Foolish is he who builds his house on an outdated tech stack

This was originally scribbled, in haste, in April 2015, where it has sat, to be published now without change.

Production works.

Production pays your wage.

Don’t fuck with Production.

In recent months I’ve been noticing that what I thought to be true is not necessarily the case. There is a certain belief within our industry that while ‘new is awesome’ new should also be feared, new is unknown, new is untested, whereas Live is – that – Live. We know what it does, we know its problems and its limitations, and more importantly it’s been proven and is currently responsible for everything that is going on.

Burning it all and starting again is simple when you have no vested interests, when you’re not making money, when you’re still looking for that breakthrough. But, once that has happened, you can’t be scared to re-write, to re-build, to retread old ground, and potentially kill the goose.

We work in an industry that proclaims desires to fail-fast, to pivot, to constantly improve, but is also terrified of bucking the tread due to our continual reliance, nay – obsession, with hockey sticks. We tweak, we change, we iterate, and we lurch based on hunches and hopes, on superstitions and gut-instincts towards what we believe will work, and if we’re fortunate enough to get the right thing at the right time we end up being one of the ten percent that ‘succeed’ we probably didn’t get there by a single plan, an single vision, and a single tech view that took us from launch to exit in 19 months.

Most of us have changed; most of us have had bad ideas; have wasted time, effort, and development resource; we’ve wasted money, hardware, Clouds, and careers on foolish notions and frankly terrible thoughts (I’d in fact put a serious amount of cash on the claim that virtually no one has ever got it right first time) and if, when, we do finally gain traction, we need to – eventually – undo all the errors we made.

A tech stack is exactly that, a stack.

Stacks are inherently disorganised, messy,