Web Tip #468: Technology Cults

If you believe or have been led to believe that your web app can only be built with some specific  technology (e.g. .NET or PHP or Javabeans), your development team is not approaching your project with the right mindset.  As smartass Americans, we certainly have a natural propensity towards soapboxes (soapboxen, for you Dane Cook fans) and moral highhorses.  We tend to think one path, the one we are on, is the sole correct way to do things.  And us geeks are probably the worst in this regard.

An single-track mindset completely handicaps projects.  If you defer to the “tech experts” and they tell you that there is only one way to do things and you blindly accept this without justification, you’re getting into an ugly & probably hostile situation.

Demand proof.  And get educated as to “why” that solution is best.  There is no excuse these days for not understanding the reasoning behind why your project’s platform is built using a certain flavor of tech.  Ask a lot of questions.  And if you’re tech team cannot break it down into layman’s terms, find another expert.  There are loads of them.

Otherwise, we’re the next set of lemmings drinking kool aid and wearing brown Nikes.

In other news … ever wonder why open source apps have such wider acceptance internationally?  A lot of non-mainstream solutions can be great.  We recently adopted an open source fax server which would normally have been glossed over because it wasn’t written in .NET.  But we created a virtual server running Linux and guess what?  This incredibly full-featured server is now running within Windows.  When you approach development with an open mind (as many international developers do, simply due to lack of $$$), alternative solutions become viable and rewarding options.  Lots of long words there, but all of them are good.

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