Why the new stuff?

A few pings this evening about Salesforce certification and queries as to why I was interested in that cloud service (or anything other than my usual stack).  I found myself answering the question differently depending on the way it was asked.   Over the past few years I have found myself working with Enterprise Vault, Connections, deep security work, Google Apps, mobility, MDM and MAM solutions and a lot more.  I appreciate that it gives the impression that I am not focussed on Lotus software anymore, but I don’t believe that is a reason.    I still love the Domino server.  I really do.  I still want to launch the Notes client out of a window.  I really do.  Anyway, my reasons for new things….

  • I try to learn something new to a technical level, including implementations, customisations and certifications every year.  Yes it’s tough as hell, but it keeps me on my toes for having to keep learning new things.  Our market is in a constant state of change.  It could get very easy for me to rest on my laurels on IBM Domino, as there is still work in that market.  Especially those that invest hard in becoming niche skill levels.
  • I dislike closed minds.  I also dislike blind following of one brand/software/company.  In my earlier years I was guilty of this.  Nowadays I really dislike someone being dismissive of other software/services unless they have a *very* good understanding of them.  All software is a compromise.  The more varied products and solutions I learn, the more that is obvious.  Also I become a lot more comfortable with discussing and comparing software fairly.
  • I don’t really believe in the “adapt or die” mentality.  But in change lies opportunity.
  • You can always draw on your knowledge in older products when learning newer ones.   You also can quickly make suggestions on new technologies based on experience and lessons learned with older ones.  I find it easier now to see products that will be successful.
  • All products have the same problem.  The business.  Sustainable products need to address problems.  Anything else is looking for a quick exit strategy with hype and buyouts.
  • People with 15 years+ of consultant-level business implementation experience may be dismissive of the massive advantage they have over newer technologies and “younger” consultants/products.  You have dealt with business people, shitty project managers, egos, politics, ridicule, people management, screwups, screwING up, software bugs, release management, change control (or lack of), shitty documentation etc for a long time. You have scars to prove it.  Add that knowledge, that is only learnt over time, to any product, be it new or old and you are a powerful force for a customer.
  • Middle management are the first against the wall when the recession arrives.  Keep skilled.

Update

Another reason that I should have mentioned

  • Skilling up in a growth technology is refreshing.  Not feeling like you are in a shrinking pond and meeting brand new names, new customers and new opportunities is a shot in your arm.   Also, dealing with software vendors proactively as opposed to screaming at them makes your day a lot easier.

Here endeth my opinion.  Yours may differ.

15 Comments »

  1. Darren Said,

    July 8, 2013 @ 11:49 pm

    Totally agree with you… it’s actually what you say to a talented child (like mine)… by all means excel at music and art but invest in the other skills that will get you qualifications which in turn will get you a good job. Adapt and survive. SalesForce have a healthy business which will give you options.

  2. Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy Said,

    July 8, 2013 @ 11:58 pm

    Very well articulated Paul. Another reason I find relevant is work with newer technologies pushes the envelop on my work with older technologies.

  3. Thomas Duff Said,

    July 9, 2013 @ 12:04 am

    That is a great post, Paul… thanks.

  4. Mat Newman Said,

    July 9, 2013 @ 12:52 am

    Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

    … or one of my favourite quotes: “While you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe, you rot.”

    Good on ya mate.

  5. Bruce Elgort Said,

    July 9, 2013 @ 1:02 am

    Paul,

    Thanks for posting this. It’s very important to keep ones self relevant in the tech world.

  6. Stephan H Wissel Said,

    July 9, 2013 @ 2:11 am

    Amen to that. Working for a vendor makes a slightly different challenge (unless becoming member of the CPO). So my list reads: Python, Arduino, Raspberry Pi and ‘the science of cooking’ at Coursera

  7. Bill Buchan Said,

    July 9, 2013 @ 4:20 am

    +1

  8. Mark Roden Said,

    July 9, 2013 @ 6:58 am

    It is a very different mindset being a consultant than an internal resource within a large company. What you describe as a personal evolution is natural to some but others believe they are too old to learn something new.

    For me the lesson was/is take control of your destiny before someone else forces unwanted change upon you.

    Where’s the cheese?

    Great read :)

  9. axel Said,

    July 9, 2013 @ 9:35 am

    “All software is a compromise.”
    So true.

  10. Stuart McIntyre Said,

    July 9, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

    Very well said, couldn’t agree more…

  11. Dan Soares Said,

    July 9, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

    Paul,

    Good food for thought. You’d make an excellent writer. You have a way of getting to the heart of the matter quickly :-)

    Cheers,

    Dan

  12. Paul Mooney Said,

    July 9, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

    Appreciate the kind words Dan, but I know I am a terrible writer. Hence the bullet point approach!

  13. Nathan T. Freeman Said,

    July 9, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

    NO!! TRAITOR!!!

  14. Dave Hay Said,

    July 12, 2013 @ 3:51 am

    Two thoughts: -

    - As one of my clients said to me last year, “Every day is a school day” ( as I learned about VMware and Active Directory )

    - On my current project, rather than saying “What did we do today?”, my team say “What did we learn today?”

    Dave

  15. Dave Hay Said,

    July 12, 2013 @ 3:51 am

    PS Life Is Good

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