The thrill of diving into new technology is like an adrenaline shot for any software engineer. As someone who enjoys tinkering with new tools, I'm always eager to explore the latest and greatest. But wearing the hat of a technical lead and a university professor in computer science with a 21-year career in software development changes the game. It's like having an internal debate between an angel and a devil: Should you adopt this promising new technology or be cautious?
Early adopters, especially in the open-source community, are crucial catalysts for innovation. They help technologies evolve through their valuable contributions. But when it comes to corporate adoption, we must shift gears. Corporations need mature, battle-tested solutions.
Take Node.js, for example. It's been a 14-year journey for it to reach its current mature state. Deno, around since 2018, is still considered somewhat obscure. Bun is an even newer kid on the block and far from production-ready. Its potential may be promising, but resilience, sustained development, and vision are key for its long-term viability.
To carve out a niche in the corporate world, Bun needs more than just promising features. It needs a vibrant community, widespread industry adoption, and enough momentum to host events and generate buzz. Only then could we even start to think of it as a serious contender to Node.js.
Another challenge is balancing performance with developer-friendliness. As you build abstractions to make life easier for developers, you risk diluting the tool's performance and efficiency. Maintaining that balance while sticking to the initial vision is no small feat.
The choice of the Zig programming language for Bun is another intriguing design decision. Who's going to learn Zig just to contribute? Why not go for something more commonly adopted, like Rust? It raises questions about the future talent pool and whether this choice aligns with corporate considerations.
Even as I wish Bun all the success, only time will tell if it will stand the test of time, especially given that other solutions like Just.js, Cobra, and Hermes already outperform it.
So while the pace of technological evolution is exhilarating, it also makes it incredibly challenging to maintain consistent development and vision for new products. Before Bun—or any emerging technology—becomes viable for corporate adoption, it must check numerous boxes, from community support to feature stability. As much as we'd like to dive head-first into every new technology, the devil is in the details, and those details demand a discerning eye.