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Cover image for Why developers need to stop being "tech fanatics" πŸ™…πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ™…πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Why developers need to stop being "tech fanatics" πŸ™…πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ™…πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨
INTJ & knowledge hoarder 🧠 junior techie 🐣 blogging my πŸ’– out @ dev.to & technoglot.com πŸ’» lifelong learner πŸ€“ experimenter πŸ§ͺ anime-lover 😍
・Updated on ・6 min read

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

After a bit of a radio silence, a thunderstorm in my head, and a ton of self-doubt, I'm back with my second blog post.

This may or may not go unnoticed, but here goes nothing.

🚨 Disclaimer: the opinions expressed below are my own. I cannot be held liable for any offense you incur from reading this blog post. Do proceed with caution.

Story time... πŸ“–

In the little time I have been in the tech field, I have come to take notice of some odd behavior. That is to say the least. Some individuals in the tech space, be it web devs, software engineers or any other kind of dev or engineer, act like ruthless fanatics and cultists.

Allow me to explain myself. Have you ever been on YouTube and seen a super-click-baity video title accompanied by an equally click-baity video thumbnail? You know, that stuff that says how React is dead and Flutter has no future or Angular is unicorn πŸ’©? Or even those that say Python is sooo much better than R (nope, not the letter from the alphabet. Read that again.)? Yes, yes! I know your memory is buzzing right now! This rings a bell or two or even three!πŸ””

The mystery ensues... πŸ•΅πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ•΅πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Let us dissect this marvel further, shall we? So, you got the click-bait video title and thumbnail. Check βœ…. Now we have the lovely presenter with an attitude; the person who runs the show. Check βœ….

One minute into the video, and it's a cold-bath of negativity πŸ₯Ά. Such bliss. This person is literally destroying the tech they are talking about. Truck loads of negativity, zero objectivity whatsoever. It's just them and their over spiced opinion. They tried a SINGLE (meaning just one) framework or library, and are super gung-ho (excited) about it. And they swear by it like mad fellows. "HAIL REACT!" "LONG LIVE JAVASCRIPT!" "BURN ANGULAR AT THE STAKE!" "FLUTTER IS TRASH!" "PYTHON FOR THE WIN!" And so they continue chanting their weird, cultist chants.

Sounds familiar? You know it does! But where's the catch though? What's the bottom-line? Why the fuss? πŸ€”

The root of all evil 😈

Let us now get to the bottom of this. But first, a deep breath.

At this point you may be wondering what the point of this rant is. Behold, for I shall now spell it out for you.

The problem with these kind of devs/engineers acting like cultists and fanatics is that they are not being of help to the tech space. Matter of fact, they are "teaching" their followers how to develop a crappy mindset. Not actual role-model material if you ask me. Shame on the followers though, for not trying the tech themselves and deciding for themselves if it is worth their time or not. These fanatic devs need to stop their fanaticism because they are tainting the newcomers. (By the way, I am by no means attempting to tamper with their freedom of speech. I am merely suggesting that they use their voice for more positive things. That's all.)

Another reason why these cultist devs and engineers are so sucky and need to stop, is because they roast an open-source library or framework or whatever, instead of contributing to it in order to make it better. Better for themselves and better for the entire community. They have the power to do so. But nope. They just trash talk the thing without mercy instead. No wonders the saying goes; talk is cheap. Know what's even cheaper than that? Whining. Complaining. It's talk too, but the cheapest of 'em all.

Good grief, you want more reasons don't you? Since you are not convinced yet, here's another reason.

Furthermore, what good does it do to spread JavaScript on everything like its peanut butter. I mean, have you ever seen someone paint a wall with a hammer? Send proof my way if you have. I'll wait. ⏳

Now, let me translate what I just said into human language. Stop being a tech fanatic. Why? Because the one technology, library, framework yada yada that you are madly obsessed with, though great, ain't the one and only choice out there. Period.

