Strolling ahead of the technology steamroller

The 'technology steamroller' is a concept that comes up in engineer circles now and then. The analogy is pretty obvious, but let me explain it anyway. If you don't learn things all the time, the technology steamroller will capture you and crush you beneath its steel clad wheels.

I dont dispute that this can happen, especially if you like me actually enjoy the field and would like to stick around a bit, before being put into end storage in management or something.

The thing I dispute is the speed of the steamroller, and the difficulty in keeping ahead of it.

Here I will indulge in some Old Guy ramblings, so beware.

When i started studying, we had time shared TOPS-20 systems. A couple of years later the web started being popular. For many of us, this wasn't a big transition. It was just that we now had graphical terminals for our remote systems as well as the text based terminals.

And so on. During the years, the engineering tradeoffs between which part of the work ought to be done locally versus the part that should be done remotely changes a bit, but the underlying problems are at the core the same.

The same goes for many things. Objective c is mostly C with an annoying syntax. Javascript is mostly an implementation of missunderstood lisp. Java is C++ for noobs, and so on.

I banter a bit, but I'm certainly not in the camp that claims the past was better. A lot of things do get better when you simplify them.

My takeaway point is, if you are an experienced engineer, you dont need to run ahead of the steamroller, just stroll!