It’s not about a specific technology dying…

Déjà Vu

History repeats itself, over and over again. ASP.NET MVC came out. WebForms was dead. Entity Framework came out, Linq2Sql was dead. Now the same thing is happening with Silverlight*.

Of course, every time this happens, we’ll immediately see reactions from those that have very high interests vested into the technology. It would be silly to think otherwise. If I’m a company or individual that has been promoting a technology for years, what else am I going to say?

Tomorrow some other technology will be deprecated and again we’ll see the same thing happen.

[Edited to add clarifcation] *When I talk about Silverlight in this context, I'm referring to it's use for Web Development

 

What does dead mean?

 

When it comes to technology, I think there’s an overall consensus that dead means there will be little to no significant improvements in the technology. This means there will probably be only a few more bug fixes coming out and some minor feature here and there.

Taking this into account, what does dead mean to you?

Need the competitive edge: Building software that your business relies on to be competitive? Technology can play an important part in this.

Need to hire people: People hear about a technology dying, there’s less incentive in learning it. This means less offers on the market. Harder to find people.

Need training: Less demand. Less offers for training.

Need to find a new job: Less demand for a dying technology.

 

It’s all a chain reaction. But every cloud has a silver lining, The market now becomes a niche. Do you know how well some Delphi and Cobol consultants are paid? If all you care about is the money, this could be a good thing too. This also doesn't necessarily imply that you need to stop what you're doing or port applications to the *next best thing*. Evaluate the situation. What are you advantages/disadvantages?

 

Lessons to learn…

We’re in a profession where things move fast. Technologies, languages, frameworks come and go. If you’ve been around long enough, you’ll soon realize that it doesn’t matter what language, framework or technology you use, everything has it’s place and time.

Lessons to learn here:

– Don’t jump on board the next hype immediately, no matter who tells you it’s great. Nowadays people get fired even if they pick IBM.

– Don’t limit yourself to learning just one technology or putting all your eggs in one basket. Whether you’re a consultant, trainer or a developer or company writing software, it’s too risky.

– Don’t blindly follow.Open up your mind.

 

And remember, it will happen again.

7 thoughts on “It’s not about a specific technology dying…

  1. Jason Young

    All of this just reminds me of the crazy arguments that people have regarding which console is best. No one wants to believe they have made the wrong choice. In terms of getting to know other technologies you are correct, however, you do not practice what you preach, I know you have never written a Silverlight application. Also, have you checked the job market, none of the banks use HTML5 compliant browsers internally, they are mostly still on IE6, Silverlight is very popular for internal applications.

    Reply
  2. hadi

    @Jason,

    I was working with Silverlight in the early days when most interop had to be done using JavaScript. I’ve also worked with MVVM when there was only one blog post about it and hardly anyone even hard about the pattern. And I think both of us know that’s accurate since we were working at the same company. I’ve worked enough with WPF/MVVM to understand what there is behind it and I’ve seen sufficiently the code and projects you were working on with Silverlight and saw the pain you were going through, so I’m not sure, where exactly you get the I don’t practice what I preach from.

    Regarding the job market, it would be insane for us to think that the reaction is going to be immediate.

    But despite this, the post is not about a certain technology. It’s not about promoting HTML 5 (neither was this nor was my previous post about what I had against Silverlight).
    It’s about knowing that things move on and learning to adapt.

    Reply
  3. Stefan

    I guess me sticking to Delphi wasn’t such a bad decision after all. My business is doing good, and I’m still having a competitive edge. While everybody else was chasing new technologies, I was actually writing code and releasing products.

    Reply
  4. Stefan

    Over the last few years, I decided to ignore all the books related to WinForms, LINQ, and Silverlight. I did buy one objective-C book. Best investment I ever made. Now I’m doing Delphi on the Windows side, and Xcode on the Mac. Nobody question my judgement ever again.

    Reply
  5. hadi

    @John

    I’m well aware Delphi has currently released XE and I’m sure it’s doing well, but you cannot deny me the tremendous downturn the technology has had. I didn’t group it with Cobol to say it’s equivalent in terms of state, but in relation to technologies that have been around and will continue to be around.

    In regard to your disappoint in me, I apologize, but then again people were really disappointed with me when I said you shouldn’t start a new project using VCL.NET (and when I said that, ourselves had a very high investment in the technology). And we all know how that turned out.

    Reply
  6. Miguel Sierra

    Completaly agree. In software industry it’s better to have the constat motivation to learn new technology than the platform specialitation, but it’s moré important the capacity to evaluate new technology and to see the really benefits that will have in an speocific project or product.

    Reply
  7. John Kaster

    I was quite surprised to see you grouping Delphi and COBOL together. What a disappointing and inaccurate attempt at a sound bite. You are clearly very out of touch with how Delphi is doing.

    Reply

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