It’s easy to forget how fast things can change, especially in an industry like I.T. Recently, someone introduced me to the concept of “boiling frogs”, and that a frog will jump out of boiling water if put straight in, but stay in the water and boil alive if the water temperature increases gradually. To some extend this is something that we are all affected by, I mean, from the age of 6, you look in the mirror every day, and barely notice anything other than your hair getting longer. 20 years later you are 2 foot taller and have to shave twice a day.
Back to I.T, an important lesson I’ve learnt recently is to make sure you are always aware of how your environment changes, because without this, you will struggle to get better at what you do, you’ll also end up missing opportunities. Lets take web services as an example, 4 years ago no one was using them in anger, 2 years ago, if you did web services = soap over http (smtp?! Like using a motorway to sail submarines) and now 85% of Amazons web service calls come in the shape of REST. Admittedly my example isn’t great, as there are far better example of rapid change, waterfall vs agile being a good one.
I suppose, deep down, that’s one of the reasons I enjoy my work so much, because I know not what to expect, and I feel I’ll always have the opportunity to learn, im not sure how many other industries that can be said to be really true of. People say “I have 20 years experience in Banking” I say “Do you?” or do you have 1 years experience repeated 20 times?
I look for a few things in a job, 1) Opportunity to learn 2) Work with good colleagues (and the word ‘good’ comprises of multiple facets) and 3) Be appreciated . Of course there are many other factors that effect day to day life, but those 3 standards are mine at the moment, they’ve already changed as I’ve evolved through my life, and I’m sure they will change again.