Like My Grandpa, With a Big Lawn
I've learned some amazing things from code-related blog post titles lately. Apparently React is terrible, because Ember leads to blindness and Angular causes cancer. Backbone is washed out and in rehab, while Knockout is still unconscious. Link bait, after link bait, after bombastic ignorant link bait.
After reading yet another ranty-link-baity-whiny piece today, I complained:
#protip: Always be sure to actually know what you're talking about when publicly slamming a lib/framework you don't like.— Jim Cowart (@ifandelse) March 13, 2015
My friend Tommy Williams replied with a very relevant question:
@ifandelse +1 Do we really need more grandpas yelling for us to get off'n their lawn?— Tommy Williams Ⓥ (@theRealDevgeeks) March 13, 2015
(Of course, an emphatic agreement of "NO!" in answer to Tommy's rhetorical question.)
This got me thinking. My grandfather passed away when I was very young. But my memories make it so hard to imagine the "angry old man" when I think of him. I was extremely spoiled - being the only grandson. His laugh, his humor, his ability to relate to me, even though I was kid. His care for my well-being, his kindness - these are qualities I think of when picturing a grandpa, and as sappy or cliche as it may sound - these are the qualities I want to embody as a father and, one day, as a grandfather.
I remember meeting Ward Cunningham a few years ago at a conference. He had a similar kindness and patience about him. It was clear he'd lived more, seen more code, solved more problems, and would likely forget more than I'd ever know in my life, but not once was he condescending or arrogant. Instead, he showed several of us great respect by treating us as equals, even though we didn't hold a candle to him.
I'm encouraged and inspired by people like my grandfather and him. Sure, they have opinions, and aren't afraid to make them known. But I was welcome on their lawn, in all my youth, ignorance and lack of experience. I know I can't possibly stop the foolish railing of link-bait blog posts, but I can, hopefully, rub salt in their wounds by aspiring to be like Ward, and like my grandfather. I want to be kind, humorous & patient – even when opinionated – and I want a huge lawn where everyone rolling their eyes at the impostor grandpas can come and hang out.