12/2018 - Wow had to chuckle reading this as it was written such a long time ago. ColdFusion?? Haha. The ironic thing is a lot of the article still holds true even more so today with so many SaaS options out there. I think about all the tools we use at my agency (Basecamp, Trello, Paymo, Dropbox...). We've tried others that didn't work for us however like the original article states, it's about defining your needs and doing research. And remember, what works for one company may not work with yours. It's all about finding the right mix for you.
Technology to me is a combination of excitement, intimidation and awe all rolled up into one. It seems impossible to keep up with it and once you learn and get comfortable with one technology, something new emerges that is "the next big thing". I don't think it is critical to know how to use every technology in the market, but it is important to know what's out there. How you pick and choose what suits you or your company the best depends on a combination of your business processes, goals and objectives and in a lot of cases budget. Being a developer I've never been one to be a proponent of any one technology. I have friends in the industry who work in many different environments and all produce top notch solutions. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself when choosing a technology:
Will the application be for a closed "Intranet" or open "Extranet" environment?
Will you be dealing with internal customers, external customers or both?
Will you be providing a service?
Will you be integrating with any third-party applications?
Do you want to tie your system into your vendors or customers systems?
Will you be housing your own infrastructure (data center)?
RIA technologies (Flex), cloud technology, collaboration services, wireless/cellular technologies, .NET, Java, ColdFusion, PHP, SQL, Oracle, B2B, B2C, ERP, CRM, POS etc. The list goes on and on. Sure it's overwhelming, however you should be excited because 10 years ago there where fewer choices. Researching these technologies along with how companies are utilizing them will help you decide what is best for you.