The framework rat race...

Last Update: 26.06.2018. By Jens in Developers Life | Learning | Newsletter

one of the favorite pet peeves of us developers. Learning is fun, so learning new frameworks is fun too. Or subjectively mandatory for getting a new job or better projects. Moving from one framework to another makes you feel better. You learn, you improve and eventually, you get a higher paycheck or a better rate if you freelance. It always seems that people using framework X or language Y get better paid.

So, devs move out and learn the stack which pays the highest today. And tomorrow that’s out, so they move on to the next generation. The nex hype stack. Repeating and repeating and repeating…

Honestly, it can be fun and cool for learning. In the old days, I played around a lot with different frameworks. Understanding how they work and what problems they solve better. How I could apply this newly gained knowledge to my work. But I did not follow hypes. I am allergic to them. When anybody way moving to Perl, I moved to TCL. Sure, I was in some, but that was work enforced. If you got the choice between doing Lotus Notes or Java you go with Java :-)

However, it is a difference between learning some new framework once a while to improve your skills, and following the pack in the hope of better salary. In the latter, you enter a rat race and it is almost always a race to the bottom. Sure, at the beginning of a hype, if you are early enough into it, you can stack your claim and enjoy a good ride for some time. Maybe up to 5 years, depends a lot on the hype and how much momentum it gets. Nonetheless, after some time the market is saturated with skilled devs and the prices will plumb to the bottom.

So, your great salary or hourly rate will go downhill. This skill is becoming a commodity. What many devs usually do in this situation, is moving on to the next Hype. And starting again with a new race.

The funny and not so funny thing is, it is essentially the same race. A race you can’t win.

But we don’t see that, partly because of the race using our lust for learning. We love learning new things. We see it as a chance to learn and make some more money. Not as the game it actually is. If you want to enter it, you need to learn new skills. Skills outside of tech.

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