I saw a blog comment today that illustrates a pervasive problem in our industry:

The problem is, how much longer are you willing to invest on them and NOT forcing us to learn again something new

The exact source isn’t relevant, because this is a widespread attitude.

Let me rephrase

When can I stop learning new things and just do things the way I know how?

While I can somewhat sympathise with those who find the pace of change challenging, who would like an opportunity to catch their breath and make good use of their hard won skills, I don’t think this is realistic.

We are working in an industry of change.

We write software because we want to change the way people do things.

A game developer creates a game hoping to change the way thousands (millions!) spend their free time. Microsoft creates .NET hoping to change the way developers create other software. Facebook has successfully changed the way that people stay in touch with their friends.

I’ll say it again: We work in an industry of change.

Technology comes and goes. Companies come and go. Practices come and go.

Paradoxically, change is the one constant.

The choice is simple.

  • You can rail at the foolishness of change and cry yourself hoarse in vain.

  • You can leave technology behind and seek out constancy in another role, another place.

  • Or, you can embrace change, commit to continuous learning and ride the tiger to see where it goes.

I suspect you can guess my choice.


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November 2010