Not all technologies, libs and frameworks are good for ALL use cases and applications. Yep, read that again. So, please stop making yourself look silly. Don't use one thing to solve all problems. And don't advocate for that thing like it is a silver bullet. However, there is nothing wrong with having a preference. You may love one thing more than the other, and that's fine. You may have more experience working with X than you do with Y. Also fine. You don't like pineapple on your pizza...πŸ• UNFORGIVABLE! (Just kidding. You do you.) The one thing that is truly revolting however, is when someone decides to trash talk a technology, library etc. they never used before. How do they even do that? I have no idea.

In short, see things for what they are. If a hammer πŸ”¨ was made to smash nails into a wall, use it for that. But for painting that same wall, please use another tool. I suggest you use a paint brush or a paint roller.

BONUS friendly reminder: Don't compare 🍎s to 🍊s. Another trait that tech fanatics and cultists have is that they LOVE comparing things to each other. It doesn't even matter if the things they are trying to compare with each other are dissimilar or built for a different purpose altogether. They compare them nonetheless. I have seen this happen countless of times. Libraries being compared to fully-fledged frameworks. It's peanuts, I swear.

TL;DR πŸ₯±

Lovely people on the other side of the screen, thanks for sticking with me for this long. Here's the TL;DR you have been desperately looking for. Be liberated.

❗❗❗ TL;DR: Stop romanticizing and obsessing over a single library or framework just because you love it oh-so much. Yes, you are allowed to profess your mad love for React and co. That ain't it. The problem starts when you go on a rampage and cancel every other tech out there. You aren't helping. Not the community, nor your followers. You aren't even helping yourself. You are being close minded. Please, please, please. I beg you. See tech for what it is; a vehicle to take you from A to B. A means to an end. Dare to try new libraries and frameworks. You tried React Native, why not give Flutter a go? Used Python all your life? What about looking into R next? Step out of your comfort zone. Say sayonara to the cult. Choose for yourself what suits you best. Try the framework or library or tech for yourself, before roasting it for no reason. Be polite. Be objective. But above all else: if you have nothing good to say, don't say anything at all. -MIC DROP-

Final words πŸ‘‹πŸ»

Lastly, if you have the power to contribute to open-source (you know, you can program. You are essentially a superhero. Trust me), please do so. You can have your opinions, but please give those opinions a home, a foundation to ground themselves on. Don't look like a fool online, spewing negativity about a library or technology that you haven't even tried yet. You are sooooo much better than that.

Thanks so much for reading, let me know what you think in the comments down below! Please keep it civil. Let us have a valuable discussion if possible.

Code on πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’»πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’» and may the open-source always be with you!




Still here? Catch me on Twitter or find me elsewhere! If you like my blogs and are feeling generous, kindly consider to πŸ‘‡πŸ»




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Discussion (32)

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egilhuber profile image
erica (she/her)

I'd say YouTube, especially at this point in its lifespan, is the place with the least productive discussion going on. While there are good videos out there, the ones with clickbait titles, loud thumbnails, and a person that seems more like a tech influencer than anything else are mostly for making money. I imagine if you ran into a lot of these folks at a conference, they'd have much more toned down opinions. But polarity and contrarianism are what gets clicks, sponsorships, and ad revenue. If anything, they want you to disagree. We've all seen how fast incorrect and/or polarizing content spreads like wildfire across different platforms.

I've pretty much parted ways with YouTube at this point - most of the genuinely good content gets buried by algorithms, and high quality discussions are historically nonexistent on the platform.

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miguelmj profile image
MiguelMJ

That's on point. The problem is that these people turn the technical into something sensational. Algorithms will give them visibility, because that is more profitable. That's why we have to support quality content creators and do for them what algorithms won't do.

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨ Author

That's exactly my "issue". People doing things for the likes, clicks etc. It's alright though, that's how they earn their money. Just don't feel as though it helps the community too much. But that's how I view it.

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨ Author

Hi @erica , wow, that's a solid comment right there! I have to agree with you here. It is indeed money that drives these kind of videos (at least most of the times). Which is sad. And it is as you say, good content is buried alive by those mad algorithms. It is disheartening to see how polarized we are as humans in pretty much every single aspect of our lives. If anything I'd thought I would add my two cents and maybe, just maybe, end this ongoing war in the tech space! πŸ˜‚

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stevewhitmore profile image
Steve Whitmore

I see this a lot in the Linux community especially, not just software devs. I think it's because people in tech are generally smart and passionate about what they do. That passion isn't always controlled and it comes out as "Ugh Ubuntu is for newbie losers. Real pros use Gentoo." or "VSCode is Microsoft garbage. I refuse to put that proprietary trash on my machine. Emacs for life".

