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I work on several teams that are living in the past, and I'm trying to introduce them to new technologies like ASP.NET MVC2. What are good ways to introduce new technology in a positive light?

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Could you be clearer on "living in the past"? Some tools that are quite a bit older than 10 years can still hold their own against new tech. –  Inaimathi Nov 24 '10 at 18:30
    
@Inaimathi Quite right you are. I want to run screaming from ASP Classic and VB6 though. –  C. Ross Nov 24 '10 at 20:34
    
Better hurry, in a few weeks MVC3 will be out and MVC2 will be living in the past. :-) –  Carson63000 Nov 24 '10 at 22:11

6 Answers 6

up vote 8 down vote accepted
  1. Know your stuff; be prepared for questions, lots and lots of them. People have a natural inclination against change, especially in the world of technology/the Internet. By proposing a new way of doing things or a new technology, you're effectively asking them to change a large part of their life. If you want the change to be successful, you need to make sure that they're informed enough to make the decision, and comfortable that you know enough to be able to support them through the change.

  2. Be positive! If someone approaches me asking me to try something out, but starts by telling me about all its problems and admitting that my current way of doing things is probably better, then I'm not likely to switch over. You're sure of the new technology and how it can make things easier for you and for them, but they're not. A good attitude and a heavy dosage of charisma will make things go much smoother and easier.

Good luck with pulling those cavemen up into modern times!

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At an old job we had a project space called Area51 for use to hack up facets and try new technologies. We would just add new classes, write a script to launch and write a note on what we were doing.

The only rule was to keep the projects build-able and keep one new idea or tool per public static void main() {...

The idea came about from a don't tell me why we should, show me conversation with a coworker. Showing how it would work with existing code in dev was pretty useful. We start to use Spring 1.0 based on a few facets in Area51.

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Nice approach!. –  user1249 Nov 24 '10 at 19:28

If they are not in demand, it will be difficult to convince them. You don't have to introduce a new technology, you have to sell them.

  • Ask your team if they would be interested in the presentation of the technology
  • Identify their "pain"(s). Problems that can be potentially solved by your technology.
  • Your describe the technology with objectivity (pros & cons) and put emphasis on the parts that can reduce their pain
  • You ask them for their opinion how it can be useful for their projects
  • Be prepared to face resistance
  • Never try to impose your idea

Pain concept is from Solution Selling method.

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Give then a reason to use it by showing them what they could do that they can't do using the old tools. Of course it helps if your examples are things they actually would like to be able to do. Even better if they solve long-standing annoying problems.

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Or just dó better! –  user1249 Nov 24 '10 at 19:27

Show them some practical, "flashy" examples. Most programmers are imaginative enough that when they see some cool example they start thinking about what they could do with it.

Of course if they are close minded, this won't work.

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Answer these questions -

Issues and workarounds that exist currently?

How it may potentially solve them and additional benefits(performance etc) ?

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