I thought a lot how to start this post. Then I had a problem with it title. Finally I decided to use one simple word – Passiveness. This is character trait that scary me the most. We think that IT industry will consume any number of specialist but this is not true. There are some people that would like to change something in their life – job, project, … but… They are not able to do that. They stick in the same company or project. And they are doing nothing to change that.
You can try to ask them – why? And it is quite common that they will indicate a lot of reasons that are blocking them from that change. I can give you a lot of examples. Let’s start from a man than on interview said that his development had been block by his company. Then other person that has stuck in the same project with the same technology for over 10 years. That person was an expert in that project but totally not attractive from market perspective. And maybe last example. Somebody who has longer break from software development.
In most of cases I wanted to help such people. But each time I tried to challenge them with one simple question: what is your plan for gaining missing knowledge? And in most cases I could hear silence as answer to that question. And it really terrifies me.
Passiveness… From one side need for change. And from other one missing of any plan how to do that.
From my perspective answer to that question should be very simple. I just wanted to hear small confirmation that this person is really trying to change his / her situation. It could be something small. One or two hour of technical book reading per week. Or maybe plan of delivering small project that will use technology that is needed in new project. Or just something simple like watching courses on Pluralsight.
Together with that I have heard that it was really difficult to find some time for that kind of activities. I will be honest with you I do not like how our job market looks right now. Our knowledge became a product with very short validity date. It is quite common that technologies were cool half year ago and right now are outdated. And we need to update our knowledge every day. As you probably know on one hand it cost us a lot of time. On the other one I think you can always find some spare time that can be used for this. In my case I always listen to some podcast when I am riding a bike or driving a car. Another example – my favourite gadget is not a mobile phone but my Kindle. Right now I am not reading as many IT books as I used to do. But still I am using it each time when I am commuting by bus.
I had a plan. I wanted to start working with WWW projects. It was something I hadn’t done before in my life. I managed to meet right people that believed in me and my plan. Finally I am doing what I wanted to do.
Just to summarize… Please remember that there are people who would like to help you but you need to convince them that you are also working to change your present situation.