Or, why a PhD isn’t the right career choice for me.
Further to my previous post, I feel like a slight further explanation is due on what I was trying to say.
I’m not and have never been especially excited by advances in computing – I am in no way your classic early adopter. As a natural tightwad, I deeply resent the way that new versions of technology being brought out periodically mean that you have to constantly upgrade or be left behind, ad thus not supported. As an oracle developer I came across this phenomenon early on in my career. I’d barely had 2 years working in Forms 2.3 when I was having to upgrade my skills to version 3.0, then 3.5 and so on and so forth. It’s not that I resented having to improve myself – that’s not the point I’m after making. Well, it partly was, but in these cases they were genuinely an improvement on what had gone before and made my programming life easier – what’s not to love?
It was more that my clients were having to repeatedly make an investment in paying to upgrade their platform so that they weren’t left behind on an unsupported Dinosaur (insert mental image here – cartoons welcome!)
In later years when working in a small company supporting other small businesses, I felt the pressure to upgrade more keenly. IT is these days a necessary expense for any business, one which quite a few of a certain type of business deeply resents. They have been co-erced into the latest century by advisers who have told them they need to move with the times, and as a consequence are deeply suspicious of anyone who tries to persuade them of the need for continuing investment.
Such clients are not going to further invest or upgrade unless there’s an imperative (e.g. Failed hard disk, utterly obsolete operating system at hasn’t heard of the Internet) or a very strong persuasive argument for actual tangible gain.
I’ve gone off on a slight tangent here, and this wasn’t where I intended to go.
In conclusion here, then: there are two computing worlds out there with very different drivers. The Seth Godins of this world want us all to do bigger better & faster, cutting edge, and without them there would be no IT industry. I acknowledge and respect that.
I’m not saying move slower, I’m saying that while pushing back the boundaries of the brave new world, it’s worth maybe sparing a thought for the multitude of clients out there who are just trying to get IT to help them do their damn job a bit better.