Friday, March 7, 2008


Hello everyone! I have been thinking about creating a blog for a long time, and I finally have. I have a lot I want to talk about, but for today I want to just start with who I am, and why I decided to start blogging.

So for starters, my title and blog name. I wanted my blog name to be ducktyping, after one of my favorite features of my new favorite programming language, Ruby, but alas someone beat me to it. The next best thing was an offbeat quote from Fry from my absolute favorite TV show, Futurama. It is from "Roswell That Ends Well" and is from a scene where fry puts a stove-top popcorn package in the microwave, it begins to emanate a blue glow, and Fry sniffs the air and says "Hey, what smells like blue?"

In case you are wondering who I am, well, my name is Mike Stone. I am a programmer, and my interest in computers and programming goes back to when I picked up a book on basic somewhere around the fourth grade. It has been my passion ever since, and I often spend free time reading about programming, thinking about programming, or actually programming. I graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2004 with a BS degree in Computer Science and have been working in the field primarily in C# since then. The first programming language I grew to really love was Java, though I initially approached it freshman year with doubts, seeing it more as a toy language. My classes proved me wrong, and I grew to appreciate what Java offered... a multi-platform managed programming language that made certain types of bugs impossible. I especially enjoyed the documentation, which I have felt has always been easy to find what I need, and easy to decipher how to use the corresponding classes. C# failed to displace Java as my favorite, and really only strengthened a dislike of Microsoft in me that you may learn to discover if you read my future blog posts.

Enter Ruby 3 and a half years out of college. During a Christmas vacation at the end of 2007, I decided to tackle Haskell, but was also itching to try Ruby. I abandoned Haskell before really learning about what Monads were all about... I enjoyed the language, but Ruby was secretly calling to me. When a language like Ruby calls, you listen. Ruby quickly proved why there was so much disdain for Java in the dynamic programming languages camp. I can't describe it as anything else but "fun." I have read many times that the language was DESIGNED to be "fun" and it all made sense once I had taken the leap.

I started blogging because I have been reading blogs from such prominent authors as Jeff Atwood, Steve Yegge, Joel Spolsky, and the hilariously painful articles presented by Alex Papadimoulis. These blogs have inspired me to put out my thoughts, opinions, and observations of programming out in the wild, for better or worse. I am still a young developer (3 and a half years experience), but I have a thirst for more that I sadly don't see in many coworkers (at least at my current job).

What should you expect to see in my blog? Right now I want to talk primarily about my experiences with Ruby and Java, and why you should stop claiming Java is the best language there is and reconsider those dynamic languages you might be bashing at various other blogs or forums. It's tired and repeated over and over from many people, but I think we will see that our collective programming future will move away from the likes of Java and C#, towards the likes of Ruby, and Python.