May 08, 2024



Why Are You Building

Pieter Levels, AKA @levelsio, the indie dev extraordinaire behind Nomad List and Remote OK, made a great joke post the other day, claiming that his recent project, Photo AI, was built using all of the newest and coolest frameworks. In actuality he used what he always does — by far the least cool tech stack imaginable, jQuery and PHP.

And so what? He gets a little less street cred on web dev Twitter? His websites print tens of thousands of dollars a month, and he’s always been very open about being more interested in business than in code.

What’s the core motivation behind building your app? Are you more excited about the business idea or learning a new technology? If it’s the business, then use what you know. I’m not saying to completely avoid new tools. But understand that there’s a cost to iteration speed when you use tech you’re less familiar with, and make sure that the juice is worth the squeeze. Maybe you’re not like Pieter, and you’re more interested in the tech. That’s fine too. What matters is that you’ve thoroughly considered the question and have a firm answer.

With the constant deluge of tweets and videos by tech influencers about the latest and greatest this or that, it’s easy to catch FOMO about not using whatever framework was released last Tuesday. But, it’s important that we remember that these are tools, not fashion statements. Don’t close yourself off to new tech, especially if it would make your life easier or solve a real issue. But don’t discount the value of your skills with a familiar toolset, and don’t swap out your entire tech stack because it’s “cool.”