DEV Community

loading...
Cover image for Have you ever been forced to learn a tech you do not like?

Have you ever been forced to learn a tech you do not like?

madza profile image Madza ・1 min read

Have you ever came across the unpleasant feeling of being forced to learn something you are not fully a fan of, cause you simply did not have another choice?

The reasons for this might vary, including specific job opportunities in your area, particular work culture in some organizations, or jumping into some continuous legacy projects...

Did you try to present some alternatives and how it all resolved?

Discussion (39)

Collapse
redcreator37 profile image
RedCreator37

Visual Basic for Applications, to fix some code in several Excel spreadsheets that had been deprecated a looong time ago but suddenly needed again...

I didn't really learn VBA, just enough to be able to fix the problems and implement a few new things. While there's nothing inherently wrong with VBA, it's cumbersome to work with if you're used to more modern languages 😄 and error handling can be clunky (On Error GoTo ...).

Collapse
loouislow profile image
Loouis Low

In my living country, VBA is still a thing for some very old factory or manufacturer that hasn't been exposed to modern technology. Usually, a developer who could do VBA is very senior, the pay is higher than any modern backend developer.

Collapse
lexiebkm profile image
Alexander B.K.

I was forced to learn VB6 and SQL Server 2000 when the only language I was capable of was FoxPro 2.6 for DOS. :)
About two years ago, I was forced to turn to web dev that needed a lot of learning after I didn't find job vacancy for desktop non-web anymore.

Collapse
madza profile image
Madza Author • Edited

Excel is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear VBA 😃 Have scratched a surface very little too when wrote some simple productivity scripts 😉

Collapse
bmartin2013 profile image
Barbara Martinez

+1 ... I was forced to migrate a billing system to VBA to .NET

Collapse
loouislow profile image
Loouis Low

Yes. I was forced to learn JQuery just to implement it on a frontend project to use for a very short time. My stubbornness almost gets myself trouble in career. My perfectionist has both good and the bad. It depends on who would appreciate it.

Collapse
madza profile image
Madza Author • Edited

The funny thing, when it comes to jQuery, is that some people believe it's fully extinct. In fact, there are loads of jQuery code still out there, as well as organizations still maintaining it 😉 StackOverFlow Survey 2020 approves, based on 65k devs. 😉

Collapse
loouislow profile image
Loouis Low • Edited

In reality, JQuery won't go away that easily in a few decades I believe. Not every company wants to refactor new by using the latest stack if the application still working fine.

Every step you move, it costs.

Thread Thread
madza profile image
Madza Author

Exactly my thoughts 👍💯

Collapse
mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio

Does my entire High School career count? haha

Collapse
madza profile image
Madza Author

Hahah, made my day 😃😃

Collapse
loouislow profile image
Loouis Low

I missed my high school life...

Collapse
pazyp profile image
Andrew Pazikas

All the time, I am an Database Engineer for a large Corp, many of the tools defined in the "strategic" direction I do not nessesarily agree that they are the best fit, but its above my paygrade I just need to make the tools fit with what I want to do.

Collapse
madza profile image
Madza Author

Have you ever tried to open the discussion for alternatives, or you basically find it as a fight against windmills in a large corp? 💬

Collapse
pazyp profile image
Andrew Pazikas

Yea I've had discussions about alternatives before, problem always comes down to money, mostly when alterntives are presented the deal may already have been done with vendor X and multiple millions already changed hands.

Collapse
0ctavia profile image
Octa

I was an intern and had to learn React and Redux, even though I'm more of a back-end profile. I decided to go ahead with it, even though I disliked it fiercely. With the entire project well underway there was no way I could have suggested any change. So I ended up learning React.
In the end I view it as a positive. It is a skill highly in demand and I know that if I need, I can brush it up and find some work. I still try to avoid it though.

Collapse
nerdypaws profile image
Amy Negrette

I learned Java in college and used it in my first job. Then that job acquired a PHP application and I had to learn it to support the development. Because I was the most junior at the time, they couldn't make anyone else do it. Then a year later, that company was acquired by a big tech company that ran primarily on PHP and as one of three PHP devs on the team, my growth jumped. I stopped hating it after the first couple months and ended up doing that as my primary work for the next 9 years. At the end of the day, they're all just tools.

Collapse
ggenya132 profile image
Eugene Vedensky • Edited

I had to learn some proprietary internal frontend framework that felt like the worst angular and react had to offer mashed up into some poorly implemented (think fixed pixel values for components...) mutant child. I started delearning the moment I got an offer to move on.

Collapse
offirmo profile image
Offirmo

I was forced to learn TypeScript while being sceptical about it.
Ended up liking it a lot and I'm an advocate now!

I was forced to use RPC over REST which was all the hype at the time, ended up broadening my horizons and being less of a "hammer/nail" person.

My uni teacher forced us to learn proper usage of Microsoft Word = using styles, ended up super-useful!

Collapse
galoisgirl profile image
Anna

How can you truly be against something without knowing it?

