I have always said - it is a great time to be in tech. But to realize this, one needs to keep themselves updated with the latest trends. It is a well-known fact that if the learning stops, the slow death of the IT career starts.
Learning is the foundation of a successful IT career. In this post, I discuss the top 6 reasons to why it is important to learn? And shed some light on various factors that should trigger the learner in you to pick something up.
Lifelong learning is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for employment. - Jay Samit
What happens if you don't?
Before we move ahead, let us think about how does it matter? Is it worth it to dedicate some time to learn new concepts while already being employed - no matter how much experienced you are?
The best way to answer this is to take the example of someone great at what they do today. Remember a colleague in your team who is the best at what they do. Everyone knows their worth, and management never fails to acknowledge their efforts.
Today that person knows everything about the project, the technology, the ecosystem, etc., very well. They are so amazing that they can solve any critical issue even while asleep. Such command over their job! It is a dream, and these individuals often are role models for everyone around.
Imagine one fine day management decides to refresh the technology landscape with new tools and technology. This is fairly common - if it is not, then just to remind you - technology disruptions happen at a very fast rate. Organizations frequently undertake digital transformation initiatives at various levels to leverage the advantage of cutting-edge tech to reduce the expenditure on IT.
Teams either get replaced, reskilled, or upskilled. In either case, even the top-performing individuals in tech have to go through this ordeal. Reskilling/upskilling is still okay because you get to keep your job. But nobody wants to be replaced. So if it is anyway going to happen, why not take charge?
Upskilling vs. Reskilling is a topic for another time. Below are the top 7 reasons you should consider learning something new.
Technology was born to simplify human efforts. So it inherently has a continuous improvement tangent associated with it. There will never be a day where the evolution in tech will not happen exponentially, let alone saturate.
As discussed in the introductory section, technologies come and go all the time. It is tough for any product to stand the test of time in tech. Tools that shine today will lose their luster in the coming years.
Very few (almost none?) technologies from the 20th century are preferred today. It is not just about programming language and tools, but the architectural patterns have also evolved, which caused introductions to different ways of managing and operationalizing the businesses.
If you have a long way to go in tech, or if you want to go a long way in tech, it can get challenging without the flow of new knowledge.
One of the top reasons professionals opt to acquire new skills is money. These individuals keep an eye on the latest and upcoming trends and either transition during the peak time or start investing their time early on to make huge profits in the future.
Businesses adopt new tech, primarily from the perspective of cost optimization. Of course, there are other efficiencies involved. But knowing that new technology will be in demand in the future is enough motivation for people to start hacking into it.
At an individual level, it is all about being relevant in the market at the right time. More demand translates to more salary.
Remember the early days when you first started programming? Exciting! Wasn't it? It may or may not be the case for everybody today - people get tired over a period of time. But the fact that their career is currently built with that kind of a foundation proves that they were so convinced that they made a career out of it.
People come to a point where they feel the need to rekindle the fire in their job. Senior folks who have spent a lot of time years mastering the technology at hand naturally find themselves at this juncture at some point in their career. After all, how much is too much?
Very few people dedicate their lifetime of work to a particular technology - and those are real geniuses. It often is a case when someone is building the tech itself. Even in that case, they need to keep learning deeper in their direction. Of course, it would be a waste of IT career if you write similar code with different variables day in and day out for clients.
Boredom is a simple reason why people move to different technology. They want to experience the thrill of building something new and eventually master it well.
Type of Person
A lot depends on the type of person one is. Curiosity as quality does not do justice here, and it is a very vague term in this context. People have varied approaches to a given situation.
The type of person here is defined with respect to their purpose and drive for learning. Developers may have many goals in their life to learn a new language, but they may lack the drive to do it. On the other hand, people may be self-driven, but they lack purpose.
But purpose and drive are an essential part of taking action. Thus it is crucial to have a definite purpose and a driving force that helps them achieve their learning goals to build something meaningful.
It also depends on the way people look at their profession. IT profession is such that the possibilities are limitless. But if you look at it just like another job, that's a failure.
Remember the idiom - The grass is always greener from the other side? But to know how Green it is, you sometimes have to take a look from the other side.
The same is true for everybody in the tech community. No matter how good a developer is, having multiple perspectives on the code they write helps. Understanding the impact of every line of code in every possible way is precious.
As developers, if we understand how various stakeholders in the organization are impacted, we would deliver better products. Because then we would know - without any ambiguity - what exactly is expected from a given requirement.
Not just developers, this is true for any profile. Wearing multiple hats to think of a product differently is a short way to do it. However, the more time you spend thinking from different perspectives, the deeper understanding is developed.
Indirectly, we do learn the other perspectives in bits and pieces. We may develop interest and start to actively learn the other side.
This one is my personal favorite. By future-proofing, I do not mean with respect to money or business. Here it refers to learning new things to build something meaningful in the future. It could also mean re-building or re-packaging the existing products by leveraging the latest trends.
Solutioning a problem statement is very rewarding. Tech folks inherently are problem solvers. Any kind of profile in tech is there to solve some of the other business problems. The nature of these solutions evolves with technology.
With better technologies coming up, we should consider wrapping our heads around them as they offer a better way to solve existing problems in the future or new problems that may appear in the future.
We are born curious. Irrespective of any reason, we naturally crave to know more. A few decades back, it was a world of learneds that is now rapidly taking a step back towards being lifelong learners.
Especially in tech, the stealth life of knowledge is very limited. If you learned something a few years back, it is of no use today unless you have made consistent efforts to refresh that knowledge with newer versions.
There is simply no option - nowhere to go - without learning.