I recently read the Quora question What is Alan Kay’s definition of Object Oriented? answered by Alan Kay himself.

And he rightly pointed out we NEED to turn our design skills and attention focusing on the What and not the How.

Yet every day I am surrounded by the How. I have to wade through layers of How to even find the What. It is beyond the point of being absurd. It is like we are being asked to hang a picture on a wall but we have to build the wall first. Where should it go? What material should we build the wall out of? What color should we paint it? Seriously?


Is the level of abstraction we are using for the What too low?
Yes, for sure.

Do we need better abstractions?
Yes, for sure.

Do we need better framework(s)?
No, we have plenty of frameworks that focus on different ways to achieve the How. The one thing we appear to be really good at is inventing another du jour How.

So what is the solution?
We need to stop mixing/burying the What with the How.
The How needs to start servicing the What and not vice versa.
We need a more common way to speak to each other about What.
We need tools that understand the What and direct the How.

OK where should I put this wall?