User or community competence curve

I was pondering cloud application patterns today, and the following half-formed thought occurred to me: All new technologies go through some kind of competence curve — where they are on it determines the aggregate community knowledge of that technology, and the likely starting point for a new user adopting that technology. This might not entirely correlate to its position on the hype cycle.

The community develops a library of design patterns and recipes, over the lifetime of the technology. This is everything from broad wisdom like, “MVC is probably the right pattern for a Web app”, to trivia like “you can use Expando with Google App Engine’s user class to get most of what you want out of traditional session management”. And the base level of competence of the engineers grows in seemingly magical ways — the books get better, Googling answers gets easier, the random question tossed over your shoulder to another team member has a higher chance of being usefully answered. As the technology ages, this aggregate knowledge fades, until years down the road, the next generation of engineers end up repeating the mistakes of the past.

So far, we have very little aggregate community knowledge about cloud.

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Posted on November 4, 2008, in Industry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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