The Joys of New Technology

01 April 2014 by Mathias Meyer

Just recently I told you to disregard new and technology unknown to you when you're building a product and a business from scratch. This is quite important, as in the uncertain beginnings of a new product, it's better to be safe than sorry when choosing technology, as long as its future is uncertain. Whether we like it or not, most products' and businesses' futures are, especially when they're just starting out.

However, I just recently experienced myself what happens when you're not exposed to new technology, focusing on getting a business off the ground.

Travis CI uses mostly boring, I'm sorry, proven technology. Our data goes into PostgreSQL, we use Ruby everywhere, mostly JRuby. It even uses older virtualization technologies.

But recently, I've been feeling like I'm falling behind, like I'm missing out on at least playing with some new toys, getting some fresh ideas into my head for solving problems.

We have a lot of problems yet to solve in our code base, and over the last two years, we played it safe. Which has been a good thing, it allowed us to scale up to 1000 customers with just boring technology.

But most of us have a natural curiosity when it comes to technology. We want to play with new toys, just like our kids do.

I've found that this is even more important when you write regularly. Just trying out something new gives some fresh insight into what you can do with technology.

You may not be able to solve a problem with something you're playing with right away, but it might come handy in the future. When worse comes to worse, you write a blog post about what you've learned, and share it with the rest of us.

Just this week I played with Docker and etcd. It was fun, and it was a day well spent.

What have you been playing with lately?

Here are some ideas to get you started:

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