This happened when I was hired by a local company in Maryland back in early 2003 to design and implement an enterprise solution to one of the US Federal government agencies. The higher ups have already decided to use the Enterprise Java Bean solution for the project. This is when I came across one of the best selling books I have ever read is Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development by none other than the father of Spring framework Mr. Rod Johnson. I fell in love with the book immediately simply because of the practical things outlined in it.
I went to the management and talked about what I learned from the book and I decided to give it a try on some of the things mentioned in the book. I downloaded first set of interface21 libraries published with Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development and started applying in the prototype I was working on then. A few months down the road these libraries became one of the most popular Java/J2EE frameworks now in the Java/J2EE development community which is the Spring framework.
Since 2003 I have designed several big enterprise applications using the Spring framework/Spring web flow stack.