So I’ve been on a quest recently to learn new stuff. My primary focus has been the Elm language. I’ve been messing around with it and building little projects here and there with it. It’s particular merits aren’t relative to the point here. The point is that learning new stuff is awesome.
I’m an avid video gamer. I love games on consoles, the PC, my 3ds, even my phone. I love them all. And one of the few things that I would rather do than game is learn something new, hopefully something that will let me build something very cool. I’m so glad that my job involves learning new stuff all the time.
In my career I’ve seen all kinds of developers. There are those who are driven to always be learning something new and building something with it. I remember a coworker who stayed up for 48 hours when the new version of Visual FoxPro came out (don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of it). Then there are those who just want to do their job and are happy not learning anything new. And then there’s everyone in between. I hope I’m on the “driven to learn” end of the scale myself, although I don’t personally want to pass any judgments on the relative value in either lifestyle. Being too far on either end of the spectrum can make you a less desirable employee.
Companies can’t be changing technologies all the time and constantly introducing new pieces into their products. Stability is valuable. On the other hand, you can save innumerable man hours by using innovative new technologies. Building a typical web app in modern frameworks is significantly faster than in older ones. And the code is more maintainable and generally more performant, all things being equal.
So although I do believe in moderation in all things, I truly truly love to learn new stuff.