Object oriented ourobouros

Isaac Rodriguez at RealPython: Inheritance and Composition: a Python OOP Guide.

The very first job I had after college1 was at American Management Systems, where I was hired as a business systems analyst and very rapidly molded into a programmer. In my first few days of training, I was introduced to concepts of object oriented programming, and it made a very strong impression on the way I solved problems. (Much to the chagrin of some of my fellow PowerBuilder developers.)

In that first six years as a programmer and architect, I learned a lot about object oriented concepts and tradeoffs: overriding, then invoking, behavior from a parent; the promise and madness of multiple inheritance; performance impacts of deep inheritance hierarchies. And I learned that, like every other tool, inheritance could be overused.2

I haven’t been a programmer for a long time, but I’m learning some Python now at work, and I was looking for some guidance on OO concepts in the Python world. Rodriguez’s article is thorough and well written, even if I’m not ready to adopt all the practices yet. Mostly, after wading through StackOverflow incantations and poorly written library how-tos, I’m just relieved to read intelligent discussions on how to program. I’ll be returning to this well.

1 Other jobs held before and during college: comic book store employee; electrician at particle accelerator; SGML encoder at UVA electronic text center.

2 Or as a former coworker liked to say, “When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a hippie.”

New year, new writing

I haven’t written much on the blog in a while. But that’s not because I haven’t been writing.

On Wednesday, December 30, I finished my first draft of a book I’ve been working on, off and on, for years: the history of the first 150 years of the Virginia Glee Club. Sort of finished, anyway: I closed the document, took our dog for a walk, and realized when I walked back in the door that I had forgotten things.

I expect to continue to have that realization for a while. There is, of course, a lot of ground to cover, and I’ve inevitably left things out—like the biographies of many individual Glee Club members I’ve researched over the years. Or important historical events that add context to the work. Or…

Well, you get the drift. The reality is that the work that I’ve done on the history of the group is spread across a bunch of places: Glee Club newsletters, the history wiki, even a Pinterest board I started over the summer. The book will hopefully, for the interested reader, be the tip of the iceberg.

And now I can, maybe, start writing in other places. Like here. Someday.

Just as soon as I get the thing published. And that’ll be a whole different journey that I will share as I am able.