Occam’s dog food always spoiled

I’ve seen several instances where folks have criticized others for not “eating his own dog food,” or in other words, not using one’s own technology to show its viability. A couple examples of this rant that I’ve caught on the blogoweb:

These are easily debunked: best tool for the job, Rails is harder to deploy than PHP, yadda yadda.  Most times the old saying is true, “All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.”

Case in point:

Lucene: A Tacit Admission of Fail? : ob.blog

I won’t spoil it for you, but the first comment made me giggle.

In my head, I suffer with NIH Syndrome quite a bit; It’s easy to mentally find flaws in other peoples’ work and think of improvements.  The key phrases are “in my head”, “mentally”, and “think”, because at the end of the day I’m more often than not using existing open source software.

There’s a practicality component: there’s only so much time in the day, and I’m not that good of a coder.

I remap Caps Lock to be Ctrl because I cut ‘n’ paste so damn much.

I enjoy mashups because fitting the pieces together to make a new use case is usually more fun to me than building the pieces.

I believe lazy programming can be a good thing.

I once argued with an interviewer about writing a search algorithm that the language provided out of the box, even though I knew that wasn’t the point of the exercise.

It takes a little humility to realize someone else’s way is better or faster, and I’m super fine with that.


About John Herren

John Herren is a developer and technical consultant with focus on web applications. He currently serves as Director of Development for Primetime US, the company behind the hit movie and book The Secet. John was formerly staff writer and developer community evangelist for Zend Technologies. Along with founding neat experiments like TagCloud.com, John is an active member in the mashup community, working with API providers and speaking at conferences. He is a published author of Linux certification study material. John enjoys using open source software like PHP and Ruby on Rails to bend the web into exciting new chimeras of hyperlinked goodness. View all posts by John Herren

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