Friday, 3 June 2011

Balance - Tech

So I know what you’re thinking “what is he on about? how does balance apply to the technology I use?”, well bear with me and I’ll explain.
A lot of developers will learn to code on one particular platform be it .Net, Java, Ruby, etc and frequently they’ll only look at one small part of that library and unless they are made to either look at different parts of the platform or use a different technology they will generally stay with what they first learned.

The only problem with that is its a very unbalanced situation, whilst you may have really good knowledge of what you work with day to day its a bit like having blinkers on and not looking at what other technologies can do and the functionality that they offer.

Explore your tech

If you feel that you really cannot face learning a completely new technology be it because of lack of time or simply not comfortable doing so then try to explore the tech you use.  So for example if you work in the .Net world and usually just use MVC or webforms take the time to investigate workflow, azure, compact framework, web matrix etc  doing this you will learn more about the capabilities of the platform and very possibly different approaches you could take in relation to your normal day to day work, at the very least you’ll be better informed as to what you could do if necessary.

Leap into the unknown

If you have the time go look at a platform that is completely different to what you work with, if you use static typed languages look at a dynamic language and vice versa.
Unless you have a deep seated desire to investigate a specific tech then when you first pick up a new piece of tech you need to put aside your preconceptions and prejudices otherwise you will simply be “well <insert favourite technology here> can do this and <insert new technology here> can’t so its useless”.
To help you spend a little time looking at the various technologies and pick one that does interest you and perhaps has some specific functionality that you want to play with, and if you’re a developer don’t just limit yourself to programming languages take the time to look at other technology like continuous integration, UI testing or anything else that takes your fancy.

But what do I get out of it?

By looking outside of your normal day to day skill set you may be exposed to different ways of working, different paradigms and my guess is that this extra experience will change the way you look work with your normal technology, and it could very well alter how you look at solving problems due to the extra perspective you have gained.

And finally….

The final post in the series summarises what I’ve covered all week with a few closing thoughts.

No comments:

Post a Comment