Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Technology Radar Group Rebooted

Last night the Technology Radar Group "rebooted." It had been many months without meeting, due to having lost a sponsoring location to meet! Luckily, iRise was gracious enough to take it over, and the first meeting at their location had a number of developers, who stayed late to catch the Meetup.

TheHackerCIO gave a tutorial on using the javascript software to produce your own Radar. The graphic isn't the most important part of a Technology Radar, but it's fun, nice, and easy enough to do.

The side-bar conversations, as is often the case, were very interesting. One of them centered around the accelerating pace of technology change. Notice I didn't say speed. The speed of change has been felt for some time. But now, it seems like I'm actually aware of the acceleration of change, which is to say, the 2nd derivative of change!

As merely one illustration of this, take the tutorial itself. I knew there was software out there to produce Radars. I knew it from reading the post by Neil Ford, called Build Your Own Technology Radar. In it, he mentions this:

Brett Dargan, one of my former colleagues, created (and open sourced) the code to create the radar visualization using JSON and JavaScript at https://github.com/bdargan/techradar.
I played with this a bit a year or so ago, so as I started preparing the tutorial/presentation, I naturally went to Github, to clone the software.

I was in for a surprise. I went to Gihub and searched on "technology radar." I did find the repo I wanted, written by Brett Dargan. But I also found 19 others! So what do you do? Go ahead and build the tutorial/presentation around the one you knew, or stop and spend an hour or two reading/learning/evaluating to determine which one is the best/easiest, and *then* spend an hour or two playing with that one to get a tutorial together? And, then, possibly, find out you got stuck and/or there was an issue with using it, and have to spend another hour or two falling-back to the first option? What if you don't *have* a presentation by the deadline? I took the easy way out and stuck to the one I had played with before.

As we experience the velocity of change, the acceleration of change, and possibly even the "jerk" of change, we need to balance conservatism against challenge. Otherwise we're going to get left behind. Everyone in technology is feeling this acutely, these days.

I Remain,