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Welcome to the introduction for what I hope will be the first of many blog posts in a series I’m calling “From Mort to Master”.  My goal is to discuss some concepts and tools that I feel is important to the profession of software development, from the perspective of what many would consider a Mort.

Who is Mort?

“Mort” is one of the internal personas that Microsoft uses when referring to us as developers (specifically, I believe they use the personas for Visual Studio).  They are, briefly:

  • Mort: A developer who doesn’t really know or understand what’s going on “under the hood” but produces results that the business wants.  Typically associated with VB.NET but the term really refers to anyone who develops software through trial and error instead of applying software principles.
  • Elvis: A developer who understands enough of what’s going on to create software that solves problems today, and can be maintained in the future.  Typically associated with C#.  It’s my belief that most true software developers should be Elvis.
  • Einstein:  A developer who wants to know what everything is doing and doesn’t like black box systems.  Typically associated with C++, but I would also consider the creators and primary contributors to many open-source .NET projects to be Einstein as well.

The term Mort is typically seen as an insult, and the connotation is a hack developer (a “code monkey” if you will) who just throws code together without a care for the future; the primary example being the hideous VB6 or Access applications that are found in many businesses that were done by a user who “likes computers” as opposed to a real developer.  However, for my series I’m using the term to generally mean someone who may not be familiar with the tenants of software craftsmanship, but wants to learn.  I’m a Mort myself and I’m starting down a path towards evolving to Elvis.

It’s a matter of great frustration to me that the majority of developers out in the world don’t understand good software concepts as outlined by some of the best developers in our profession; many of these developers don’t know or care about better ways to do things, and these guys are who I hope to target.

What are you going to cover?

I hope to have articles discussing how to apply various software principles, many of which I’ll be learning myself for the first time as I write the article.  It’s my hope to help other developers who aren’t sure where to start by giving them an article series that they can look at and say “Hey, this guy is like me!” and help them (and myself!) become better developers because of it.

Some articles I hope to have include:

  • The SOLID Principles (SRP, OCP, LSP, ISP, DIP)
  • NHibernate
  • Dependency Injection and Inversion of Control
  • jQuery
  • Test Driven Development/Behavior Driven Development
  • Design Patterns, specifically the most common ones like Strategy and Observer

Bear in mind that most of these I have never used, or have only a passing familiarity with (read: I saw an article/listened to a podcast/watched a screencast about it once) so I may make mistakes along the way; in fact, I’m probably going to make a lot of mistakes along the way, but that’s good because I’m hoping someone who hasn’t been exposed to these things will find my articles, follow along, and walk away a better developer.

Posted on Monday, December 28, 2009 11:40 AM | Back to top


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