Getting caught up in trivia

I just finished reading an informative article by Peter Coffee on why it is important for technologists not to get overly caught up in the coolness of technology such that they overlook the needs of their constituents, the business users.

In particular, one paragraph in his article stands out:

Arguments about one programming language versus another tend to focus on power and elegance, when the only real advantage that matters is a greater or lesser likelihood of producing more correct code in less time. Arguments about Windows versus Macintosh devolve into accusations of who stole what from whom, instead of which system makes it easier for more people to do more of what they want to do at less cost and with less support.

Any time we forget the real purpose behind a deployment, whether it be an application, or a platform, or a networked environment, we run the risk that we will alienate the very people who are supposed to be benefitting from the technology.

Sometimes there are gains to be had with upgrades that only streamline administration or possess some other back-end improvement, but in general, it is important to make sure that deployed technology has tangible benefits for the folks who ultimately pay for it.

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