I have written about, spoke about and even taught at a university that the software world we work in changes every single day. It’s imperative that we keep up with these changes. I had one professor call this “techno stress” and I have a case of it 110%! I am finding out the longer I’m in this career, that this stress only increases, and it becomes harder to keep up.
This is the major reason that I tell software engineers, mostly beginners, that we must spend time outside of work to keep up. Otherwise, you, the team you work in and therefore the software you are writing will be suck in the past. This is very important for any level you are at in your career. If we don’t, the software we are working on will become harder and harder to change to the point where it can’t be modified. Also, you will find it harder and harder to find a new job that you really enjoy.
At the current contract I am working on, the solution I am helping with is stuck at least 10 years in the past. It uses frameworks that are no longer supported. It uses source control that most don’t use anymore. Furthermore, the crazy way they do use source control causes a lot, and I mean a lot of wasted time struggling with it. This is the largest team I have ever worked in and it’s my feeling that it takes more and more developers, mostly outsourced, just to keep this software working. Features and bug fixes take 10 times longer to complete, therefore wasting a lot of the company’s and therefore the customers money.
On top of that the poor architecture or lack thereof makes this worse. They do use unit tests, but we can’t run the entire suite on our local development boxes. For me over 800 fails, making it impossible for me to be sure that the code I am committing will work properly. Most of the time it does not. The company’s policy of hiring contractors, firing them, hiring them back repeatedly is a major issue. They go though so may people, permanent and contractors, it’s impossible to keep this project from being stuck in the past and the customers users pay the price for this. Literally!
So, it’s vitally important that you keep up with technology, common practices such as architecture and standards so that you and the software you write will not be stuck in the past! Your users and your career will thank you!