Saturday, August 23, 2014

Object Oriented Programming .. complex or overrated

In Second year computer science major, I took a whole course on object oriented programming with Java, It was full of new concepts back then and the book was big, but now recently I have been reading a book called growing 'object oriented software guided by testing' .

it has been 3 years since I have graduated and worked in 3 different companies, and while reading that book, the idea that there are so many details and concepts in object oriented that we barely feel we are applying or use in enterprise or medium or small scale applications was on my mind the whole time.

OOP has taken its name from the basic unit of the design which is Objects. However in real applications objects play minor roles and most of the time as VOs (value objects) so the whole concept of objects becomes minor in you're everyday work, there is nothing new about it. Another point is that these objects code are usually IDE generated, for example in eclipse if you're programming Java it takes less than a  minute to write a big class and generate getters/setter (encapsulation).

that doesn't stop here, what makes you really question if OOP is overrated in our major and given more time to teach and learn, is that there are frameworks such as Spring for Java that completely hides the OOP role in programming. What spring does is that, by default, it takes care of initializing and injecting the dependent objects with the objects they depend on, all done by XML or annotations and so there is no need to calling constructors or even writing them.

Spring came to avoid the over head of object oriented, we don't need infinite number of objects to implement the design and do the work. an instance of every object is usually sufficient to handle the job.
here we execlude the VOs from the equation because they are really nothing more than data holders and will not play a critical role in our architecture or design decisions the way we may think.

in summary, I feel although it's important to have a strong foundation in OOP, having a whole course to do it is not needed, OOP concepts are everywhere in our major and they can be focused on when necessary and most of what you will get in a single course will not be recalled because it's not something you need to remember everyday.

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