This week, I’m going to tackle something I haven’t before. It’s more of a thought piece, and will be the only post for the week as I plan on this being a bit longer than my usual posts. Hopefully you find my insight valuable, and if not, I won’t take it personally. That being said, let’s dive into a discussion on the current state of web development as I see it.
After doing some reading online about this subject area, I noticed that there was a lot of negative sentiment towards older generations about a lack of desire to learn newer, trending languages and technologies. This stereotype is built upon the notion that they are too occupied with families, their home life, etc. to invest the effort of learning new technologies on their own time. Admittedly, I find this assumption (usually from younger programmers) to be completely unfounded and discriminatory. Sure, as younger programmers we get to learn about lots of new languages in an encouraging, educational environment, so we’ve already got a leg up on this one. However, having worked with many programmers older than myself in a professional setting, I would get schooled any day on the technologies they know that are still highly relevant today.
My biggest problem is with the assumption that it is a programmer’s responsibility to take time out of their personal lives to learn a technology for the sake of learning one. Now if that’s what someone wants to do with their free time, then more power too them. But most companies will be more than happy to help programmers learn a new technology on the clock to not only improve the programmer, but to ensure they are learning and applying technologies that will actually be relevant to the work they are producing.
Ultimately, I can’t explain why young programmers feel this need to learn every technology possible that they probably will never use (and then rip on older programmers for not doing the same). As an NFL coach whose name I don’t remember once said: “You’re asking me to explain a senseless act. I can’t do that”.