Haters Gunna Hate; Why do we denigrate certain technologies and people who use them?

The Playa Haters as seen on Dave Chappelle’s Show

“Don’t hate the player, hate the game” — Ice T

Why do we often love to hate (especially with schadenfreude when something goes wrong)?

I see this time and time again, but often in the world of technology. Engineers make value judgements quickly based on what technology is being used.

God forbid you are building your latest Web site in PHP. Giggling at the people who wrote .NET. Rails? Scales? Visual Basic!

And then you get to the micro level. Did you use jQuery or Prototype? Backbone or Ember?

We love to make value judgements based on some tiny pieces of information. I mean, it is just so much easier to have that level of abstraction versus having to actually understand the context!

It feels great to build a class system and look down on the lower classes.

I have to admit, I have to fight impulses at times. I jump to conclusions. The thing is, why do we have to hate so much?

It isn’t that you shouldn’t care about what tools you are using. As much as I feel like we should care most about how we are affecting the lives of people via our products, that doesn’t mean that the tools don’t matter.

The tools are important as they:

#1 The right tools get the highest quality experience to the customer as fast as possible

#2 The right tools can feel right to you, which enables #1.

Ruby felt right with my brain. I enjoy other languages, but Ruby felt right in a way that Java (and other languages and platforms) never did. Since I can acknowledge that for myself, can I see the potential that others may connect with other choices that feel right to them?

I find it particularly interesting when people argue about back end technology. Truly, who cares what is spitting out the HTML for that web page.

When it gets to be closer to the experience I can see more reason to bemoan. If you recognize that hybrid tech that truly sucks…. I get it. That Swing app that is pausing all the time for GC. This is affecting you as a user in very real terms.

TDD is dead

Another good example recently was the big kerfuffle when DHH got folks up in arms over a debate on the merits of TDD.

It is fine to spark a conversation by pushing the boundaries. This can be a good firestarter, but whenever we get to absolutes and mix up “I don’t think this makes sense at all for my needs” with “no one should ever want to do this and I don’t think there is any value in this at all” I get concerned. There are some extremes where we come together as a society (You can’t murder someone randomly), but the level of arguments that we get into over petty things is just that… petty.

Music to my ears

I relate this to music. I am not a huge fan of certain genres such as rap, punk, or heavy metal. Does this mean I should:

  • Think those genres are lower?
  • Can’t appreciate that others may enjoy them (given the data that shows that they DO ENJOY THEM)?
  • Need to go out of my way to find those people and tell them they suck?

Life is too short. Be a supporter not a hater, or at the very least ignore those worlds and focus on where you can make an impact.

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