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Discussion on: Are you (programming) in your comfort zone? Please don’t.

jasongabler profile image
Jason Gabler • Edited on

Some of us, particularly those with mortgage, car and health bills for a handful of dependents, along with ungodly amounts of midnight poop and vomit cleanups behind us, just don't have the time to get out of comfort zones anymore by eagerly rubbing our hands together with glee at 1AM while navigating to the reference website for Node JS... after firing the software developer's proverbial starting gun, the sound of cracking open that heavenly can of diet coke. To be more accurate, I don't think such folks, as myself, actually have or remember what comfort zones are anymore. I have to force myself to learn what's new(er) by shoehorning it into my every day work. My position description is one of a software developer. But, by the nature of my workplace, I do devops stuff on a fairly regular basis. I have to script. But I've been forcing myself to stop using bash so much, and, oh God forgive for admitting it, Perl, when I just need to wade through some log or other data file. Instead, I forced myself to learn Python, instead of at 1 AM, on an as-needed basis. I think I hate Python as much as I eventually learned to hate the Medusa-like ugliness of Perl. But hey, it's what all the cool kids use and, you know what? Getting Python to interact with the likes of databases and networks, among other things, is just a dream compared to Perl, let alone CLI binaries + bash. The moral of my addition to your story is, even if it seems like you don't have the cycles to break out of your comfort zone, it will be worth it, and more than just for the sake of some existential exercise. Imagine the joy of adding yet another buzzword to your resume!

agazaboklicka profile image
Aga Zaboklicka Author

Or imagine all those ugly things getting faster as you can deal with them faster after a little bit of a hurdle.

greg_ricker profile image
Greg Ricker

Good post, it gets a conversation going!!

Continuing to learn is never a bad thing. I spend a lot of time exploring new technology. I like Python and NoSQL. The POC's always seem so clean and elegant compared to the final product.

But it takes more than a 'bit of a hurdle' to get good enough at something. I have been involved with a number of projects where someone knew something about a new technology. In the end, the promise of faster and better is just that.

I work with folks who are all in for going to the cloud(AWS in this case). For me, studying for the certification exams was a process (excuse) to learn. A new DynamoDB project falls over after a few months and folks wonder why its just NoSQL after all! In the end, they blame the technology and find something new. In fact, it was their lack of knowledge that doomed the project.

The work of software development is difficult, get over it. No new process, framework or methodology is going to make life unicorns and rainbows.

Jason Gabler: I feel your Perl pain...even after years of therapy

kayis profile image
K (he/him)

It's about getting better, not about running after every hype.