Friday, June 5, Lean Software Development:
Choose Boring Technology March 30th, Probably the single best thing to happen to me in my career was having had Kellan placed in charge of me.
I stuck around long enough to see Kellan's technical decisionmaking start to bear fruit. I learned a great deal from this, but I also learned a great deal as a result of this.
I would not have been free to become the engineer that wrote Data Driven Products Now! Being inspirational as always. In the year since leaving Etsy, I've resurrected my ability to care about technology. And my thoughts have crystallized to the point where I can write them down coherently.
What follows is a distillation of the Kellan gestalt, which will hopefully serve to horrify him only slightly.
Let's say every company gets about three innovation tokens. You can spend these however you want, but the supply is fixed for a long while.
You might get a few more after you achieve a certain level of stability and maturitybut the general tendency is to overestimate the contents of your wallet. Clearly this model is approximate, but I think it helps.
If you choose to write your website in NodeJS, you just spent one of your innovation tokens. If you choose to use MongoDByou just spent one of your innovation tokens. If you choose to use service discovery tech that's existed for a year or lessyou just spent one of your innovation tokens.
But you're probably not. You're probably working for a company that is at least ostensibly rethinking global commerce or reinventing payments on the web or pursuing some other suitably epic mission. In that context, devoting any of your limited attention to innovating ssh is an excellent way to fail.
Or at best, delay success . What counts as boring? That's a little tricky. You should not use any of that. But there are many choices of technology that are boring and good, or at least good enough.
The nice thing about boringness so constrained is that the capabilities of these things are well understood. But more importantly, their failure modes are well understood. Anyone who knows me well will understand that it's only with a overwhelming sense of malaise that I now invoke the spectre of Don Rumsfeld, but I must.
To be clear, fuck this guy. When choosing technology, you have both known unknowns and unknown unknowns . A known unknown is something like: An unknown unknown is something like: Both sets are typically non-empty, even for tech that's existed for decades.
But for shiny new technology the magnitude of unknown unknowns is significantly larger, and this is important. I unapologetically think a bias in favor of boring technology is a good thing, but it's not the only factor that needs to be considered. Technology choices don't happen in isolation.
They have a scope that touches your entire team, organization, and the system that emerges from the sum total of your choices. Adding technology to your company comes with a cost. As an abstract statement this is obvious: But somehow when we're talking about Python and Scala or MySQL and Redis people lose their mindsdiscard all constraints, and start raving about using the best tool for the job.
Your function in a nutshell is to map business problems onto a solution space that involves choices of software. If the choices of software were truly without baggage, you could indeed pick a whole mess of locally-the-best tools for your assortment of problems.
Crazy Problems Technical Solutions The way you might choose technology in a world where choices are cheap: We call the baggage "operations" and to a lesser extent "cognitive overhead. You have to figure out unit tests.Personally, having just printed out and read the entire list, I feel a change in my vocabulary.
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EssaySoft provides essay software that will assist your everyday essay and article writing by helping you with essay creation, research and referencing. Introduction In my essay on academic freedom in the USA, I argued that the legal concept of academic freedom in the USA was mostly an illusion.
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Choose Boring Technology March 30th, Probably the single best thing to happen to me in my career was having had Kellan placed in charge of me. I stuck around long enough to see Kellan's technical decisionmaking start to bear fruit.