Saturday, July 02, 2005

Firing Silver Bullets

Every good software developer knows that there is no silver bullet. Unfortunately, each new tool or software release claims to be the previously missing silver bullet.

[The following statements are made in general. If you are different you should recognize that you are the exception, not the rule]
Following a new silver bullet release less experienced developers quickly abandon their old ways and use their new silver bullets exclusively. Conversely, the more mature developers ignore the release because they are familiar with the continual hype cycle. Eventually, the silver bullet is rolled out to all, usually mandated by management. This process is painful and often fails, because, of course, there is no silver bullet.
[End general statements]

Over the years I found a different approach that works well for me. When a new silver bullet is released I quickly adopt it for each problem that it _may_ address. This is the fastest way for me to find all of it's limitations. I already know how to do things the old way, and if the silver bullet doesn't work I can always go back. In the end, I'm much more comfortable with many approaches. This allows me to make an informed decision instead of being forced to rely on a management and hype.

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