Skills, degrees, or product?

In the recent explosion of technology and all the varying degrees of “skills” that result from it. I feel a little overwhelmed. I am from a time where tech was essentially Apache, HTML, Javascript, CSS, and some sort of language that supports dynamic generation of HTML aka, DHTML. Then with every language there’s it’s evolving syntax, AND the various frameworks and their ever evolving practices.

Now? For javascript, you have your Grunt, Gulp, NodeJS, jQuery, VueHS, ExtJS, Angular, React, and the list goes on. For your CSS, you have your SASS / LESS, and browsers and varying versions of browsers to support. For your hosting, you have Kubernetes, AmazonMesos, DockerSwarm, Docker, VMs, Baremetal hostings, various hosting providers, and so and so on.

The following article really conveys the explosion of tech really well:


In addition to everything, you have the Machine Learning field introducing it’s own thing or two as well, where hiring anyone with less than a Ph.D doesn’t seem too credible or meaningful.

I feel paralyzed by the sheer degree of stuff I “have” to learn. I see myself looking at wide lecture hall’s triple-column double-row chalkboard of tech thinking that these are the skills I have to know to be an effective programmer now and days, but is it?

I don’t think so. It seems that in the torrent of tech terms being thrown at me, and the various fear of being labeled as dinosaur, or a person who’s opposed to change, a fear of obsolescence, the fear of being all those “has beens” I’ve seen. Being caught up in this tech wave, I forgot something VERY important to me, which was WHY I do the things I do in the first place.

Did I sign up to learn and master EVERY tech out there? No. Did I sign up to be a programmer as a profession? No. What did I sign up for? To do what I love, and if I happen to be paid for it, great! Do I need EVERY tech out there to do it? No! No I don’t. Are some of the new tech out there applicable? Yes, I think so, but not all.

I think it’s important to be opened to the idea of new ways of doing things, so if there is a new tech / method that allows YOU to do things better and more efficient, you can. At the same time, realize that even if your methods aren’t the “latest and greatest” they are STILL capable of doing things. My focus is shifting away from the latest and greatest, and back to my original way of doing things, which is to use the proper tool for the proper task, and adopt tech only as necessary, and just have fun. Adopt tools that help with my goal of creating that cool thing I wanted to create, but stay away from that next shiny thing that everyone is raging about. Make it work first, optimize it later.

Do I need to use a machine learning model to write a web portal automatically? Probably not. Do I need to add webpack to my static HTML one pager? Probably not.

A long time ago, I talked about various methods introducing their own overhead, and how I coded faster as a new programmer than a senior programmer thanks to adherence to all the “latest and greatest”. I’ve forgotten about that, and I think, it’s time for me to get back to that, at least for my hobby projects.

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