Retaining value

Yesterday on The Pastry Box, Ed Finkler wrote a piece called The Developer’s Dystopian Future. I read it while eating my brekkie and it struck a chord with me. I tweeted out the following:

I relate to this a lot, …

I got response to it, which isn’t too surprising to me. But what was suprising was Scott Kellum bringing up imposter syndrome, which of course, like anyone else, I feel at times. But the piece by Ed didn’t really bring that up for me. Instead, I resonated with:

My tolerance for learning curves grows smaller every day. New technologies, once exciting for the sake of newness, now seem like hassles. I’m less and less tolerant of hokey marketing filled with superlatives. I value stability and clarity.

That is completely true for me. I love what I do on a day-to-day basis. And I also love this community and industry. But when I read about yet another CSS framework, or some new JS hotness, I cringe a bit inside. I don’t want to spend all my free time, on top of my client work, to learn that new hotness. As Ed said so well:

There are other, more important needs in my life that are not related to programming languages.

I usually shut down my computer on Friday after I’m done working for the week, starting it again on Monday morning. I use my iPad to keep track of anything that may come up over the weekend, but if I can, I try and stay off the computer for those two days and out of my home office. In addition, because I live with a person who works a regular 9 to 5 schedule, I try very hard to be done working when he gets home.

All of this leads me to wonder how I’m going to keep up, how I’m going to learn the new things and be able to retain my value in the marketplace when I just don’t have the drive to spend all my free time on the computer learning new things like I used to. It doesn’t help that people regularly write about what I do and say it is a dying breed of job as well.

But I do think I still bring value, I think that experience and having been “around the block,” so to speak, means something. I know that I am fighting for things that get forgotten, like accessibility and progressive enhancment. But it’s very hard to remember that when every time you open up Twitter there is yet another new thing you feel like you need to learn. But I agree with Ed when he concludes his piece in reference to what type of job he’ll be doing in ten years:

I hope I still have something to offer. I don’t know what it will be, though.