Don't neglect the basics

13.08.2018 by Jens in Developers Life | Learning | Newsletter

I was giving a Spring Boot training last week and during the course, I made some observations, which I like to share with you over this week.

It was one of the most unusual training I ever had so far. 4 people with 4 different skill levels in coding in general and Java and even Spring in detail. Wildly mixed. There was the youngest in age, but not dev age, who already played around with Spring Boot. Next the youngest in dev age, who is already working on a project using Spring Boot, and now what’s to actually learn what he’s doing; paraphrasing him, “I have no clue what I am doing at work”. Then we got an experienced dev working with a bunch of technologies, and mainly not in Java. And last, but not least, one from the stone age with a skepticism of frameworks and dynamic stuff, which is typical for devs of his kind, at least in my experience, your mileage may vary.

For today’s observations, I’ll pick out the youngest in age. He was already playing around with Spring Boot and knew some stuff. He could use it and was already thinking about advanced stuff for his next project at work. Sure, he could navigate in Spring, but he had done a mistake that I see many devs making.

He neglected the basics.

He could use the various annotations but he didn’t understand what’s working behind that magic. He did not know what problems Spring solved in the beginning at all. How everything else is based on that. That the same mechanism is still working behind the scenes. Even more behind the Spring Boot magic. A wizard does not simply use the spells, they try to understand how magic works. It’s the same for us devs. For non-devs, we are wizards anyways and our magic is technology. So, we should understand the underlying principles. And not neglecting it.

Yes, it is great to whip up a REST API in the first few hours. Sure, you can make money with it. But eventually, you will hit a barrier. Just applying a few annotations and copy&pasetng bad or outdated tutorials is not enough. You need to understand the basics and then you’ll break the barrier and you can move on to make more out of your craft and even career.


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