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As software engineers, we are inundated with different tools, libraries, frameworks and ever-evolving best practices.

Hardly a week goes by without us discovering the next best framework or library trending on Hacker News. These days, just about any problem out there has a library or framework — everything from string manipulation, log management to frameworks that claims to be lightening fast and the next best thing since sliced bread — accompanying it.

It’s quite easy to get overwhelmed by this changing landscape and this could easily lead to fatigue.

Take for example, in the JavaScript realm, we have seen frameworks come and go. It seems to me the lifespan of the latest best and greatest framework is 2 years.

From the frontend side of things, we have seen EmberJS, Kockout JS, Babel, Grunt, etc. These days, React and AngularJS are the new kids on the block. It’s almost a taboo if you build for the frontend and you don’t use either of these tools.

As with everything, we had Prototype and Scriptaculous, then came jQuery, luckily, this one is still going strong.

What do you do?

I, for one, have approached these tools with a healthy dose of scepticism. Like with every other thing, I understand that they will fizzle out. You can’t help, it’s just the fact of life. For as long as Moore’s law still holds and the sun will rise from the East, things will change.

I have always maintained a personal belief that having a firm grasp of your work tools is what will set you apart and provide you with the much-needed satisfaction. What do I mean? It makes no sense chasing JS frameworks for instance if you don’t have a firm understanding of JavaScript itself. Learn the basics.

Don’t beat yourself up when next you feel like you’re lagging behind. No, you are not. You can’t and you wouldn’t know everything and it’s perfectly fine. Am I in any way suggesting that one shouldn’t go with the trends? Far from it. Keep up with them, but don’t forget the basics.

Everything in life is ephemeral, your work tools aren’t any different. Don’t stress out. Keep reading and learning the new stuff, but worry less when the next big thing shows up.

Remember when CSS was just simple and straight forward? LESS, SCSS and SASS changed that.

Enjoy the moment.

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Celestine Omin


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Celestine Omin

On Software, life and everything in-between

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