Hack hack hack...

An open journal-- some of it written for you, but most of it is for me.

New Technology and Developer Happiness

What is the price worth paying to introduce a new technology into the stack? For our heavily junior team of 13 the price feels high. Our JS weapon of choice has been backbone and marionette. This toolset wasn’t determined by me. It was molded and implemented by a talented dev who might be a little short on leadership experience but has talent and intuition in spades. We’ve made some mistakes along the way, but the architectural choices he has made have served us well. Still about 8 months since its we push our first major feature set with marionette, the entire team has yet to be completely onboarded. We may be getting to the size where we can split our squad into front-end and back-end specialists, but to date that has never been discussed as a group. The fact that we all haven’t got there is a problem. It means that some of us aren’t capable to work on parts of the stack, which affects feature assignments and pairing.

This same dev is now suggesting that we introduce React to one aspect of the stack because of its rising popularity in the community. Our team spends a lot of time focusing on happiness at an individual level with 1 on 1s and quarterlies, but my priority isn’t individual happiness but rather team morale. At the moment, team morale is at an all-time high. Will introducing a new barrier to entry positively affect team morale because of its shiney? Will allowing the two JS leads on the team play with a new toy positively affect team morale? They both claimed in their last quarterly that their work brought them high levels of meaning and purpose and they found it challenging enough.

It is a tough call. I don’t have enough knowledge to know if this is truly a better tool or something new to learn for the sake of something new. How will we go about leveling up newcomers on two JS systems?