What sets a great developer apart from the rest.

Eclipse or Web Storm? React or Dojo? Jenkins or Bamboo?

The world of software development is full of technology options. It is a world where change is the only constant. New IDEs, new frameworks, and new services abound weekly. It can be hard to keep up with the latest tech.

I’ve noticed that a lot developers are particularly picky about which tools and technologies they want to deal with. Increasingly developers are leaving companies because they don’t want to work with an older technology and want to work with something “sexy”.

The truth is — a great developer will work with whatever tools are available to them. If you previously worked in React and come to a company that is a Dojo shop - you’ll do magic with Dojo.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against innovation and new tooling. Constant improvements in technologies we use as developers can enable us to deliver more value, quicker. Who doesn’t want that?

However I find it unfortunate that so many developers constantly complain about how frustrated they are with an old technology stack they inherited. A great developer will use an old technology stack as an opportunity to practice creativity, to challenge their thinking. Sure, it’s easy to copy and paste an existing React component from a web library and to tweak it to look right on your site. But how about creating something that looks and feels modern, from scratch? How about creating a feature using a tech stack what was never meant to support that feature? That’s real craftsmanship.

So I challenge anyone out there who only wants to work in “latest and greatest” tech, expand your reach - stop complaining, learn whatever your company needs you to learn, and get excited about doing work in the tools that are given to you. That said, keep advocating for change, keep pushing the business forward, making a case for technology advancements that make sense.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
— Maya Angelou