Emptying the Cup. Forgetting Everything I Know About Java and Embracing Ruby

at February 6th, 2012

The Warrior, abandoned by his old masters searches the land and finds a  new one.  The Warrior asks to be of service. The master notes his dress and stance. “It seems that you are skilled and ready, but your masters taught you skills that would be of no service to us here.”

The Warrior is a quick study, and this does not cause dismay. “I am very disciplined and loyal. You will teach me new skills, and I will serve you well.”

The Master agrees, and invites the Warrior in for tea. They sit and the Master places a cup before him and fills it with tea.  He allows it some time to cool, but before he takes his first sip, the Master pours again and watches as it flows over the sides and pools on the table.

Puzzled, the Warrior moves to clean it up.  The Master stays his hand.  “This is the first lesson you must learn from me. Your cup is already full, making it impossible for me to fill you with any more knowledge or skill. How can you be of service to me?”

The Warrior ponders the flow of the pool before him, and lifts his eyes to the Master.  Slowly, he brings the cup to his lips and drains it. “Then I must empty the cup”

That’s a familiar parable if you’ve ever watched Kung Fu movies or pretended to be a Buddhist. I wouldn’t put it past a Yoga instructor to tell it either – but in some cases, this holds true.  I just left 10 years of working in Java shops for an awesome opportunity. The only problem, is that they are strictly a Ruby on Rails team – and even worse, they have all been doing it since Rails inception.  They are talented – I am too, but Ruby looks like one of those overly concise sysops languages (*cough* Perl *cough*). It looks like half the language is missing, and when a developer gets really good at it – it becomes mind-blowingly unreadable.

At least it does right now. I have a full cup of Java. It was the core language in college and I’ve used it and all the associated Web frameworks for 80 % of every piece of code I’ve ever used.   I compile. I use return statements. I like my variables typed!  This is alien, but let’s see what I can do with it.

Join me as I empty my cup, and see how far and fast I can fill it back up again.

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One thought on “Emptying the Cup. Forgetting Everything I Know About Java and Embracing Ruby

  1. To keep it similar to Kung fu, a Kung Fu warrior keeps Kung Fu for life. He knows there are other martial arts (ninjitsu, jiu jitsu, aikido, karate, wrestling, boxing, mui thai, capulera, and other). But, a real warrior knows it is not about one martial art being better than other, but about his ability to be better than others in a fight. Whichever martial art the warrior chooses, he can always see how good he is at it compared to others. That leads to a conclusion, that an excellent Kung fu fighter stays with Kung fu for life, excellent Karate fighter stays with Karate for life, etc. Meanwhile, the unfulfilled fighters keep searching and trying different styles, and deciding to do MMA. Who is really good at his martial art has no need to change. He can beat those other fighters because of better skill, and MMA is probably the best, but as we know a really expert Kung Fu fighter can beat even MMA fighters, providing he is more dedicated than them. Bottom line: it is not about the language, but about the dedication (education, study skills, research skills, self-motivation, and how much you want to be better than others).

    by rubyorjavadoesnotmatter on May 28, 2015 at 3:43 pm

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