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Surviving the Framework Hype Cycle (MWRC 2016)

Back in March, I attended MountainWest RubyConf with my co-workers Phunk and Phin. Shortly thereafter, Phin wrote about a couple of his favorite talks: Writing a Test Framework from Scratch and How to Build a Skyscraper.

I've found that another talk from the conference has stuck with me and I've referred to it several times in conversations. It is "Surviving the Framework Hype Cycle" by Brandon Hays. It is funny, engaging, insightful, and especially cathartic given the rapid pace of change in frameworks these days.

It can be tough to set aside the time to focus on a conference talk video, but I think this one is well worth it for programmers!

The 5 phases of the framework hype cycle that he identifies and elaborates on are:

  1. Technology Trigger
  2. Peak of Inflated Expectations
  3. Trough of Disillusionment
  4. Slope of Enlightenment
  5. Plateau of Productivity

And he shows how different groups of people with different needs can benefit at different stages, akin to settling new land:

  • Pioneers
  • Settlers
  • Town Planners

The ebb and flow of technology fads can be a lot easier to navigate when we realize there isn't an absolute right and wrong to technology choices, and we must consider the project and its maturity level, the people involved, and the current state of the technologies under consideration.

See also the Surviving the Framework Hype Cycle video page and Brandon's @tehviking Twitter account.

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