The Technology Enamored

Developer that is so excited to try new technologies that they will introduce them into the project regardless of if they are appropriate.

  • Can mutate into: “The Hostage Taker” Developer
  • Dangerous when coupled with: “The Idealist” Developer
  • Likelihood of fixing: High
  • Danger to project: Low

Problem

To successfully deliver a product to production, technology choices will have to be made. These choices have to be made carefully, and with great consideration towards the specific set of business problems that need to be solved. The Technology Enamored Developer, on the other hand, just likes playing around with new technologies.

All developers are technology enamored to a point – they have to be in order to keep their skills current. However, when a developer confuses their professional responsibility to make sound technical choices, and their personal desire to learn new things, you can end up with a technology stack wildly out of alignment with what the business problem warrants.

The Technology Enamored Developer is very easy to pick out of a crowd. They will frequently and publicly advocate using a new technology, but will often have a flimsy justification for doing so. They will also suddenly switch technologies midstream without telling anyone, catching other developers by surprise. In many cases, it may actually be a superior technical solution to the particular problem they are facing at the moment, but as it has not gone through a proper vetting process, it may in fact a poor fit for the project as a whole.

Solution

While they can be annoying, fixing the Technology Enamored developer is simplicity itself if the company has established a standard technology stack. Then, all that is required is to correct developers when they deviate from that stack. If you don’t have an established technology stack, it is highly recommended that you define one before you need it, as it will be awkward to introduce it after The Technology Enamored developer has proven to be a problem.

Telling The Technology Enamored Developer that they cannot introduce their new technology will most likely hurt their morale, but that morale can be quickly repaired by asking them to do a presentation on the new technology. This is an extremely healthy outlet, as the team can discuss as a group if the corporate technology stack should be changed after the presentation. Most developers will be satisfied simply by having their day in court, even if they do not like the final judgment.


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