I think passion coupled with peer pressure drives this kind of mindset and behavior. We love something and we want to be accepted by others who do as well, so we pick a side and blindly throw spears at the other.

It's folks who realize just what you said above that get it - it's all good. Like VSCode on a MacBook? Great! Prefer writing everything with Vim on Fedora? Awesome! Do you write everything in NotePad on Windows? Whatever floats your boat! The important thing is our love of creating things and using cool tools to do it.

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨ Author

Sometimes that passion really turns things sour! It's alright for people to have their preferences, but to polarize and be polarized by them...that's something else.

Ugh Ubuntu is for newbie losers

You know, that kind of talk towards beginners truly infuriates me. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with being a beginner. Yet some people appear to develop some selective amnesia and forget where they themselves got started. Beginners should be guided through these turbulent waters with patience and compassion. Or so I believe. I want to give my best shot at changing this phenomenon.

Thank you for your addition to this conversation, I truly appreciate it! 😊

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nefomemes profile image
Nefomemes

"VSCode is Microsoft garbage. I refuse to put that proprietary trash on my machine. Emacs for life".

Dang, VSCode has an open source version (like Chrome have Chromium), and the closed source version is just the open source version + brand trademarks + opt-outable telemetry + better Microsoft & GitHub login)

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kodekrash profile image
James Linden

Well said @technoglot .

As a mostly reformed 'fanatic / tech cultist', I have to admit this is way too common, and for many years, I contributed to it.

The change for me was when I started to realize that the mental processes behind being a tech cultist are very similar to those behind homophobia, sexism, racism, etc. Being open, seeing other perspectives, and understanding that all things can work together is a much more freeing state. This is true in other areas of life, so why not in tech?

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨ Author

Thanks for adding to the conversation @kodekrash ! Happy to hear you left the cult 😁

the mental processes behind being a tech cultist are very similar to those behind homophobia, sexism, racism, etc.

That's a good point you are raising here. In my interpretation it makes sense, since these mental process are enhanced to effectively polarize and alienate others. It's as though we love to think we are always right and never in the wrong. It almost feels like a fight for superiority and that really defeats the purpose to me.

Being open, seeing other perspectives, and understanding that all things can work together is a much more freeing state. This is true in other areas of life, so why not in tech?

Wholeheartedly agree! Keeping an open mind and being open to other perspectives is something that works in our benefit.

Once again, thanks for sharing your thoughts! πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

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decentralizuj profile image
decentralizuj • Edited

Every single line of code I learned on GitHub. I remember I found some good Rails tutorial just before rails 6 go out. It had a link to YouTube. First video after was :"Why rails is dead". Just an hour later, rails 6 go out with amazing stuff. So I decided to look for some videos on sites that teach you, not on youtube. Too much hate, and we're all different. This is the best post I read... For a long time!

P.S. Learn by code, not by video. My opinion. And how it happen on YT? People like me, who do not like to work with JS, want to get more followers, but they are not smart to talk how something is good, so let's talk how something's is bad (even if its not).

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨ Author

Glad you enjoyed this little "rant"! πŸ˜‚ That was a good thing to do, ditching YouTube. After all, some youtubers choose to make content that makes them the most money (the click-baity titles that everyone hates but still clicks on) instead of what they are truly passionate about. There's the underrated youtubers though, that make AWESOME content. They keep it nice and objective, while still having their opinions.

P.S. Learn by code, not by video. My opinion.

That's a good piece of advice there.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, by the way. I appreciate it! 😁

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decentralizuj profile image
decentralizuj

I like quality discussions. This is a rare place for that, other sites are FB-like(not use), or STACK-like (quality content, but no discussions ). I started this account only for that, to talk and cooperate on tech content. Wish u all the best, keep writing good stuff!

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨ Author

I like quality discussions.

Same here! Even if it means people will disagree with my points 😁

Wish u all the best, keep writing good stuff!

