I think it’s been too long since I’ve added some significant new skills to my technology work toolbox. Most of what I do is directly related to business problems that come up at the office – not often enough taking the much needed step back to see the overall direction of my skills and technology in general.
Primarily, I work in C# / .NET in a Windows-centric environment, and it becomes easy in that sort of environment to always look at every problem through the lens of a Microsoft-centric solution. Yes, I’ve picked up some strong PowerShell skills (highly recommended if you do anything on Windows nowadays) and I’ve gotten over the hurdle of Emacs, giving me a strong multi-purpose text editor solution for many problems – but I haven’t really learned many new paradigms.
Strike that – I have learned some new paradigms but haven’t really made much use of them yet. And I’ve gotten so I tend to grab for the mouse at times when I should be grabbing for the command line.
I think that’s gotta be my emphasis over the next year, no matter what technology problems I find myself working on – keeping new ways of looking at problems and solutions at the forefront of my mind – using more of the stuff in my work, getting my hands dirty in as many new ways as I can while balancing that against staying productive enough in my daily life. Yeah, I could keep looking at most problems as a C# guy, but in a few years that kind of attitude will leave me completely unqualified for most work, despite the efforts that Microsoft continues to make to embrace new technology ideas within the C# world.
Coursera has a course starting this week in Scala – maybe that’s just the thing to give me work skills a kick-in-the-butt!