Neal Ford of Thoughtworks gave a though provoking presentation this weekend at CISS. He spoke about technology radar in his presentation entitled “Build your own Technology Radar.” This makes a lot of sense to someone who has seen a lot of hot new things come and go. It is always hard to pick technology that is going to take off. With over ten years of Java development I have heard of many things that were going to take off. In the Java space there is a relentless supply of open source projects.
Neal described how Thoughtworks creates their technology radar a couple times a year. They look at Techniques, Tools, Platforms, Languages and Frameworks. They rank these in categories of Adopt, Trial, Assess and Hold. Neal pointed out that this is taken as a snapshot in time and they can make mistakes on this.
Neal moved into a more applicable technology radar for each developer. We all need to look at our current skills and see where we can improve. He spoke of a litmus test for what could be the next big thing. We can use test-ability, integratability, learnability as well as the amount of external references to a technology. He moved onto techniques to evaluate them with technology spikes. So we choose a new technology and time-box 2 hours to play with the tools and see what we find. This type of discovery can be very helpful. You can quickly learn how intuitive some new software is by getting your hands dirty. We can all be fooled by great marketing but using a new language can give realistic performance.
What new items are on your technology radar?