Thursday, December 29, 2005

As A Software Developer, You Don't Live On An Island (Part I)

Maybe my expectations are too high, but how come that so many software developers suffer from the ostrich syndrome? They have been doing their RPG or Visual Basic or SQLWindows or <place_your_favorite_outdated_technology_here> programming for ten years or longer, but during all that time they never managed to look beyond their own nose. Now they suddenly face a migration to Java or VB.NET, or they must provide a webservice interface or the like. OOP, what's that? Unicode, what's that? XML, that looks easy, let's just do some printf()s (or whatever the RPG counterpart to printf() is ;-) ) with all these funny brackets. Oh, and when there is something new to learn, those folks of course expect their employer to send them on training for months.

I always thought this profession would mainly attract people who embrace change. Seems I was wrong.

Besides everyday project business, I try to stay in touch with the latest in technology. Readings books, magazines and weblogs, listening to podcasts, talking with colleagues who are into some new stuff, and the like.

Reading one book a month about something you haven't dealt yet (may it be a C# primer or a Linux admin tutorial or whatever) - that's the minimum I recommend to every software developer with some sense of personal responsibility.