Don’t fall for the Hype Trap

The Tech Industry is driven by Tech Hypes. Every week there’s something brand new we all need to try. Is that productive though? It definitely has the potential to cause a lot of disruption for developer teams and users.
In that context, why should we pay attention to tech hypes in the first place?

The other day, I came across this article: https://pragmaticpineapple.com/do-not-follow-javascript-trends/. The author talks about Hypes in the JavaScript ecosystem and how these hypes can be a killer for productivity and delivering value:

It is one of those days. You typed in twitter.com in your browser and you saw a new tweet from someone on how to use React Hooks. But, for some reason, your company or a team hasn’t switched to using Hooks. Or, maybe you are using them, but not in a new “trendy” way. Perhaps you are using Vue.js or Angular, but these React Hooks are popping up everywhere, almost starting to show up on your microwave when you are heating your dinner.

They call it Hype-Driven-Development. It demands to always use the latest and greatest tools, languages and frameworks. But what does this get you? The good feeling of using something brand new. Is that enough though? What about your users? Will they see any benefit from this change? Will code run faster or be more reliable and stable?

If you can’t answer any of these questions with a “yes”, is it worth it then? The author proposes to break the hype cycle. If something is working as expected, why change it then?
Instead, let’s focus more on adding value for users, customers and stakeholders.

In short: do not fall for the hype. Try to “feel” what works for you and go with that. Try not to succumb to flashy new tweets, blog posts, Hacker News top posts, trending hashtags of what you should or should not do.

Of course, there are situations that require refactoring and up-to-date technologies. But rewriting everything just to bring in a new abstraction or using this latest framework feature, it’s usually not worth it.

I think we should still spend time to explore new trends, build something with that new framework or language, but not because of hype but to build a learning habit. This learning habit will help us to quickly evaluate new things such as frameworks, languages or features so that we’re able to professionally assess changes and change requests at work when the time comes.

What do you think about this? Do you agree? Do you see it differently? Post it into the comments below!