So you found an awesome new technology and it changed your life. Two weeks in and it feels like you’ve been taken from stone age to space age. Good for you, but better still if you can help others see the light. Thousands are still hacking away with substandard programming languages, libraries, and tools. It is your obligation to save them.
What better way than to compare your new technology (Fancy) with the old ways (Dull). This is a time-honored tradition in IT, working equally well in blog posts, magazine articles, or in the first chapter of your book.
You’re worried that a thorough comparison might take too much time out of your busy day? Don’t worry, it really doesn’t. Whatever you’re trying to sell, one carefully crafted example is all you need. I’ll show you how.
First of all, find a tiny little use case that Fancy solves really well. Make sure you’re not distracted by special cases, error handling, or other mundane stuff. Use whatever advanced language features, experimental library functions, or other shortcuts you can think of. There is beauty in brevity, so make it a one-liner. Now, the result may look like a cat had typed it. But not to worry – if it does, call it idiomatic. People love idioms; just make sure you use terms like "elegant", "beautiful", and "awesome" liberally.
The next step is crucial. Implement the same thing with Dull in the most brain dead, convoluted way possible. Don’t use libraries or other things that might distract your readers. You can do a better job if you don’t know Dull very well or haven’t used it in a while. Be creative with indentation, make it ugly. People need to see a difference here. Use objective technical terms like "clumsy" or "bloated" to highlight key problems with Dull.
At this point you will have convinced most people already. But there will probably be some – especially on the internet – who are a bit dense and set in their ways. You’ll easily recognize them, they whine about effort for training, the need for new development and deployment tools, database drivers, or bindings for obscure ERP systems that the world can clearly do without. You would have heard of that nonsense if it was in any way important.
Remember, database drivers come and go, while calculating factorials beautifully is for eternity. You know it, I know it, but with this difficult bunch, a different approach is in order: Show them real world adoption.
Mention the startup you founded last month (don’t forget to note that you’re hiring), and if a buddy of yours at Google uses it to manage his cat photos, blog, or MP3 collection, be sure to mention adoption by Google as well. Also, don’t forget the open source community! This is the internet age, communities and ecosystems form around virtually anything. Whatever you may need, it will appear magically on GitHub – whenever you need it and in supreme quality. When they ask for something specific, send them links to GitHub projects, patches in JIRA, or product roadmaps. Advise them to switch their company database from Oracle to MySQL if they get impatient waiting for drivers.
Easy enough, right? Follow these steps and the world will thank you and be forever in your debt.