Today it’s Node. Before it was Rails. Before it was PHP. Before it was Java. Cogs Bad:
There’s a whole mindset – a modern movement – that solves things in terms of working out how to link together a constellation of different utility components like noSQL databases, frontends, load balancers, various scripts and glue and so on. Its not that one tool fits all; its that they want to use all the shiny new tools. And this is held up as good architecture! Good separation. Good scaling.
I’ve fallen victim to this mindset. Make everything a Rails app, solve all the problems with Ruby, store all the data in distributed databases! It’s not that any of these technologies are wrong it’s just they might not yet be right for the problem at hand.
You can almost age generations of programmers like tree rings. I’m of the PHP/Rails generation, though I started in the Linux generation. A few years ago, I thought I could school the Java generations. But it turns out, I’ve learned a ton from them, even when I was a bit of a hubristic brat. The Node generation of developers will teach me more still, both in finding new virtuous paths and in going down false paths so I don’t have to follow them.
That said, it would be delightful if there was a shortcut to get these new generations past the “re-invent all the things!” phase and straight into the “make useful things and constructive dialog about how they’re better” phase.