Usually, I’m not the kind of person who gets stressed about all kinds of stuff, but there is one place where it hurts a little: when I can see there’s something new which I ought to look at, but there is no time. Just about now, I would like very much to take a deeper look at GWT 1.5, but that won’t happen for a while because my backlog is stuffed with all sorts of projects which must be completed first.
Of course it doesn’t matter if only nothing else comes up – but what are the chances of that? More worryingly, this could also be the beginning of the end. Most junior developers are familiar with old dinosaur developers who for some reason don’t want to learn all the new and cool stuff, and often it’s somewhat hard to understand. After all, who would not want to learn new technologies, languages, features, and so on? Especially when it seems like so much fun.
When the backlog gets too large, it seems that there are a couple of ways out: a) devote more time to learning. Usually, this is not really an option because things like children, garden, and other responsibilities tend to pop up. Then you can go for b) where you just stop learning new stuff and settle with what you already know – what you already know will probably be improved as time goes by, but no new languages or technologies unless absolutely necessary. Or the last option, c) find a path and follow it, always learning something new, but also forgetting some of the old.
I would like to think that I’m going for c), as it seems like the best way forward (for me, personally). I might be missing some options here, but no matter what it’s probably a good idea to think about how your career is moving along. I’ve read quite a number of blog posts from bitter programmers who apparently hadn’t taken the time to reflect. In the meanwhile, GWT 1.5 will stay on my backlog for a while, so I’ll probably have to find something else to take off… Erlang, perhaps?