Framework Fanboys: Causes, effects, and what to do about it

This talk was a huge disappointment to me, to the point where it left me depressed for days after I gave it. I did a lot of preparation for this talk, but several factors conspired it to make it my least attended talk to date:

  • The title may have been off-putting, as people may have thought I was going to rant about the phenomenon of “Fanboys”, rather than discuss it intelligently.
  • The conference had my talk running in parallel with many other talks, dropping the average attendance of any one talk.
  • The Audio/Video setup was terrible. I was stuck awkwardly in a dark corner, with a very small projection screen, with a massive video camera right in front of the projection screen blocking the audiences view of both me and the presentation.

This had the additional effect of diminishing my performance, making it one of my lowest energy talks to date. This was in start contrast to my practice talk, which I did alone in my kitchen, which was one of my best. I supposed it is a good thing, then, that the recorded video was never posted.

The views on SlideShare are better than many of my other talks, but still not very good. I still think this is a good talk, and my co-workers who attended it (who make up about a tenth of the audience) agreed. One day I may record a new vocal performance, and make a video of it, to see if it actually was a good talk, and I simply had bad luck.

Original Abstract

Developers will often adopt a framework long before it is prudent, or will cling to a framework long after it has become irrelevant. This phenomenon of picking and sticking with a framework for all the wrong reasons affects everything we do, from the estimates we give, to the people we hire, and the companies we want to work for. Attempts to mitigate the risk of poor framework choices are often thwarted by the ability of a single developer to introduce a questionable framework that then gets adopted by their peers. The effect is magnified by the fact that many developers would rebel and quit if they could not use their framework of choice.

This talk will explore this phenomenon in an attempt to find it’s root causes. This meandering journey will take us down the dark paths of the recruiting industry’s keyword obsession, academia’s attempts to prepare graduates for the real world, as well as the natural human instinct to play with new and interesting things – regardless of the cost. Once we understand the nature of the problem, an attempt will be made to identify potential solutions.

Slides on SlideShare

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