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Zohar Peled
Zohar Peled

Posted on

Can you teach an old developer new tricks?

(Full version published on my blog)

Judging by the job offers advertisement I see, linked in and Dev posts, I guess I can probably be called old. I’m 43 (celebrated my birthday this month) and have been working as a developer for about two decades now – so even though I don’t really feel that old, In the landscape of professional software development I’m far from being considered young – and that’s an understatement.

Ok, but can you still learn new stuff?

As it turns out, the answer is yes. I can learn new stuff, and as every developer knows, I must be able to learn new stuff if I want to keep working as a developer.

So, what have I learned lately?

Well, about two years ago I’ve started working again for a company I was once employed at. Turns out they’ve changed quite a lot of things since the previous time I was there. I’ve learned to write MVVM based WPF applications, I’ve learned to create .NetCore WebApis, I’ve learned unit testing, dependency injection, Json and Json schema, and probably another thing or two I can’t recall now.

And the moral of the story is…

Every now and then you need to start asking yourself some questions: Am I where I want to be? Are my methodologies and tech stack too far back? I’m not saying you should keep up with every new trend or language – that would be insane even for a 20 years old – but remember to keep yourself updated.

I remember when I first made Stackoverflow a part of my daily routine – I was amazed to learn how many languages that I didn’t even knew existed are being used every day by literally thousands of people.
I’ve learned many things from reading stackoverflow questions and answers, and even more from answering questions there.

I’ve just recently discovered Dev and found a warm, welcoming community of developers from all over the world with many interesting articles, insights and coding challenges. I’ve signed up just this month and I already feel I’m learning new things.

Top comments (3)

256hz profile image
Abe Dolinger

Happy birthday! I'm 35 and just started my first dev job, so you're way ahead of me.

scottishross profile image
Ross Henderson

Of course you can, but it depends on the person you are. Unfortunately, I'm dealing with people stuck 30 years in the past and have no interest in entering the modern world (talking about UNIX Server and coding SQL in the command line).

It's an indication of being a brilliant developer when you accept that things change and you keep up-to-date with the development ecosystem.

Happy birthday for whenever it was!

ferricoxide profile image
Thomas H Jones II

I'll be 50 come January...

Biggest problem I have is also caused by the biggest benefit of age and experience: lots of knowledge makes acquiring new knowledge easier ...but, especially in the beginning, the new knowledge tends to be adopted with an "accent" (e.g., while you're using the syntax of a new language, you may still be using style conventions of your "home" language).