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Evil Dev's Blog Plots, Schemes, and Plans to take over the Devleoper world.... Mu hahahaha

I was just reading a post on Donald Belchman's Blog today, as part of his series of  "Development Project Archetypes", and one of them was on the "Ooo.... Shiny...." developer.

An incestuous cousin to the Front of the Magazine Architect, this developer is easily distracted by any new technology. Not only will he want to talk about it endlessly, the ‘Oooo…Shiny!’ Developer will simply add the technology to the project without telling anyone. You will find, scattered through the code base, a number of different techniques, tools or frameworks that are used one time and then abandoned. While adding to your technical debt, the ‘Oooo…Shiny!’ Developer is working feverishly to keep adding new entries to the “Experience Using” section of his resume.

Sometimes it is easy enough to counter his predilection for new and shiny simply by placing a pretty glass bead on their keyboard every morning. When that fails, it’s time to up the priority of the code reviews for The “Oooo…Shiny!” Developer. And be merciless.

To view the original article, click here

This article, as well as the link to another article posted by one of his commenters (found here) kind of got me thinking on the subject.

A Little Bit of History

I get asked a lot by family members and friends to go with them to help them buy a new computer. Now, when helping someone pick out a new machine, I always try to be as honest as I can with them, especially when they are not tech savy. However, no matter what you say to them, even if you go in, pick a computer and say "Buy This" they always counter spam with "What If"'s and "Will It"'s, and pretty much talk themselves into spending more money on a computer because "What if I need to print something, and I don't have a printer" or "Well I shoudl probably get a good graphics card in case I someday want to play games on it.". I always used to cry a little bit inside at the naiveness of it all.

But after reading that article, it kind of got me thinking, am I really all that much different? As a developer I like to think of myself as tech-savy and "With it" but in a lot of ways developers are the worst for outbidding themselves.

I hear all the time at work "Man, this would be so much faster/easier if I used LINQ", or "If the idiot who built this would have used <insert shiny new technology of your choice here>, I wouldn't have to do all this work". We always seem to be making excuses why we need to move on to bigger, better things. Could we save a few lines of code if we did? Sure. Would we have a more "pretty" code base? Maybe. But what's the cost? You spend time researching, you implement a new technology, you usually do it wrong the first time, and rewrite your code 3-4 times before you get it right, god knows what else you messed up while doing so.

Don't get me wrong, change is good, and a requirement in the world we live in today. But, we don't need to change when every new system hits the shelves. We should learn about what's new, but don't give up the old just because the new does it a little more efficiently. Let somoeone else make the mistakes, and just sit back, relax, and learn from them.


Posted on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 10:31 PM | Back to top

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