These days creating a new piece of web or mobile software feels a lot like combining already made pieces together. Adding some glue so they do not fall apart, releasing version v1 and repeat the loop many times. Until you are satisfied that nobody cares or that you have actually built something useful.
Agile, lean and other tech product methodologies have thought us to use this process. And ever increasing modular nature of web and back end frameworks make it easy to follow these steps. Many hours are already spent by community of smart people while creating all the reusable modules for your future app.
Good example to illustrate this trend is Hackathon Starter project. Its created for people building web and mobile apps with help of Node.js. As the name suggests it was created as reusable prototype for hackathon projects. In hackathons you usually have ~24 hours to create a somewhat working project. As this template is beefed up with main modules it will save lots of time and will let you concentrate on the specific functionality you want to achieve.
OAuth, user management, payments, middleware for rendering Twitter Bootstrap front end and many other packages are all built in.
This project has accumulated many development hours from open source community. It has main components for any basic web app or mobile app back end. And Node.js itself has a very active repository with modules for adding more complex functionality.
Such trend is fast accelerating the actual software development process and allows even more automation to it. All the external modules can be managed by maintaining project dependency settings and uploaded during build time. It also means that smaller teams can manage quite large software projects.
Welcome to the world of fast moving modular technology creation. As techie you have to adopt or become less and less productive as time goes by.
Would be great to hear your thoughts on this. Or if you have some story to share get in touch and we can glue together a blog post.