The tech tool carousel

I recently described what I call “the carousel” to some fellow nerds so I thought I’d write about it.

I’m a lot of years into this web thing and I’ve seen a lot of “game changers” come and go. It’s all very cyclical and predictable.

I also have unbearably high standards for the work I put out too, so chasing new tools—like a dog chases a butcher who has a string of sausages—is highly incompatible with that. Because of this, I put new tools on the carousel and keep an eye on them, periodically.

The carousel is like one of those on a game show that shows the prizes that can be won. The tool will sit on there until I think it’s gone through enough maturing to actually be a viable tool for me, the team I’m working with and the clients I’m working for. React, for example, spent well over 7 years on that carousel.

It’s a really useful strategy because some tools stay on the carousel and then I take them off because they did in fact, turn out to be useless after all. Gatsby is a good example of that.

The unbearable amount of hype that tool generated was a bit of a tell-tail sign of its uselessness. So often, the most hyped tools turn out to be complete shit in real-world scenarios. By letting the most evangelical people get all that out of the way while it sits on my carousel saves me a lot time and frankly, energy.

You see, dear reader, I in fact do not enjoy coding. I enjoy what coding empowers me to do, but the process of writing silly little words, numbers and punctuation is not a pleasurable experience. I just want to get the thing that coding outputs. I only started coding because so often, developers—as I hypothesised—would build my design work with their eyes closed, so I learned HTML, CSS and JavaScript out of spite, mainly.

This is why the carousel exists and not many tools make it off. Some do then go back on. Tailwind is a good example of that. I used it a few years ago on a client project and found it to be near-useless. But, now, I’m using it on most projects because that thing does a damn good job of only generating the utility classes I need to finely season my existing HTML and CSS. It’s just a shame it’s most avid fans (and creator) are such unbearable dickheads.

Anyway, I’m prompted to write this because Remix and Astro get all the hype now and are enjoying their ride on the carousel. Will they be a Gatsby or and Eleventy (which had the shortest ride on the carousel in history because it’s so good)? Only time will tell.

👋 Hello, I’m Andy and this is my little home on the web.

I’m the founder of Set Studio, a creative agency that specialises in building stunning websites that work for everyone and Piccalilli, a publication that will level you up as a front-end developer.

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