In defense of the Storarray
I just ran across an old DailyWTF article again, courtesy of Hacker News. I’m pretty sure that I read the article when it first ran in 2006 when I was working for a government contractor. Back then I used to devour DailyWTF, Slacker Manager, Lifehacker and a raft of other blogs through Google Reader. It was always good to read about some poor unfortunate sap who didn’t know any better and their “failings” as a programmer too make you feel a little better about yourself. Smug even. It’s good safe fun for the average programmer to pile on with the masses in a “me-too” ritual crucifixion of the unnamed villain — a villain that we all have our own version of: the embodiment of all that is evil or threatening to us in our little programming worlds (or that with which we dislike or happen to disagree with).
I’ve been doing a fair bit of self-reflection recently about what helps a programmer move the ball forward in his or her world of programming knowledge. One thing that I’ve been trying out recently is attacking what in programming lore are “hard” problems (problems that best practices dictate that you don’t touch as a mere mortal) by just doing something naive at first and letting myself run headlong into the complications that are sure to abound. In order to allow yourself this indulgence you really have to shrug off all of the “WTFs” that you have read over the course of your career. All of the dos, don’ts, best practices, and all of that stuff just scream “don’t do it” right in your face. However, if we all really heeded the best practices, we wouldn’t have things like the resurgence of schema-free databases and the NoSql movement to name just two.
I have a lot of thoughts on this stuff, but unfortunately they are not well organized yet, so hopefully I can post a bit more and try to link together the pieces into something that makes a little sense.