Hyper excited about the technology in this article

Dustin Robison
Dustin Robison
by Brett Jordan (@brett_jordan)

Don't be that dev, the one who reads some technology article and becomes the salesman evangelist for that technology. New technology and innovation is good, great in fact, but it requires significant work to prototype and learn the use case and pitfalls prior to integration. The quickest way for your team to lose respect for your opinion is to suggest using something that you have not personally used previously.

Who wrote the article and why?

When reading any article, be it news, technology etc. be aware of its bias. Every article has bias and it is important to try and assess where the bias is coming from. In articles telling you about the latest and greatest installable package it is often true that the author of the article is often also the author of the package, or at least tied to it in some way. When a developer makes a new cool package they should write articles to tell the world about it but us as viewers should also be aware of the problem their package solves and if it is our problem and if it is worth the cost of attempting to integrate the solution.

Suggesting without doing, yuck

We all know that friend or developer who talks up the technology, game, or whatever without ever having used it before. Yes, the tech they talk about probably does something really cool and useful but what other options are there and how do they compare?

Evaluating a new tool is hard work. Not only should you assess and prototype the new tool you want to use, you should also do market research to understand what other tools are available and prototype some of those as well. You're not done yet, you need to discover the amount of integration work and return on investment. Depending on your workplace or situation this is probably significant effort and tens or possibly hundreds of hours of work.

You can create your own nightmare

Think hard and work even harder before suggesting a new innovation to a team. If you suggest something you are not confident in and your team jumps on board because they trust you then it better be good.

Little sounds worse in a workplace than living in a software nightmare you created and having to explain to management that things are taking a long time and not going well because of technical debt that you created.

Trust and respect makes careers

As developers we can do as much or as little as we are trusted to do. If trust is broken then innovation will be halted.

We all like to sound smart and know things about new technologies but if you don't really know then it would be best to keep quiet about them and put in the work to know them. Be honest with yourself and others about what you know and a perfectly reasonable answer to direct questions is, "I don't know enough to comment yet, but would like to spend time researching this more."

Being open about not knowing makes you more vulnerable and less prestigious in the short term but in the long term it will earn you trust and respect.


Let me know your thoughts please:

All my posts are based off my personal experience and I would like to hear if you have had a different experience or comments

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