‘Make a decision and get doing’

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both

Robert Frost in his 1916 poem ‘The Road Not Taken’ foretold an increasingly important factor in IT development.  Nowadays there’s choices to be made from an ever increasing variety of tools.  Which Javascript library to use, which database to use?

The tools are so complex that it can seem a daunting decision.  If we make the wrong choice we could find ourselves in a deep dark wood.

Software architects nearly come to blows over their espressos and IT directors worry about all the people and training burning their budgets on what could be the wrong choice of ‘next best thing’.

What has to happen is that the customer is satisfied.  The bank has a new lending product to offer, the government has a new easy to use taxation collection method.  A decision has to be made.  The important thing is to make one and get doing.  Assuming you have done your homework, listened to advice, applied common sense, (e.g how well supported is it), you’ve done what you can.  Make the decision and get on with it.  You will need to be tenacious and keep going.  There will be difficulties no matter which framework or database you choose.  In the doing you will learn an awful lot. Not just how the library works and its shortcomings, but also what the customer actually wants.  You will also discover new features that excite the project and help propel things forward.

I recently came across a small project group that is working for a global company.  The client wanted to modernise and use some of the new tools and be more agile - sound familiar?  There had been a fair bit of architectural philosophising and a lot of indecision.  The group picked a hybrid framework and quickly created a device independent app which showed the client what is possible.  The framework may not be the one that makes it to production but the business gained valuable insight and experience relatively quickly.  At worst they have a super prototype.

‘Make a decision and get doing’ - Kevin Barnes 2017