Sunday, March 20, 2005

Q: Who’s a new hero?

A: Frank

A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life: soldiers and nurses who were heroes in an unpopular war.

My definition:
A person who utilizes personal strength, intelligence, creativity and courage to perform a feat(s) which produces greatness and inspires greatness in others.

The programmer who sits in the old style cube next to me at the LA Weekly is a young man named Francisco, a.k.a Frank. Until my arrival at the LA Weekly, Frank was the only full time programmer that the paper had. Using nothing but ASP 3.0, Outlook and some SQL Server and MySQL databases Frank created programs that made the paper work better and smarter.

When I first arrived at the Weekly, I felt sort of bad that Frank was working in JavaScript, DHTML and ASP, a loose typed, scripting language that I thought to be pretty limited. I was given the freedom to work in ASP.NET. I thought that .NET and Visual Studio .NET would bring the Weekly over the top into more productive programming practices.

That was a year ago. The project that I am working on is shipping....sort of. The many, many projects that Frank is working on are really, really shipping and providing valuable information and service to our most excellent entrerprise.

To my observation Frank has not tried to impress anyone, change anyone, or impose an agenda. All he does is create elegant solutions to big problems using simple tools.

I have a lot to learn from Frank. He is my new hero.


Blogger Jonathan Ellis said...

I know this isn't where you were going with this, but why is it that ASP.NET hasn't lived up to "the hype?" Or is Frank just a faster worker?

2:30 PM  
Blogger Bob Reselman said...

I am describing one of my new heroes.

I do not know how fast or slow Frank works; I have never watched him.

All I know is that Frank has made some amazing stuff with a very limited tool set and that he has done so with integrity and kindness.

Wagner did a lot with just a piano and a pen, but.... maybe you might check out this classic example, please: Das Judenthum in Der Musik.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thought you might like to see a couple to posts referring to this:

Just Say No .NET

My response


6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob, no offence, but can the real reason be that your project just sucks?

While ASP.NET would not be my language of choice for the Web development, it is still a huge step forward in productivity from the classic ASP. It is just good enough.

6:38 AM  
Blogger Bob Reselman said...

I could be doing a better job of communicating here. I was a little short on time when writing this entry. The purpose of this particular piece is not weigh the costs and benefits of ASP vs. ASP.NET. Rather, the purpose is to define The Hero and to share with you all one of mine.

The point of the ASP/ASP.NET thing is to share that at times as an engineer I tend to lose sight of the value of the elegance of simplicity. I like complex stuff that is hard to understand. Makes me feel smart.

(Yikes, is the Spectre of Inadequacy raising its ugly head? Can Self-Loathing be far behind? Back, back you scoundrels!)

Sometimes being attracted to complexity is good; sometimes it's not so good. Once in a while it is nice to have a reminder of the power and virtue of simplicity.

There are many days lately when I think that LA would be a whole lot better off with more simple bikes and less complex cars with internal DVD players, 8 cylinder, fuel injected engines and enough storage space for a family of five and the accompanying soccer team.

But, it's early in the morning in once again Sunny LA. I am rambling.

8:06 AM  

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