The nun-butt-toast software engineering pattern

22/05/2015

This article:
1 – tries to illustrate how pointless it is to use unusual names and phrases to label simple strategies most Software Engineers have already been using for many years.
2 – tries to be one of very rare articles on the Internet to tell strong-willed Architects and Software Engineers that they are neither wrong or alone in trying use their brain power to be practical rather than memorizing unusual names.

This article or myself are NOT against all terms and patterns that are associated with Software Engineering. I honor countless great principles which have been nourishing us for many many years.

Let me start by telling you the story behind the title “nun-butt-toast” – this came to my mind while I was thinking about how pointless Software Terms have become, yesterday while taking a bath 🙂 .

The story

Once upon a time there was a dietitian with lots of experience. Let’s call her Ada Lovelace for convenience.
one day she decided to apply for a new job and soon she was invited to an interview.

This is how the interview (I skipped to the related details 🙂 ).

The Interviewer: Okay my last technical question for you, can you explain what a “nun-butt-toast” diet is?

Ada: I’m sorry can you repeat that please?

The Interviewer: hmmmmmmmm, okay, what is “N-U-N B-U-T-T T-O-A-S-T”?

Ada: mmmmm, I’m sorry I have never heard that in my whole life!
Ada: does that mean eating any thing but toast? but that doesn’t make sense…

The Interview: mmm no that’s not what that means.

Ada returned home, frustrated about her incompetency. “I am not as good as I am supposed to be”, she thought…

Anyway, upon returning home, she rushed to her computer and searched the Internet for Nun Butt Toast.

She was surprised how ignorant she has been, there were hundreds of articles about the Nun Butt Toast diet.

After a bit of struggle she found the definition buried among many articles praising Nun-butt-toast.

This is what it said:


The Nun-Butt-Toast (Definition)
In 2015 the popular blogger Mr Eiwrite Gudstoff mentioned this in a blog post about nutrition.

He found that people could benefit largely by eating toast without butter. hence the phrase.

Mr Eiwrite Gudstoff has been an influential and well respected writer in the field and is followed by thousands of dietitians across the world.


Ada couldn’t believe her eyes, yes she had failed an interview because she didn’t know the modern phrase used to label “eating Toast without Butter”.

But actually the loser in this story was the company, they lost a great potential employee over a pointless term.
Most importantly while the candidate already knew the simple concept covered by the unusual term.

Back To Software Engineering World / Summary
Isn’t this what’s going on with Software Engineering since last 5 years?

a number of modern writers and organisations keep introducing new terms to re-label well-established strategies that people have been using for a long time and they not only steal respect from those strategies but also they destroy the industry by making communicating among colleagues, experts, and companies nearly impossible.

Why?
Because all of us are not prepared to appear incompetent, specially after working so hard and honest for many years.


Most of us have become easily mutable. We allow others to wrongly influence our opinions or silence us all-together by making us feel uncertain when they throw modern terms at us.

What to learn
Do not under-estimate yourself when someone throw an unusual word at you even if you have never heard about it. Doesn’t matter how strong the word/phrase sounds.
Do not over-estimate the person who does that. Do not stop disqualify yourself for evaluating their opinions.
Do ask them what that means do it right then and there.
You will be surprised how empty most modern unusual terms are.

Most of the time these modern terms can be easily explained even to a newbie in a single sentence.

At the end of the day the technique of using complex words to silence criticism is not new. Writers, speakers, and politicians have used it for centuries.


“THE TRUE SIGN OF INTELLIGENCE IS NOT KNOWLEDGE BUT IMAGINATION.”

ALBERT EINSTEIN

Thanks,
Menol

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