Stuck on the Technology

Web Frameworks Word Cloud

Professional Technology Paralysis

I build websites for a living, and have for many years. I work with a very specific piece of ecommerce software, and I’m an expert with it. But that causes trouble when it comes time to do side projects. I get excited about working with new things, and have trouble settling on one option!

 

History Keeps Repeating. Again. And Again. And Again. And …

In the past, every time I tried building a new application from scratch I would get stuck on trying to decide which technology to use. It’s like a disease. Once I figure out which language to use, then I have to decide on the framework, then the DB, then the search engine, oh man, I almost forgot about the UI framework!

I think anyone who is a programmer gets stuck in this cycle, because really, this is where we love to play! We really know this area well, and are comfortable here, and we want to push the boundaries, try new things, etc. Whether you’re a designer (“ooooh, flat UI is cool!”) or a ditch digger (“ooooh, I want to use the new John Deere XYZ excavator!”), we’re all the same. Rather than focusing on the customer, and their pain (i.e. getting out, and TALKING to people!) we dwell in our comfort zone.

 

The Worst of the Worst

When trying to build a profitable business, this is the absolute worst thing I think a guy can do (ladies, you too!) – getting side-tracked on something that doesn’t really matter at this stage. Does your potential customer give two poops about if it’s built with Ruby on Rails, or Java or Meteor? NO! All they care about is that it works, is quick, and makes them money. (ESPECIALLY the latter!)

There are other things that I’ve done wrong, like caring about the design too much, and spending too much time on wording, or SEO… it’s not that this is the ONLY bad place to spend time/money, but for me, I think it’s the easiest place to offend.

 

 So What’s A Girl To Do?

So, how do I keep from falling into this trap again on during this challenge? Well, like Alcoholics Anonymous, the first step is to admit I am powerless against this addiction… ok, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but admitting I have a problem is a good first step. The next step is to realize that using a platform and language I already know will be the quickest way to get to an end product.

I’ve been working with the Play Framework for a couple of years now, and although I’ve found some issues with it, generally it’s pretty awesome. It’s stable, is fast, and easy to develop with. There are also a number of great existing modules for it that speed development. I think using it, ElasticSearch (if I need a search engine), PostgreSQL or MongoDB for a datastore, Twitter’s Bootstrap, and possibly Angular.js will be a winning combination. Worst case, I can rebuild some of the API’s in another framework in the future, and migrate over to them, if I design them well.

 

What Do You Keep Doing Wrong?

So, I’ve aired my dirty laundry… what keeps you from moving forward with your dreams?

 

 

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