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The Web development tools space is an unrestricted green field. That's great for tool makers, but for the developers and project managers trying to keep up, it's like being Lucy and Ethel on the conveyor belt.


The Web development tools space is a green field. New technologies appear every day, many of them free, and the opportunity for good technology to gain mass adoption is always there.

That's great news if you're making the tools, not so for those left trying to make sense of the onslaught of new ones available every day.

The developers and project managers using these tools have a daunting task, like Lucy and Ethel at the candy shop conveyor belt, trying to keep pace with the ever-growing list of skills required to stay current.

Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister asks the question: Do developers scramble to keep up or master their skill set?

And for the management set: Do project managers recruit specific skills or examine overall performance?

No one Web developer can excel at all of these technologies; the development methodologies behind some of them are virtual opposites. The pressure on developers, therefore, is to specialize. But how do you choose one tool to be your bread and butter from a field this broad? And by the same token, how do you recruit talent for your Web project when your technology requirements might eliminate most of the applicants?

One commenter to McAllister's post summed up my own uninformed impression: "Good engineers will be facile with whatever technology they are given, so the choice of their tool set is not as critical..."