I have been seeing more and more the importance of paradigms in guiding software development. I am even including a chapter on it in our upcoming book: Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility.
What is a paradigm? It is the set of experiences, beliefs, and values that affect the way you perceive what is real and how you should react. A paradigm is a habit of reasoning. Your world view.
A paradigm is deeply held and you may not always be aware of it. For example, when you were learning how to drive, you learned which side of the road was the "correct" side. It affects every aspect of how you drive, where you look for threats, and even how you cross the street. You do it without even thinking. Doesn't mean it is right, but it is "real." If you have ever travelled to another country where they drive on the "wrong" side (note the value judgment!), it probably took you a long time to adjust your way of seeing, in spite of lots of evidence to the contrary.
Because paradigms affect our view of what is real and true, we are slow to change them.
Why am I talking about this in a software development blog? Because the paradigms we developers hold affect our behavior as developers. And if we are going to grow and improve as developers, we have to become conscious of the paradigms that keep us in place.
In other words, we should always be investigating our beliefs as developers.