I recently was referred to at work as someone with ‘religion’.
In technology terms, I’ve discovered that having religion means that one possesses an unwavering (and uninhibited) favoritism of a particular technology. In most cases, it is frowned upon. Why? Having ‘religion’ is perceived that such a commitment to one technology may cloud your ability to make technology choices on what’s best for the company. Makes sense. And I can see how that view has been formed and why it is, for the most part, important to practice.
I don’t hide the fact that I’m a Flash guy (referring to Flash authoring, Flex, mobile and Apollo)(see the Apollo and ‘Fx’ stickers on my laptop)(see me wearing the occasional Apollo, ApolloCamp or vintage Macromedia t-shirts). In fact, here I’m considered one of THE Flash guys, which makes me quite happy.
So, I began to examine my new labeling of ‘having religion’.
1. Do I have certain un-shifting beliefs in the abilities of something that other people don’t see? Yes.?
I believe things can be done with Flash Platform that cannot be done as easily, efficiently and with as good performance with other technologies. And some people cannot see it because they choose not to recognize its power. Seriously. There are people who aim to acheive similar things, but avoid it becuase they just don’t get it.
2. Do I follow a single person or group of powerful people that influence me in the decisions I make? Yes.
There are folks in this industry that have demonstrated superior abilities in what they can do with the technology. So much so, that to ignore their work, experiences and teachings would likely create a void in your own abilities. I’m talking about the key Flash Platform bloggers and developers that tell us the story of how they accomplish what most others have not dared to, or have not been able to do. I’m not going to mention names, but each of us has those sets of people we look at to help us make decisions and to help us out along the way. (Hint: They are usually the people listed on the sidebar of someone’s blog —>).
3. Is there a collection of texts that I look to for answers, rules and guidance? Yes.
4. Do you feel compelled to teach others about what you believe, especially those who think otherwise. Yes.
And here’s where the concept of ‘having religion’ in technology really begins to undeniably appear. We call them evangelists, those people who are out there, constantly preaching the virtues of the technology. Flash Platform (Adobe in general) seems to have more of them than anyone. The strength of these evangelists is why this technology has a near cult following. There, I said it.
Conclusion: Yes, yes, yes and yes, when it comes to technology, I have religion. I believe Flash can do things faster and better. I’ve built my career on Flash Platform. I stand by what I build and stand for the performance of it. I’m not oblivious to other technologies (see the 5 chapters in my book on Ajax), and possess a great deal of respect and discipline on most web application technologies.
Most importantly though, I believe my company has a competitive advantage when building things out in Flash vs. other technologies. It gives us the best chance at offering our users the most engaging, entertaining and user-friendly interfaces. My ‘religion’ in Flash Platform makes me a better developer and thus, makes me more valuable to my company. How can this be a bad thing?