What are you doing to keep your skills current?
- Do you learn new technologies?
- Do you learn new tools?
- Do you learn new languages?
If you did not answer yes to at least 1 of the 3 questions above, I have one last question to ask. What are you doing to not become a Dinosaur?
In my opinion developers today have more at stake then ever before.
- Technology is changing at the speed of light
- Business demands are getting larger and more complicated
- Technology is getting more complicated (which is counter to its intent)
Over the past few months I have spoken to a few different developers that have become 'complacient' in what they do. They have no interest in learn a new language (Ruby, Java, F#, etc) or even learning to use new frameworks (RoR, MonoRail, MVC, NHibernate, etc) because they are happy with what they have. This is fine and this is dandy, but the day will come that they will regret this decision.
Let me tell you a little store.
Long, long ago there was a developer that was writing his applications in his language of choice, COBOL. This guy was as happy as a clam, he had no worries, no issues. The language did what he need and he could make it do all sorts of cool stuff. And most importantly he felt comfortable with his language of choice.
Then one day someone created a newer, hipper language (insert any OO based language here) and suddenly it became all the rage. Now the COBOL developer thought, should I invest the time effort to learn this new language, or should I stick with COBOL. In the end he decided he liked COBOL, cause he was happy and content. He also did not buy into all the press surrounding that language. He figured that it is just a passing fad. Now he may have been right, but where he made a mistake was he did not learn.
Now lets fast forward to today. In the past few years there have many new languages and frameworks/toolsets have been released. They all have their pros and cons and some will die off and become extent. But the ones that live on may someday push your language out of the way. If you don't at least have a working knowledge of what they bring to the table, what makes you think will will not be like our COBOL developer from our story?
So, let me ask you.... What are YOU doing to not become a Dinosaur?
BTW, before you ask what I am doing, let me tell you. I am currently learning Ruby, I am playing with IronRuby (I know, not much different the Ruby). I plan on playing with F# to become familiar with what a Functional language can do for me. I started learning the MS MVC framework and will be playing RoR (Ruby on Rails) to see where that is going. I did some MOSS work a while back. I am branching out and getting my hands on as many different tools/frameworks as possible (NHibernate, Linq2Sql, TypeMock, etc, etc, etc). I have not intention of becoming a master of any of these, but I intend on becoming knowledgeable enough to know what they offer and what they do not.
Till next time,
04-24-2008 5:20 AM