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Not Ready For Primetime?

One of the questions we hear about ‘HTML5′ time and again is “is it ready for primetime?”.

Technologies are always evolving—last decades’ hot hot thing is last year’s solid enterprise solution, and tomorrow’s legacy technology.

You might find it hard to believe, but in the middle 1990s, Java was hot. It was sexy. Seriously.

By the time a technology is ‘ready for primetime’ the interesting problems have largely been solved, the interesting applications of the technology explored. It’s solid and dependable and you won’t get fired for using it. There’ll be more job ads, typically wanting n+1 years of experience, where n = the number of years since the invention of the technology.
Ironically, it’s also likely to be far harder to get up to speed with the technology once it’s mature. There’s just so much infrastructure, so many patterns and practices to become familiar with before you can be considered competent.

Early adopters get the luxury of slowly ramping up and becoming competent over time. They get the opportunity to help shape the technology, and the practices associated with it. Of course, there’s always the risk that as an early adopter you’ll get caught up in the tornado, and crash into the chasm.

Some of us enjoy the security of a well established technology. Others enjoy the challenge and opportunity of an emerging technology. For the former, “not ready for primetime” is a downside. For the latter, it’s a positive.

Give me something that shows promise, but which isn’t ready for primetime. And when it is, well, you’ll be well and truly in demand.

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Three days of talks, two of them in the engineering room. Web Directions you have broken my brain.

Cheryl Gledhill Product Manager, BlueChilli