To choose or not to choose boring tech

To choose or not to choose, that is the question

I’ve read, and recommended the article Choose Boring Technology by Dan McKinnley. I respect his opinion, and agree with his cautions. I’m also a bit of bandwagon jumper. So I liked his article and thought about it, but never bought in completely.

Now hurray, I have a scapegoat. Someone who things it good to choose exciting tech! Here is another take on the same issue companies can face, this is from Twitter’s Lead of Engineering Effectiveness. He talks about letting creativity bloom. He also talks about working on developer productivity, and ‘software effectiveness’. Part of that, for him, is innovating. He doesn’t talk directly about using new tech, but he talks about how Java and Scala developers were at each other. Constantly skeptical of each others tools and software. That might not sound good, but that is great of innovation! Diversity, and skepticism fuel new ideas and better way of doing things. I think this is a problem with a homogeneous environment like Etsy. Yes, you reduce friction when moving to different parts of the codebase. But you lose something too.

Later in this article he talks about engineering effectiveness and the points when it becomes useful. This is where he ‘tears out 999 flowers’. He espouses new things, innovation. But after lots of innovation comes standarization, in this model at least. Find the best, most useful, innovations or technologies your company is using. Then tear out the rest (delicately, and with great humulity since they are someones babies).

Rinse and repeat. Innovate, standarize.

This philosphy resonates with me. My inner geek and engineer, who is optimitic rejoices. While the inner manager, and pragmatist can rest at night. Thank you @peterseibel for giving me hope.

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