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Keeping up with Technology

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Keeping up with technology in today's industry is a near impossibility. The reason is technology is infiltrating every industry in the world. We all talk about keeping up with frameworks, new releases, and even new technology. I believe there are some that are keeping up with areas of technology, but show me one person who is familiar with Angular 5, React 16.1, crispr, IoT, Google Cloud, Azure, 3D printing prosthesis, AWS, Terraform, Multi Functional Radiology, and the iKnife.  That is just covering two industries. I didn't go into platforms like AppNexus and DFP or handling micro transactions at real-time, or of course block-chain technology and security of all of it.

You can't keep up with everything

We need to realize we can't keep up with everything. We can research new areas extremely fast now, but to keep all of that information in our heads at all times is a bit of a waste. We have amazing search engines now and with Watson, Alexa, Siri, and Google Home, we can just leverage that technology with our voice (don't get me started about conversational ui).

Methodologies are changing too

Now let's talk about methodologies... Waterfall, Agile, Scrum, Lean, XP, Six Sigma, Kanban, etc...  Those are fewer and people are making good money at convincing people they are experts.  Experts at what though? At showing people that meetings waste time and money? At showing people that a working product is better than any theory? That in software you can make mistakes everyday and fix them faster than you can prevent them? Let me highlight that last one:

You can fix mistakes faster than you can prevent them!

I'm well aware of certain cases this is not a viable plan. ICU machines, space navigation, financial transactions (although fixing these is possible too), parachute tester. :-) The goal is to not have bugs, that is always the goal. However, by discussing technology decisions, building deck after deck for a silly presentation, that time could be spent on building the product and see what happens.

You can only keep up by using them

That is how you keep up with technologies you are interested in. You USE them. I can read all about heart surgery, watch videos, and even stand next to the top surgeon in the world. However, until I perform one will I actually know what it is all about. Same goes for all platforms, apis, and languages out there. We can all create hello worlds in minutes in any language. Yay for you. I wouldn't want you to write an ICU monitoring system because you are comfortable with Hello World in the same language.

Keeping up with technology takes time. It takes practice. You should not say you know something unless you have built something substantial with it. There is my escape word - substantial. That is very subjective. Substantial to a third grader and substantial to Satya Nadella are probably significantly different. Are you a cloud expert? LOL of course you are not. You can't be an expert in something unless you are using it everyday and keep using it.

If you are a cloud expert, then the question should be which cloud platform? Azure, AWS, Google? They are all very similar but enough differences in the UI, in the console client, to make it require a little time to shift between them. Pick one, try it, if you like it go deep. If you don't try another one.

The journey is never-ending - embrace it

That is one thing that I love about technology it is a never-ending educational journey. Back in the day, I would put my C++ skills against anyone out there. Not anymore. I love C# and JavaScript now. I'm learning more and more about devops automation and automated testing, I think that is going to be my new favorite thing because everyone needs it, but no one allocates time to it.

So keep up with technology at your own pace, it will keep growing faster and faster. Don't get discouraged, it will be waiting for you. Build stuff, break stuff, fix stuff. It is the joy of development.