The technical innovations were astounding and yet the true legacy was cultural: getting us to see the right data as an asset and something worth productizing, regardless of big data or small data. dbt, now industry standard, builds on the Hadoop era, keeping the emphasis on scale and solving the creation of and collaboration around data assets.
Today we just call it data. But back then it was a hefty proper noun, Big Data, before everyone got on board.
Jamstack’s innovation: elevating the edge
Jamstack was catchy and helped create a category. It helped entire cohorts of web developers create and deploy progressive websites and web applications faster; these were tangible benefits. And yet, five years later, few of us are still talking about it.
Dismissing Jamstack as a fad, though, would unfairly deny it the credit it deserves.
Jamstack represented a limit-pushing concept for a modern web development architecture, one that did away with the database (until this month!) and that served pre-built files with copies stored at the edge. That progress led to innovations from Cloudflare, such as Cloudflare Workers, and to next-generation Platforms-as-a-Service rebuilding a beloved first-gen solution, Heroku, from scratch, with the edge in mind. You can also see Jamstack’s technical DNA on the homepage of Fly.io, which tells us to “Deploy app servers close to your users.”
Jamstack’s innovation was to elevate the edge, to bring content closer to the user.
ChatGPT broke new ground. What will we build on it?
So, why am I writing this. I’m writing about prior eras now as a reminder to myself – a timely one, as AI introduces groundbreaking technology into consideration.
We haven’t (yet) stopped talking about ChatGPT. We long ago stopped talking about Jamstack, just as we have stopped talking about Hadoop and Big Data. But with a discerning eye, we pull from each of these epochs their resonant innovation – the innovation that constitutes a building block to future technologies. I am constantly attuned to that.
†Mathias Biilmann introduced Jamstack in a presentation at Smashing Conference 2016.