The difference between derivation and innovation

time to read 3 min | 411 words

Occasionally people ask me what I think of tech X or tech Y. Usually it is something new that just came out and made a lot of noise in the blogshpere. My response is usually something along the line that: "I seen the promo, but it has the same plot as all others, so I skipped it."

It tends to surprise people.

Let me try to explain this with a bit more depth. The first problem that we have to deal with is that there is only so much that one can learn. As such, I have made a decision a while ago that I'll dedicate time to learn about new innovations, but will skip derivations until I actually need to use them.

There are a lot of new projects that are just another version of something that is out there, and in that case, they are not really interesting to me. If it is something new, it is interesting. If it is another variation, it isn't. If & when I need it, I'll learn the API and that would be about it. I am already familiar with the concept, so there shouldn't be an issue there.

I would have given an example here, but I have a long experience in examples back firing on me. Therefor, let us say that somebody come up with a new distributed queuing infrastructure. And they have Ajax support and it is the best new thing.

For myself, there are several issues with dedicating too much time to something like that. I already understand queues, and how to utilize them in my applications. There isn't anything conceptually new here. Therefor, I'll read the blurb, maybe read a post or two about the highlights, if they aren't copy & paste from the release announcement, and that would be it, until and when I need to use this.

Now, on the other hand, enough derivation is innovation. And small things can make a lot of difference. As a simple example, Binsor isn't really interesting in itself, it is yet another way to configure the container. The power that Binsor has gave way to a whole new way of thinking about configuring the container.

So yes, there is a chance to miss something important, but on the whole, I find that it is only after I actually used something for production, I can tell you what the real value is.