Thanks for the kind words @decentralizuj ! πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

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miguelmj profile image
MiguelMJ • Edited

This sounds like a specific thing about YouTube and Twitter "tech influencers". I agree that these people don't add anything to the community except toxicity and are usually a waste of time. However, these people are not exclusive of tech communities and appear in every other place on the Internet. So, I think that the problem is not that the exist (they will forever), but that beginners are turning to them to learn.

Also, I honestly don't think that any person with real experience can be fanatic of any technology, because sooner or later you will face its particular limitations. So these people are not only bad to beginners but somewhat beginners themselves.
A different topic is enthusiasm, that is common and not necessarily toxic. In this regard I have to say that your title sounds unfair... It would seem like developers need to stop being enthusiast about technologies they love. I know that's not what you are saying, but what I interpreted when I clicked it.

There exist lots of communities and resources that provide good courses, tutorials, documentation and reviews that are perfectly suited for beginners. That is where they should be going, not some clickbaity video about "Why Python is the only language you will ever need" or "Learn webdev in 10 minutes with Node". I covered a related topic in Are you going to learn that? - Ambiguity of "Programming".

What we can do about it is to raise the online presence of good content, support good online teachers and share and promote actually useful material.

Edit: When I say real experience I don't mean work experience, I mean having learned at least two or three languages, tried different disciplines and/or contributed to open source.

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨ Author

Yes, this mostly targets those (sometimes self-proclaimed) influencers. But also the average joes and janes that literally advocate for a single tool or technology, cancelling every other. And yes, that is not exclusive to the tech space, but I had to narrow the topic down a bit and keep it somewhere close to home. πŸ˜… Also, please let us NOT mix tech fanatics with enthusiasts. To me a tech enthusiast is a person open to trying new technologies, tools, libraries, frameworks and the like (that is broadly speaking. Could go into more detail but that feels like a new blog post altogether). They will try them first and then possibly provide a balanced opinion on what they liked and what they did not. Tech fanatics on the other hand, as I explained, are more the type (I do not want to generalize though) to NOT try different tools, frameworks and the like, but still feel ENTITLED to criticize something they never tried. That I can't wrap my head around. Lastly, I wholeheartedly agree with you where you say that good content creators need to be supported in every way possible. To that I'd add that beginners must also sharpen their mindsets and filter the good content from the sensational content (which is not bad by definition, but usually does not really portray or convey the presenters ACTUAL opinions). Also, thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I'll process your feedback and improve future posts, little by little. 😁

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miguelmj profile image
MiguelMJ

Completely agree <3

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simbiosis profile image
SIMBIOSIS

Well, Amelia, I have seen that behavior in YouTube and believe it is a money-hunt driven behavior. Said that I will add that this behavior is also seen out of the YouTube scene.
Through years I have seen SUPER FANS of whatever technology insulting the rest of technologies as well as their followers. For example, there is the almost epic and legendary struggle among OS followers: LINUX'S THE BEST, WINDOWS SUCKS, IOS IS HEAVEN. But that's another thing.
I evenly use Photoshop or Gimp, Illustrator or Inkscape, VS code or Notepad++ or Geany. It does not matter at all because its just tied up to the OS in which I am working at the moment.

But when it comes to talk about technologies, as a developer I might say that I completely agree with you, to paint a wall you must use a painting tool, not a hammer. But, even when there are more than two tools to paint that wall, the reasonable behavior for me is to have tried most of them in the past just because when it comes to the specific wall you're trying to paint, it is a realistic thought to consider that one of them all is going to be the best choice to paint that particular wall. Of course, you can try the tool you know the best but it will carry loss of time and maybe quality lacks and sorrow upon you. If you are painting a perfectly neat and plain surface it will be the same to use a brush or a roller. But if you are painting a very rough wall then it will be a better choice to use a spray gun instead. Isn't it?
Then, out of the YouTube scenario, and even within too, to negatively talk about any tool at all is, first of all and besides all your considerations, a direct attack against your fellow developers who worked so hard in the creation of that tool for the leverage and welfare of the entire ecosystem. It is a harmful and unforgivable offense on all us. And making money out of it is not a valid justification, it is worst instead.

