Skip to main content

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Personal Excellence

What’s In a Name? The Metaphorical Power in Our Ideas Prior Year Content

Why is naming things so difficult? Look in any reasonably sized code base, and you’ll see—in abundance!— crimes against naming. The Spring framework has a class AbstractSingletonProxyFactoryBean—and there are many worse examples. We in the computer industry tend to name things by what they do, rather than why they do it, and thus rob ourselves of the opportunity to tell an interesting and intriguing story. Andy Palmer says it hasn’t always been this way. In the early days of computing, names were rich with metaphor. Names, that today are synonymous with the concepts, were once compelling and novel stories. Terms such as Desktop, File, and Folder all had analogues in the physical world, and this helped people come to grips with the new concepts. Andy gives some examples of metaphors from the early days of computing, discusses some more modern examples, gives reasons why we might choose to program in this way, and suggests some ways in which we can improve our ability to tell a story through our code.

Andy Palmer
Andy Palmer, RiverGlide

Andy Palmer has sixteen years of experience, twelve in agile and lean methods. He has experience across multiple sectors, including telecommunications, investment banking, retail, and media. In addition to his experience in company-wide agile transformations, agile coaching, process reengineering, and software development, Andy specializes in effective communication and team psychology, which means he is as comfortable advising C-level executives as he is mentoring technical teams.

read more