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Shift Your Paradigm!
Introducing Dave Astels' Weblog
by Dave Astels
April 18, 2003
Where we find out what Dave will be talking about, and maybe get enough information to form an opinion as to whether it might be worth paying attention to or if it's just a bunch of mindless blathering.



I'm Dave. And, well... this is my blog. But you probably already knew all that.

What's it all about

So.. the title.. "Shift your paradigm!" Just what do I mean by that? It's an exhortation based on the idea of a "Paradigm Shift". OK, some of you may be saying, what exactly do you mean by that? It goes back to Thomas Kuhn in 1962 when he wrote "The Structure of Scientific Revolution". In that work, Kuhn put forth the idea of the Paradigm Shift to illustrate scientific advancement: "intellectually violent revolutions" that occur occasionally. His observation was that scientific advancement was not evolutionary, but rather it was revolutionary. With periods of calm, slow, evolutionary advancement, separated by these rather violent revolutions. These revolutions are, or involve, a paradigm shift: a change from one way of thinking to another.

We can see various paradigm shifts if we look back at history... agriculture (nomadic hunter/gatherers to settled crop-growers), Copernicus (earth-centered to sun-centered), Einstein (Newtonian physics to Relativistic/Quantum physics), The printing press, etc.

Now what's all this got to do with software (and if that didn't occur to you, you may well be here by accident). Well... there are several examples of paradigm shifts in the recent history of computing (albeit not as earth shattering as, say agriculture.. but some on the scale of the printing press maybe):

Nice history lesson... but what about this blog?

Right.. I was getting to that.

What I want to do here is explore and talk about neat stuff. Specifically, that subset of neat stuff that has potential to fundamentally change how we, as programmers, do our thing... that is... program.

So, I'll be talking about new languages (and some old languages that were ahead of their time then but aren't now), new techniques, technologies, ideas, processes, and practices.

Some examples? OK. Here are some that a flitting about my mind as likely topics.

Hopefully I can occasionally (I'll be quite happy with once) introduce you to a new idea that will change how you program in a revolutionary way. A bit much to ask? Maybe. But sometimes the simplest idea can have incredible effects.

I'm planning to have fun writing here, and I hope that you have fun reading. I won't be getting things proofread or copy-edited before posting... though I will run a spell-check when I remember to.. and I'll try to remember what I learned while sleeping through grammar lessons. This'll be fairly "off the cuff". A thin wrapper over what I happen to be thinking about or playing with at the time. Oh, and I'll post little announcements regarding where I'll be speaking, or conferences I'll be attending, and so forth.


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About the Blogger

Dave Astels has been developing hardware and software solutions for more than 20 years in domains ranging from environment control systems to electrical energy trading systems to mass market products. Since the late 1980s he has been working exclusively with object technologies: a mix of C++, Smalltalk, Java, and some more obscure OOPLs. Since the late 1990s, he has been studying, using, evangelizing, and teaching Agile Development processes and practices. He has coauthored/authored two books for Prentice Hall: "A Practical Guide to eXtreme Programming" and "Test-Driven Development: A Practical Guide". He also edits the TDD edition of The Coad Letter, which is part of the Borland Development Network. He co-founded and runs Adaption Software, Inc. (

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2003 Dave Astels. All rights reserved.

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