FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and the Bleeding Edge

Having a severe case of “fear of missing out,” or FOMO doesn’t bode well for someone with Anxiety. At times I legitimately worry that I’m shooting myself in the foot if I don’t keep up with the latest, greatest technology.


In my particular case, I love writing Ruby. The most popular career path for Ruby is to use Ruby on Rails. That’s not a problem either; I enjoy the ideology of Rails. I started using Rails in 2012. In my experience, it seems that I got involved at the tail end of the Rails hype. People were still excited about and pushed Rails, but the noise was quieting down a bit.

Fast forward a couple of years. Some individuals in the Ruby community started talking about Go. Some began evangelizing Elixir. Then more began evangelizing Elixir. I think both of those languages are interesting. I’m especially intrigued by functional programming with Elixir. At this point in my life, I still want to write Ruby, though.

My personal FOMO started. My anxiety would lead me to believe that everyone was abandoning Ruby for other languages. People were, sometimes very loudly, expressing their disdain for Rails and how X is the future. I think some of their reasonings are valid; I think some aren’t. Either way, I began to feel insecure.

Trying Something Else

I decided to make learning Elixir a goal for 2016, so I could be a part of the next big thing. I had an opportunity to work with it for a bit on a project. It was fun, and I could see why people like it. Unfortunately, time restraints kept me from being able to stay on the project. For some nagging reason, though, I just wanted to keep focusing on Ruby. If I’m honest, maybe it was because I’m comfortable with it, but it’s also the language I use at my day job.

Accepting FOMO

FOMO has been with me all of 2016. The fear that I’m being left behind by still using Ruby. Ruby on Rails has become a stable, mature framework. There’s less excitement around it. DHH wrote about this earlier this year. Justin Searls gave a fantastic presentation on keeping Ruby relevant.

Ruby isn’t the hottest language. Ruby on Rails isn’t the game-changer it once was. It doesn’t mean either is dead. In fact, keeping up with Ruby 3 and the progress the Ruby core team is making is very exciting. Ruby on Rails has some interesting javascript stuff coming in 5.1 with Webpack, Yarn, and the removal of the jQuery dependency. Hanami is a promising web framework for Ruby. It has a very smart team of people behind it.

Ruby still makes me happy. All to say, sticking with Ruby isn’t missing out. Ruby isn’t dying, nor would it disappear overnight. Also, the same likely goes for your language of choice. There’s still plenty of time to enjoy writing in your programming language. Focus on building things. That said, stay aware of your surroundings.

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