←back to Blog

Avoid the overwhelm of chasing new libraries and frameworks with the Rule of 3

There are over 2.1 MILLION javascript packages on npm. On average, 32,000 new ones are published every month.

The more you track Hacker News and [insert your favorite language / framework] Weekly newsletters, the more overwhelming the sheer amount of new tech seems. This un-ending influx of new tools, libraries, and frameworks leads to a constant need to chase shiny objects, and a time sink that is a huge hit to developer productivity.

There’s just too much noise and not enough signal. One of the most important tips I’ve picked up to help filter the firehose is…

The Rule of 3 (trusted sources)

The “rule” states simply that I won’t invest time digging into any new library, framework, or tool until it has naturally surfaced from 3 separate, trusted sources.

Applying this rule eliminates FOMO. With a good set of trusted sources, whether that is from personal twitter lists, blogs, developers you know IRL, or elsewhere, you can feel comfortable passing on the early buzz and let your sources do the first round of filtering. As you curate those sources over time, only the most useful, highest potential items will rise up from the rest of the cruft.

I’ve used this technique for many years, and each time I teach it to another developer they stop getting caught by the half-baked new toys, instead becoming the dev who always knows when something is worth looking into.

Remember, developer productivity is as much about not wasting time on the wrong things as it is efficiently doing the right things.

Think about what sources you trust to help apply the Rule of 3 and respond with a few in the twitter thread.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *