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Colin Devroe

Photographer. Podcaster. Blogger. Reverse Engineer.

Boring is good in software development

I use the term “boring” here to describe that which isn’t brand new. Sometimes we’re only excited about the new. The new car! The new house! Rather than being content with what we have, because it works or is paid off or we’re familiar with every nook and cranny, we sometimes can get wrapped up in the excitement of something new.

Chris Coyier, co-founder of CodePen, writing on CSS Tricks:

Perhaps the worst reason to choose a complex solution is that it’s new, and the newness makes it feel like choosing it makes you on top of technology and doing your job well. Old and boring may just what you need to do your job well.

Me, in 2016, discussing a topic very similar to this in a piece I then titled Use what works, play with the new:

The very same reasons Kyle uses Ruby on Rails is why I use PHP. I do like the way Ruby looks far better than PHP. (Insert GIF of DHH saying Ruby is gorgeous here) I also think that the Rails framework is well structured for web applications. I do think Go looks succinct and interesting. And Node is likely better for some of the things I’m trying to accomplish. However, I’m faster with PHP, a lot of people know it, it is very fast and stable, and has been used in large-scale projects. So I’m perfectly happy using PHP.

New (and therefore sometimes more complex to Chris’ point) may be exciting but it may not be the most reliable choice. Or the most widely tested. So you may do well to choose the old or boring choice.

This topic comes up on the blogosphere every few years. It is a good reminder.

I recommend reading the entirety of Coyier’s post as well as mine.

Be a social developer

Dwayne Hinterlang on CodePen:

What if I told you there are even ways to connect with like minded people in person? Whether it’s quickly learning something for the first time, discussions of discoveries, pulling all nighters to breath life into an idea or even devoting yourself to achieving mastery! We can do them together.

Online resources, like Hinterlang spells out, are amazing and one can learn a lot from them. However, there is still no substitute for face-to-face meet ups, workshops, etc. You’ve read about this time and time again here on my blog. I think developers should go to meet ups.

Speaking of which. If you’re in my area, and you care about the intersection of technology, business, the arts, you may want to join NEPA Tech. I hear big things are in store for that group in the coming months.