kidding ::wink, wink::). Ciao!

Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 3:22 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: So you think you know everything?

# re: So you think you know everything?
Requesting Gravatar...
You know why it frustrates you?

Because they speak with confidence (some call it arrogance, but in the end its the same) and always support their arguments with facts, no matter WHAT it is they are talking about. They are intelligent people.

You are not.
Left by Person who "Knows Everything" on Jan 17, 2009 4:56 PM

# re: So you think you know everything?
Requesting Gravatar...
Considering this was posted in 2004, and the above reply came a disgruntled 5 years later, it's hard not to post.

Cows walk confidently to the slaughter house.

There are also big differences in confidence and arrogance. A confident person can still admit when they are wrong, however an arrogant person is far to closed-minded to observe facts proving their error. Just because a person supports their argument with facts DOES NOT MAKE THEM INTELLIGENT. It makes them a parrot, simply able to repeat what was taught to them.
Left by Observer on Dec 07, 2009 3:26 PM

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