Tell good stories about technology

Tell good stories about technology

On the importance of knowing the history of a technology
Published January 17, 2024
Despite the prevailing emphasis on hard skills in the field, it would be an understatement to say that half of learning a technology is to be able to tell good stories about it.
I’ve met many colleagues who excel at the ‘how’ but seem indifferent to the ‘why’ aspect of technology. While asking how helps solve the problem, understanding is achieved through seeking why - a process of constructing compelling stories about it.
For example, it’s not easy to make sense of React, the UI framework, without peeking into its predecessors, perhaps through a codebase migration that entangles them. And that dreadful experience of DOM manipulation lends perspective to the simplicity of declarative rendering, elegantly captured in a tale of UI = f(state) by React.
Similarly, some are intimidated by the frontend build system and its dazzling terminologies. This was exacerbated by a transitioning period when the birth of most tools only meant to be killed by natural selection. However, what do we see without the clutter? The evolution of JavaScript modules and the browser platform; an upward spiral that drives the plot of chaos.
Dive deeper to understand the context, trade offs and principles of technologies. As project requirements rapidly shift, those are the few things that rarely change. Make up good stories to remember, distill and share them with others. Solution expires, anecdote lasts.
What about the ‘how’ part of it? Let Copilot and AI bots give us the answer.