Suckers for tech

Downloading every programming languages doesn't make you a better developer.

I used to download new frameworks, new programming languages, new versions of anything. I always wanted to test them and see what they are all about, complete the hello world tutorial, install gems and what not. I am satisfied when I see something running smoothly on my machine.

I would also upload them to my server and test them there too, in a real world environment so to speak. I loved this process. But lately, I am having a hard time going through that process; it doesn't feel the same.

Maybe as I grow older, I become bitter and more demanding. It doesn't give me the same satisfaction as before. I care less and less about the new hot techy things that come out. Because after the install, and the hello world program, I am left right where I started.

These tools are meant to be used to create something in the easiest manner possible. Every framework promises less characters to be typed to achieve the same results. Some promise to be 10x faster, others not faster but more stable.

I'm sure each version is better then the previous, but on rare occasions, I remember what I was trying to do days ago. Long before I read anything about this new bootstrap trick, this new Angularjs version, this new fork of 2048, this new update in PHP, this new programming language, this new gem. Long before all this, I was sitting on my computer trying to update a little thing on my website and I got distracted by a single post on hackernews.

I am lucky to have been able to pinpoint where the distraction started. Lots of people don't.

The illusion of being productive while reading tech because you work in tech is all too great.

It wasn't always like this. There was a time where reading tech news, and testing libraries where crucial. I drank everything I saw like kool aid. I read every blog post, I read every tutorial, I read all the good practice stuff, I watched the hyped-up JavaScript tech talks, it was very useful. That's how I learned all this programming business.

Today, I know how to program. I am most useful when I make use of all these wonderful things I learned. But there is one problem, the learning is more exciting then the real world applications. At least when it comes to web.

It's much more fun to see the beautiful results of bootstrap in its native habitat compared to when you have to update a website written in coldfusion that still write all the <HTML><HEAD>...</BODY></HTML> in capital letters and has most of the style written in-line.

Writing GOlang is fun but when you are maintaining a website and your manager comes and tell you that you should use Boolean carefully, not so much.

All these technologies have a different vibe when used in a real environment. Legacy is a powerful word in tech and business. This is not to say that you shouldn't learn any new framework. It's just to remind you that there is a thin line between learning and wasting time.

These shiny new technologies are very distracting, yet we view it as a good thing. I remember when a friend was telling me that there is a ruby gem that allows you to create a twitter clone with only a few lines of code. Of course, you would want to check it out too. You want to see it in action. But what's use? It's like masturbation; good for you but the rest of us don't care.

These days, I spend more time creating my own stuff then using libraries for the sake of listing them on my linked in profile. I still use them because one said, learning is a lifelong process.

Forgive me for not being excited about the next big thing. But I will be one of those that will be that last in line to get on the bandwagon. I will let all the commotion settle in and will not try to convert all my code to brainfuck because it is funny. I will laugh at the joke when the room is empty.

At least I will spare the world from another hello word app.


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