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨ Author

a direct attack against your fellow developers who worked so hard in the creation of that tool for the leverage and welfare of the entire ecosystem

This was basically what I was thinking when writing this rant. And as you say, justifying that kind of behavior because it happens to bring you money, is quite lame. I prefer people to be objective about certain matters. Have all the preferences you want, but acknowledge that both sides have their pros and cons. It's as simple as that, really.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this matter! πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

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kovarpavel profile image
Pavel Kovar

Agree. I also spotted this quite a lot and not only on YT, even in developer companies in watercooler discussion you can hear these "evangelists".

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨ Author

Oh boy, that sure turns the mood sour...πŸ˜ͺ Guess we're gonna have to learn how to live with it!

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kovarpavel profile image
Pavel Kovar

Well, we can always be patient and explain to them that this is not the way how to approach technology.

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨ Author

That's the spirit! πŸ™ŒπŸ»

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goddard profile image
Ryein Goddard

Talking trash about things is how it improves. Also most these libraries are maintained by large companies who will drop the library completely if they find a better solution. I don't think we have to limit talking trash about something because we aren't personally making it better. I mean if we had an example of youtube personalities and their production we could say why aren't you making youtube videos instead of trashing them? You see the logic? Don't be so scared of negativity. Often times negative moments is when we grow and get better.

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨ Author

Feedback helps (feedback does not equal trashing), that I know. Contributions to open-source projects are helpful too. But nagging and taking no action seems counterproductive to me. To me, nagging and trashing something do not per se amount to constructive criticism. Also, I never said people have to limit their opinions if they are not making something better(I do get your point there though). What I meant all along is that being so fanatic about a technology and canceling every other technology out there is of no help. Tools are there to be used, some will get the job done nicely, others not so much. Some tools will be better than others in some scenarios while other will fall short mostly everywhere. And trust me, negativity is not something I'm scared off. I believe that criticism is totally fine and necessary, so long it is constructive and objective.

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goddard profile image
Ryein Goddard

In sports trash talk is a fun way to interact. In the software world you can trash talk things. It is fun. I enjoy it. I agree a tool is a tool and you should use the best tool for the job, but having a favorite tool that you think is better than another is good. It allows you to analyze the competition and figure out which to use. This is basically a form of debate. Maybe not for everyone, but a valid format I think. For example I think React is awful. It is a horrible tool for the job, but Javascript developers love it. Personally I think something like QML and Python is far easier to pick up and use and has the paradigm of signals and slots over Redux, or the newer style of hooks which is basically a simplification to their previous methodology. Then we have Svelete which is obviously superior to all other Javascript frameworks I have seen. I see this in younger people all the time. They see people having an argument and just assume it is a bad thing. People argue and sometimes it is productive. Being blunt and having a good jab at something feels good and it really helps some people that don't converse in the same way you might enjoy. All I am saying is everyone isn't you and maybe it doesn't need to change to suite you. Maybe you should just ignore things you don't like and move on. I am always practicing ignoring things I don't like. It is actually a calming thing in this over abundance of information world where everyone is jockeying for recognition, fame, or money. Any way, much love in how ever you decide to live your life.

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨ Author

"but having a favorite tool that you think is better than another is good" - I agree. That's exactly what I said somewhere in the post too. I do not fancy running away from things I do not like or that do not align with my views. I think it is important to expose (not overly expose) yourself to views different than your own. That is how you grow and get to see the flip side of the coin. All in all, thanks for your comments and for putting in the time to share your views. I appreciate it! πŸ‘πŸ»

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devfasttt profile image
Devfasttt

So very true!

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨ Author

Thanks everyone for all the comments so far! I know this is a highly-debatable topic, but I'm happy we can have a conversation around this. Thank you for your insights and for sharing your thoughts below, you rock! πŸ™ŒπŸ»

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siddharthshyniben profile image
Siddharth

The last words and the superhero thing made my day. Thanks!

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨ Author

Glad to hear that and you're welcome! 😊

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lucasandre profile image
Lucas AndrΓ©

meh

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨ Author

What is meh exactly supposed to mean in this context?