I'm grateful for the time with the technologies I don't like, because that how I learned what problems arise, and above all, how big problems they really are.

Some problems are also well worked-around in some environments. For instance, while Python doesn't enforce function return types, developers keep them consistent. In PHP, I've had functions that would return completely different things depending on a parameter, making it hell to debug.

Collapse
pavelloz profile image
Paweł Kowalski • Edited

How can you truly be against something without knowing it?

Very easily. I dont know how it feels to kill somebody with a hammer, but im strongly against it and i never want to know.

It takes a little bit of predictive thinking and research, but with a little bit of effort most things you can predict if you want to do or not.

Collapse
galoisgirl profile image
Anna

The hammer analogy is poor: you can very easily gather enough information to make up your mind. An extreme example is food, where it's very hard to predict whether you'll like something, and trying it is usually the only way to find out.

Technology isn't a consumable, not is it a hardware tool.

Thread Thread
pavelloz profile image
Paweł Kowalski

If something is very spicy, i know i dont want to find out.
If something is very sweet, i dont want to try it.
If something is made from ...

Collapse
andrewrgarcia profile image
Andrew Garcia • Edited

MATLAB. There’s nothing Python can’t do which MATLAB can [except some complex spectral transformations with imaginary numbers]. It also has very involved syntax and is heavy

Collapse
michaelphipps profile image
Phippsy

I'm still not giving in. I do not want to learn node.js, but it's all you guys ever talk about!

But seriously - Joomla, wordpress, .NET (which is funny because I started out as a VB programmer, and loved asp). It's like every freelancer job I ever did was using tech I had never seen before that I suddenly had to become the expert in.

Advice - learn to say NO.

Thankfully, I get to decide what tech I use now.

Collapse
offirmo profile image
Offirmo

Not saying it's applicable to you, but sometime external pressure is needed to broaden one's comfort zone, cf. my answer.

So... learn to say YES!

Collapse
dendihandian profile image
Dendi Handian • Edited

Yes. They are Wordpress and Drupal. So weird to code them.

Collapse
michaelphipps profile image
Phippsy

I used to love Drupal. I even met Dries Buytaert! But the lack of backwards compatibility between versions constantly meant significant rewrites to code which really wasn't viable for the small business clients I was working with. You really had to put clients on a maintenance plan (so ok from a business stream perspective) if you used that.

And wordpress... man... the number of people who still ask me to update wordpress websites because they can't do it themselves - I'd rather just convert their website to HTML and get rid of the wordpress headache.

Collapse
dendihandian profile image
Dendi Handian • Edited

They (the client) might break the wordpress itself carelessly, I prefer to version it using composer like Roots Bedrock version.

Collapse
fdoxyz profile image
Fernando

It happened to me with Ruby on Rails. I was a mobile dev and was encouraged to learn so I could help out with backend/web development at the company I was working at the time.

I only knew a little NodeJS at the time so server stuff wasn’t 100% new for me, but I was a bit hesitant at first. Turns out I absolutely loved it and I’m still coding in Rails to this day (4+ years ago 😅). I’m still grateful for the chance I was given to learn something new at that job.

I guess you really only know if you’ll like/hate it until you give it a shot! I would definitely recommend against going with anything outside of your interests if you’re clear in what you want, otherwise experiment as much as possible if you have the chance because you never know what might surprise you

Collapse
lexiebkm profile image
Alexander B.K.

Ah... because of money, I had to learn programming stuffs. I wish I would still have time to relearn Physics, multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra, Electrical Circuits, Thermodynamics, Control Engineering... I have eBooks on these subjects, but time and energy preclude me from doing that.

Collapse
sirseanofloxley profile image
Sean Allin Newell

I'm always curious how even the oldest of tech ticks, so I don't know if I've ever felt like I was being 'forced' to learn or that it was unpleasant. There are certainly features of C# I miss when doing VBA, or things in F# I'd like PHP to be able to do, or TypeScript features that make Classic ASP feel clunky, but I also respect the crufty crustiness of the old guard - especially if has made the company millions of dollars (which in my experience, these old bits of tech often have!).

Collapse
proggreg profile image
Greg Field

Mendix, it's a low-code platform but I found it to be quite restrictive based on the database driven approach. I no longer work for that company :D

Collapse
madza profile image
Madza Author

It just got too much for you at one point, right 😃😃

Collapse
ndrone profile image
Nicholas Drone

Yeah javascript.

Collapse
dendihandian profile image
Dendi Handian

Then you are so-backend unless you use nodejs.

Collapse
ndrone profile image
Nicholas Drone

Not really. I can still use html. Thymeleaf, velocity templates for server side rendering to the front end.

Not to mention in the back end I'm not limited. I can use java, Python, bash, and a plethora of other technologies.

Collapse
ecarlisle profile image
Eric Carlisle

ClojureScript.
I remember being impressed with it, but I had a very hard time with code readability.

Collapse
ablx profile image
Mirco

I had to work a lot with SWT (old UX toolkit for Java) and other Java Desktop App stuff.
In the end, I changed my job.

Forem Open with the Forem app