Simple ingredients for great results

11th April 2022

Well known in cooking is the use of simple, high quality ingredients for excellent results. It doesn't need high complexity, or the latest and greatest in techniques. Great cooking includes using what is tried and tested, and executing successfully.

We can reflect on this in terms of technology. There is always a hot new approach, new piece of software or new framework to use and enjoy. A great many of the names I have heard over the years (especially alternatives) have died by the wayside within a few years. A great many do not get to mass adoption and remain niche players.

The ones that do not die, the exceptions, may mature enough to become worth basing enterprise software decisions on. I'm not talking about platforms necessarily, though the same case can be made. I'm discussing technology like React, GraphQL, Terraform, Docker, Redis, MongoDB, etc.

Reflecting on this for our technology choices, my advice is clear. If it's too new, gathering market traction, doesn't have a well developed community and so on, then it's unlikely a good enterprise choice. For some pilots, some innovation or labs teams, why not. Staying on the cutting edge is what good developers do well:m they're always tinkering with something.

Let's also take the lens of talent availability. The more cutting edge or niche the technology, the harder it is to hire people to work with it, grow it or maintain it. Almost all technology leaders (including me!) have a few decisions in their back catalogue where they backed something the young developers were pushing and regretted it later when they had no one to maintain it, or couldn't scale the team.

Take a page out of your cookery book and spend time with some high quality, well established ingredients for a great dish.

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