Discovering the Obvious

“I am the man who with the utmost daring discovered what had been discovered before.” – G.K. Chesterton

In the opening chapter of Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, he discusses the simultaneous wonder and folly that he found in his discovery of Christianity. I feel that we often do the same thing in the world of technology.

Every single day, literally dozens of “Aha!” entries on developer weblogs extol the virtues of framework x, pattern y, technology z, with a sense of amazement. There is a sense of pride and excitement in finding the answer to their problem, the elegant solution to their needs. At the same time, it is humbling, humbling to realize that not only did someone already know it enough to create the technology we are marveling at, but further to realize that each week before, dozens of others arrived at the same conclusion.

Aside from the self-deprecation that Chesterton enjoys so much, his point is that the process of the discovery is what makes the truth all the more true to us. It isn’t so important for us to know the fact of how MVC can improve our applications, it is coming to understand and believe that fact that makes it relevant. Further, each of us learns a bit differently, and by sharing our learnings in a way that makes sense to us, there is a chance it will make sense to someone else, that when they google for the terms we used that gave us no useful results, they will find our useful result, and they too will capture that excited moment of discovery. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go express a discovery of the obvious, Velocity templates.