The right kind of thing

I really enjoyed this post by Tom Macwright on making technology choices. One of my favorite quotes:

It’s really important to find the right kind of thing, more important than it is to find the truly-best option. You probably won’t fail because you used Django instead of Rails, or Vue instead of React. Within each family of solutions things are pretty darn similar. Not the same, of course, and people will go to war over these small differences, but the point is that people successfully built Yelp on Django and Instacart on Rails, and it’s likely that your delivery-or-food-search business could work on either. But could it work on C++? Less likely. Find the right ballpark.

For all the posts out there on React vs Vue, it surprises me that more people aren’t writing about the the categories of solutions in our industry and how to find “the right kind of thing”. It currently takes a lot of experience to build a mental model of the entire web-dev ecosystem, which makes me think that some good writing and visualizations would help a lot here.

A few things come close. Kamran Ahmed’s “Developer Roadmap” does a great job of categorizing solutions visually but doesn’t help you understand when to use them. The Thoughtworks Technology Radar has a lot of great writing on evaluating solutions but it doesn’t make much of an attempt to visualize the ecosystem.

If you know of a good resource that does this well, please let me know (via email or the comments)!

Note: Tom also has a follow-up post talking about the hosting ecosystem here. I hope his startup succeeds just so he’ll keep writing these kinds of posts.