While researching web service best practices I came across Gartner’s Hype Cycle and was immediately impressed with its simplicity and clarity. It summed up in a simple graph the wild technological rollercoaster ride I’ve (and probably you too) have been on for most of my career. Early on I used to fall for the “coolest” gadgets, the “hot” languages and the “latest” architectures. I’d spend a lot of money and time on books, courses and software in an effort to get up to speed. Aggravatingly, it seemed, I was just in time to see the coolest gadgets cool-off and the hot languages fall by the wayside and replaced by a new wave. Early out of college this was self-inflicted because I wanted to make an impact with my employer. Which lead to enough successes to justify the effort. But then in the early nineties something strange happened. My employer started bringing me the cutting edge technologies to see if there was any business value. And sadly, the same cycle reoccurred. But this time the amount of money, effort and time were exponentially growing with each project. I was amazed at how easy it was for them to drop a million on software license and then in a blink of an eye drop it like yesterday’s dishwater. Yet after the dust settled we did seem to gain from the experience and our technologies matured.