May 23, 2008

What's so Groovy about Grails

If you haven't heard of Grails or Groovy maybe you have heard of Ruby and Rails. Basically Groovy is a Java based Ruby (grossly oversimplified definition), and Grails is just Rails for Groovy.

What's it all about? I'm in the process of figuring that out at the moment (in between work and family and my recurring tours of duty in Modern Warfare). I'm reading Groovy in Action and going over some online tutorials for developing web apps with Grails and it's very impressive (this coming from a guy with no prior experience with Ruby on Rails).

Grails is a web framework that is grounded on Convention over Configuration. In other words, we all know what a web application should do, and most web apps are built in a similar fashion, so why not just say "this is the way it should be setup" and then set it up that way. So in Grails I can type one command and BOOM a web app is generated right in front of me without any configuration from me, all I have to do is add the information that makes it my application (mostly domain stuff). Unlike struts I don't have to spend mindless time configuring and reconfiguring XML files just to get a single web page to display. I get to do what programmers love best: program.

I don't know a lot about Groovy yet, but I'm working on it. Will I be able to use this in my work? Maybe not. But I might find ways to use it in my daily work on my own workspace. We'll see.

Until next time

May 4, 2008

Paine Management Redux

Lead, follow, or get out of the way. - Thomas Paine

As a follow-up to my previous post I'd like to pose a better team building thought. Instead of management asking:

"How do you handle being on a team with members who aren't as
up to speed or as skilled as you are?"

I say a team should be driven with this question, and it should be addressed and accepted and enforced with ALL team members:

"If you are found to be the least skilled on the team or you are not
as up to speed as the rest of the team what will you do about it?"

The team will constantly look within itself and address the weaknesses and if individuals are open to being honest and responsible for their skills then the team as a whole can better take care of each other. I understand though that this is a perfect world situation.

Until next time