Guidepost - Technology & Language Selection

By Chris Clark, 04/09/2022, in Guideposts

There is value in consistency, and fungibility (e.g. the extent to which a developer can work on multiple projects). There’s value in better bus factors.

Therefore, there is a high bar for selecting a new technology that the team doesn’t know.

At some level, programming languages are just syntax and don’t matter that much -- but the lift in a new language/stack’s ecosystem can be considerable, and beginning with something new makes beginners’ mistakes more likely.

We default to the things we already use, unless there is a strong reason that it won’t work.

Note this is different from iterative improvement; introducing a new library or a new pattern or a new practice is different than introducing an entirely new technology or language. We should absolutely be pushing to modernize our Python, JavaScript, SQL, etc. development practices; this is not a case for stagnation, but a case for uniformity-by-default.

Technologies don’t get selected simply because they are interesting.

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