I managed somehow to inherit about $200 of Thomas Erl's SOA series of books a couple of years ago. I've browsed through them a couple of times, but never seriously. Today, I think I understand why. I'm more than halfway through Principles of Service Design and am quite frustrated. It seems that the secret to writing a book about SOA these days is to use a Service Noun Phrase every other sentence (just like I did here). It may be just that I don't like Erl's writing style, but frankly, I got as much or more out of this 33 page IHE white paper on the topic than I did from the first 300 pages of his book. I'm glad I didn't buy these books because so much of what I read feels like markitecture, and if not that, common sense.
Last night I had SOA nightmares. Today I'm feeling a bit better about it, but I'm still struggling to grasp how it is different from what I know already. For me, the challenge in truly learning something new in the art of software development is in understanding three things:
- what is it that is like what you already knew but has a different name now,
- which of those things are almost like what you already knew, but is slightly different (and in what way),
- what is truly new.
And as an added bonus, here is an SOA Buzzword Bingo card for you, just to share some of my frustration.