Chris has a pretty good point. When you sign up to be a developer, you are signing up to never stop learning. That is true no matter what you do in life, but doubly true in computers, and triply so in 2016 putting things on the web.
The fatigue is real. And the meta-fatigue. But each complication that we add to our toolbox needs to justify its existence. Especially new tools. Are we adding them because we need them or because we want an excuse to try them out?
When talking about “modern web technology” you could easily be talking about React, Angular, Angular 2, TypeScript, elm, async/await, Web Sockets, Web Workers, microservices, GraphQL. I can come up with some pretty good reasons for not using them.
When you find out what technologies Chris is trying to use–
–you may get a little more sympathy for his predicament. I did.
What can you do in a situation like this? Part of the job of a software engineer is to be able to justify your decisions. That means being able to point out the benefits that outweigh the costs, and being cognizant of both. The reason the build chain is so complicated is because each link in that chain adds value. If you want to use it you need to be able to explain the problems it solves.
That said, sometimes you just have to recognize when you’re in an environment that doesn’t want to change. Given that your career hinges on changing and learning, you should give a good hard look as to whether your current environment is long-term beneficial for your career.
One last thing on the subject of using work projects to try out new technologies – I kind of like the Choose Boring Technology camp. It’s may actually be better stated as “Choose Mostly Boring Technology” since it’s about limiting yourself to a one or few new technologies. But it’s critical to always be trying out new things. It’s critical that companies need to ensure that people have space to try new things. It’s critical to your career to have that space to try new things.
Photo credit Ashim D’Silva