Stop Writing “Stop Using” Posts

It’s super-easy to write posts telling other devs to “stop using” some tool, library, or software. I mean, it must be: look at all the posts as we devs (collectively) have written.

Problem is, those aren’t the best posts for us to be writing. Here’s why: who’s going to read those posts? Other devs, sure. But who? We don’t know. Which means, we don’t know their constraints, their background, their clients, their agency, their coworkers, their dev environment, their … well, you get the point.

That designer - you don’t know if he’s required by his agency to use Photoshop instead of Sketch, or if he’s required by his client to use “flat design.”

That developer - you don’t know if she’s required by her teammates to use Grunt instead of Gulp, if she’s inherited a maintenance project that relies on Bootstrap, if she’s required by project restraints to use certain API, or if she’s got a specific background that makes Angular more useful than Ember.

Unless you know all those things about all your readers, it’d be wise to avoid blanket “Stop Using X” advice. Now, there’s a place for “Why I Don’t Use X” posts. We’re all part of a community here, so we need to help learners think through issues, but don’t just throw dogmatic prohibitions around. With the exception of major issues (gross negligence of accessibility, blatant security vulnerabilities, etc), we need to help each other learn and grow.

If you don’t use a certain tool for good reasons, talk/write about. You’ll probably help someone working under the same constraints as you. But let’s be understanding about the fact that we all have different constraints. Let’s be more helpful and stop writing “Stop Using” posts.