CF, OOP, and OA (Other Acronyms)
As some or all of you may know, my day job is to build websites for various government agencies, primarily using a scripting language called ColdFusion, or CF. CF is a pretty nifty little language, originally conceived of as being tag-based (like HTML), in order to make it quick and easy for web programmers to learn. The problem with that was that it led to a lot of sloppy, procedural-based code that over time becomes quite a bear to implement and maintain.
So over the past two or three incarnations, CF has been moving towards a more Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) model, largely based on Java. (In fact, the entire CF engine was re-written from the ground up in Java a version or two ago, in order to facilitate this.) These days, the savvy CF programmer uses CFCs (ColdFusion components), which are basically like Java objects, and does a lot of their coding in an IDE, most commonly CFEclipse.
The problem for laurie_robey and myself, is that we were trained in CF back when it was still sloppy and procedural-based. The ColdFusion OOPvolution largely happened while we were too busy to notice, and so while CF has kept up with the times, we haven't kept up with CF. I open up CFEclipse and just go "Uuuuuhhh ... now what?" We're working on fixing that, but without guidance or even a working model to go by. It's not unlike having spent your life building combustion engines and then having people come along and say "Great, but we want electric cars." We can see why it's a superior choice, and we'd love to be there, but we have no idea how to get there from here.
Some of it is just straight-up training, and fortunately the climate at the workplace has shifted recently such that "training" is no longer a dirty word. (Much like "testing" has recently come off the list of Words You're Not Allowed to Say.) It's a little humiliating to have to go back and retake a course I took in 2003, but on the other hand, it's the "post-OOP" version, which for all intents and purposes should be a whole new course to me. CFCs, a major piece of the course as it stands today, didn't even exist in 2003.
The rest, I suppose, is a matter of experience. I've got my years of existing experience, and while some of it consists of bad habits that will have to be unlearned, a lot of it will still be useful once it's channeled into a more productive way of doing things. It'll be nice to be able to be proud of my coding skills again.
Political Yakkity Yak
(Not cutting this one, it's short.)
I've spoken before about the bafflement I have with "one trick pony people." Of late, this has come to be annoying me more and more in regards to politics. As time has gone on, various people who used to be interesting, multi-faceted personalities whom I found to be stimulating and engaging, seem to have dropped subject by subject until all they talk about any more is politics. Some are righties, some are lefties, but all sound remarkably similar: "Our guys are kind of disappointing, sure, but at least they aren't the criminal thugs of the other side!" When "our guys" are out of power, they're bravely trying to defend the last vestiges of truth, patriotism, and virtue against the relentless tide of know-nothing thuggery that's gripped those ignorant sheep of the electorate. When "our guys" are in power, the country is FINALLY returning to the common sense it always had deep down but was just too afraid to express because speaking out will get you blackballed. Now let's just hope it's not too late.
Blah, blah, yakkity yakkity. Honestly, can't you talk about anything ELSE instead of just singing the same tune over and over?