Wednesday 17 October 2007

Just when I thought I was out...

Vader and Obi Wan
People often deride software developers for having an unhealthy obsession with science fiction and lacking the necessary social skills to communicate effectively with the outside world. A gross caricature; in our defence we're a sensitive lot. It's true. I still shed a tear when I think of poor Obi-Wan cut down by his old apprentice, but then don't we all?

One thing we certainly share with the real world is that nagging fear that the skills that once made us necessary are no longer of value. Hence the constant urge to work using up to date technology, including the latest programming languages; god forbid you should have to revisit earlier versions. Strangely enough though, whether you are allowed to work with the latest tools might seem to be in inverse proportion to your level of experience. Personally however I'd rather have an experienced SQL developer loose on my database; an exposure to the latest version of SQL Server doesn't make you immune to bad database design.

In IT knowing too much can sometimes appear detrimental to your career. That old application you thought you were shot of? Guess what? You're the only person who knows how it works and something needs fixing. Even when it's an application you've had nothing to do with, because you have experience of working in the Jurassic period some sly colleague manages to cut you down with this dubious information. But in cutting you down you'll become more powerful than he could possibly imagine...


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