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Strategic Productivity–Ask the right question

Headline: Balance is required to chose the right approach when developing. If you only ask the question, “What is the fastest way for me to get this done?” your skills will become dull very quickly.

What’s the Right Question?

When someone is asked to produce some functionality there is a lot of inertia. Inertia from your current skill set. Perhaps inertia from an existing code base if your new functionality is to coexist with the older code. Thus, if you just ask the question, “What is the fastest way for me to get this done?” you’ll almost always pick what you know today rather than learn something new.

But doing it some new way isn’t always the right answer either.

So what is the right question? The closest I have been able to come is, “If I was equally proficient in the two, which one would I pick?” That at least removes the bias of being stuck only with what I know.

“If I was equally proficient in the two choices, which one would I pick?”

Now to answer that question you probably ask yourself many questions such as:

  • Which one is better? (by some measure)
  • Which one has the brighter future?
  • Which one will serve me better 2 years from now?

I’m sure there are many more.

Now this might actually be a hard question to answer. In part because you may not know enough about the two technologies. You may know one very well and know all its good points, but not the other. In that case, look for guidance from people that are proficient in both technologies. There’s usually someone out on the internet that is. Harvest their knowledge to make your choice.

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