What are you in for?

time to read 3 min | 516 words

There is a level of tension between what a developer wants and what the client wants. As a developer, I want to use the coolest technologies, the freshest methodologies, to be so far on the bleeding edge that they have an ER dedicated just for my team.

As a client? I want to be as conservative as possible, for the most part, I don’t care for new technologies unless they have some significant feature that I can’t get anywhere else. I value speed of development over having the devs geek out.

I spoke about before, the tendency of developers to start building castles in the sky in favor of getting things done. I call it Stealing From Your Client, because you are introducing additional things that aren’t necessary, won’t bring additional value or just plain make things hard.

For example, in just about any project that I have seen, putting an IRepository in front of an OR/M or putting an IRepository in front of RavenDB was a mistake. It created no value and actually made things harder to use.

Other pet peeves of mine was raised in a discussion about architecture in a recent lecture that I gave. One of the participants asked me for my opinion about CQRS. But when I asked him for what sort of an application, he answer was somewhere along the lines of: “I want to build my next application using CQRS and I like to hear your opinion.”

This sort of thinking drives me bananas. (Editor note: That sounds like a very painful thing, and I am not sure why I would do that, but it appears that this is an English expression that fit this location in the post).

Dictating the architecture of an application, before you even have an application? Hell, making any decisions about the application (including what technologies to use) before you actually have a good idea about what is going on is a Big No! No!

Here is the most important piece of this post. For the most part, all those cool technologies that you hear about? They aren’t relevant for your scenario. And even if you are convinced that they are a perfect fit, there is a cost associated with them, which you have to consider before attempting them. Especially if this is the first time that you are using something.

The really annoying part? Most people who come up with these exciting new technologies spent an inordinate amount of their time saying not how to build apps using them, but when you shouldn’t. Evans’ DDD book quite explicitly state that DDD shouldn’t be your default architecture, that it has a cost and should be carefully considered. The industry as a whole (me included) just ignored him and started to write DDD applications.

Greg Young just lectured in Oredev about why you shouldn’t use CQRS. For much the same reason.

At the end, we are there to provide value to the customer. Yes, it is cool to work on the newest thing on the block, but that is why you have hobby projects.