Popdev culture

“Popdev” defines the vogue of software or tech at large. I have to coin this term because the talk “Boring Technology” by Dan McKinley, although having aged well, hasn’t brought about the change I eagerly and naively wished for.

So what falls under “Popdev”?

Any and all popular fads that are pushed into the mainstream. With time, a tiny percentage graduate into “Boring”; most don’t. And no, this has nothing to do with Darwinism.

Some helpful examples of what falls under “popdev”:

  • When someone decides to do stupid things just to make noise
  • unfortunately, some of it even gets taken seriously
  • writing similar to some of Cloudflare’s blogs. Experience helps you delineate the good parts from the bad
  • Buzzwords and buzztech of the day. GPT and LLMs are today’s buzz. Blockchains were popular a year ago.
  • New patterns pushed by VC-backed startups and trendy tech go up on the orange site.

These are easy examples that most can spot. There are harder ones to spot. That’s your homework.

Is Popdev bad? Popdev, infrequently, brings about a good change in due time, and so some of it is necessary. So, no, it is not all bad.

However, endorsing Popdev as if it is the new norm is bad behavior. If you use Popdev tech in your homelab, that doesn’t count as serious by any means. So, hold your horses before you jump onto the bandwagon. Be patient; let it lose some shine. Code gains worldly wisdom with time. Age is beauty.

Some Popdevs (people who show the behavior) will give you compelling reasons to believe them and will be very sure about the future. Be careful. Predicting the future was hard two thousand years ago. It is much harder today (as the world is more complex).

Some Popdevs like to turn “Is Popdev bad?” questions into “Is technological progress bad? Are you against progress?” Run away from them. I’m not joking.

What doesn’t fall under Popdev? If you have to ask, spend a few more years writing code professionally.

What can we do? Be cautious with your endorsement of Popdev behavior. Social proof is a real currency. Be thrifty with your endorsement.

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