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.
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.