Technology as a Means to an End

I admit I find technology a little less exciting than I used to. I reminisce about the good old days; staying up all night hacking in the latest programming languages and IDEs, trying the latest versions of all the cool operating systems, and applying all of this knowledge to my daily projects.

Maybe I'm burnt out on the rapid changes in all technical arenas. Maybe I'm disgusted with the specialization that HR and recruiters seem to require. Maybe I'm just becoming a better technologist...

There seems to be a natural progressions for nerdfolk out there:

  1. Learn a lot about technology
  2. Reach critical mass of tech knowledge
  3. Relax and realize it's just a tool
  4. Reject technology and become a yeoman farmer

Earlier in my career I was both more excited and less learned. I see this combination in almost all technology professionals coming up today, so I'm calling it a trend. It seems to be the nature of the beast that the most energized and motivated people -- those who push the envelope of technology -- also cause the most downtime/bugs/negative outcomes.

This passion is both the greatest asset of the young technology professional and their greatest downfall. The urgent need to "play" with the newest, greatest technology is rarely productive in the short-term, but it allows them to gain the understanding required to advance the cause of technology for future generations.

This is a tremendous responsibility for young technologists that should not be ignored. As with other disciplines before them, each generation builds on the progress of the last. If this advancement slows, it will be a great missed opportunity.

If "experience is directly related to equipment ruined", perhaps it's time we should apply a new rule. Something like, "a person's responsibility to advance technology is directly proportional to the downtime caused in their youth."