Monday, December 6, 2010

Technology v/s Concepts and architecture

First of all this is not a WPF technology post.I posted this in my WPF blog since it has some relation with WPF.ok let’s start.

Technology here means the implementation languages or mediums for a programming solution such as WPF, Silverlight, Linq,WCF etc…While taking interviews, I have often heard that “I can learn or work in any technology since I know concepts and architecture”.Mostly this is the answer from a candidate when we ask “Do you know WPF or are you able to work in Silverlight?”. Some of my friends,they don’t even ready to rate themselves in the technology.If we ask them how do you rate yourself in WPF out of 10? they will say I am strong in concepts so I can do whatever work assigned to me in WPF.

If we think from an entrepreneur perspective this cannot be accepted every time.A person cannot estimate the work in WPF without the knowledge in WPF whatever strong he is in programming concepts and architectures.Also if the work in WPF or Silverlight is critical companies cannot rely on the statement “I know concepts and architecture”.Lets take one example to prove this.

The driver selection story

You are working in Cochin and on a Friday your CEO decided to go Chennai to attend an important meeting on Saturday.There are no tickets in flights and trains since the trip is decided suddenly.So he decided to go by his new highly sophisticated BMW car.He needs some body with him to drive the whole 700 kilometers since he need to attend the meeting with freshness.

There are 5 persons who are free in the week end and ready to accompany CEO.The first person, lets call him A said I have license but have no experience.Person B said I have license and have experience in riding motor cycle.Person C said I had driven my father’s truck.Person D said I have my own car which I am usually driving to come office.But its a 10 year old model.Person E said my uncle owns the same BMW model of yours and I usually drive it in the week ends and holidays.Who will accompany your CEO? obviously person E provided your CEO is smart :)

The case of Person A can be compared like a network guy saying I can do WPF.Person B is like a assembly language programmer saying I can do the WPF without training since I know basics an experience in programming.The case C can be compared as a Java programmer applying for WPF job saying that I am strong in OOPS.The D is like a .Net 1.0 programmer saying I can do WPF since all are .Net.E is the real one who knows WPF.Persons A,B,C & D can do the job provided they get certain time to familiarize the new car and its features.But since the time is limited nobody can be considered for the position.

Do I need to give more importance on technology?

The technology is getting importance over architecture depends on the situation or the demand.If we think from employer perspective ,he needs a technology guy if the work in particular technology is so critical and should be done in time.He don’t have time to give training to the guy he hires. If the requirement is for future project, the choice should give to the guys who are strong in concepts and architecture.Again that depends on the available time.If a WPF project is supposed to come on next month ,.Net guys can be hired and they can get training in WPF.If the time gap is 2 months JAVA or even assembly programming guys can also be included.

Coming to the developer perspective ,he should find some time to the technology as well while learning the architecture.Also while learning technology, learn the technology by comparing with the previous one.Main important thing to consider is “why I should learn a new technology ?”.I know some of my friends doing WPF /Silverlight projects without using data binding.Also they are simply creating controls when and where needed without changing templates.I asked why are you using this technology ? They simply replied “My company/client wants this project to be done in WPF”.

The moral of the story is “Learn technology before architecting your application and get benefits from it’s features”.