Posted by: Nicky Verd Comments: 0

Fred Mitchell, has been a software engineer for 40 year and has this to say regarding keeping up with technology:

My career began with the then-dubbed “microcomputer revolution” with the Apple IIs, the S-100 systems, minicomputers, and, yes, the vulnerable PC. Started off with Basic, and in a year was doing C and assembly writing an OS from scratch.

Jumped on C++ when it was still CFront, and witness the explosive growth of the Internet.

It was quite a ride, and I was always on the forefront of tech.

When the Amiga died (well, Commodore), Windows NT was out in Beta, and I jumped on that immediately.

A few months later, demand was intense for NT developers and thusly found myself to be ahead of that curve.

And the same with Java, Python, Ruby, MySQL database… you get the idea.

Not as young as I used to be. I am finding it annoying to ride the crest of the wave of technology all the time.

I’m leaning a bit more towards enjoying life. No one can know it all but I certainly gave it my all trying to do so.

So, I decided to come back “home” to C++, and even there, I had a lot of catching up to do with mastering C++17.

Maintaining my status as a computer language polyglot is becoming increasingly more and more difficult.

I have toyed with Haskell and Rust and Erlang and Elixir and even Go. They all have their respective strengths and weaknesses, and each requires strong commitment to master.

But as of now, I am focusing on (re)mastering C++, getting to know it again for the first time. It is not the same C++ I knew in the 90s.

And it has taken on many of the features and capabilities of many of the other languages I know, but does most of it with zero-cost abstractions. It gives you great power to do what you want.

There are many developers these days that master only one language. Ruby or Java or Python or C…

What I’m trying to say is that you can keep up with technology in a narrowly defined arena if you devote the time to it. Narrow it down to your specific field, career or industry.

Keeping up with all technology? No, that’s not possible.

I have an interest in genetics, quantum mechanics, and general relativity. I don’t have enough hours in the day to stay abreast of all of it.

So, you must be selectively narrowly focused, with your mission in mind. Maybe someday I would like to get involved on Robotics, Astronautics and Nanotechnology.

Yes, I have something very particular in mind. A “mission”.

So I focus on what is relevant to that mission. And in the meantime I have to keep a roof over my family’s head and food on the table, so part of my focus has to be there as well.

Keeping up with all technology is not possible!

Choose your missions wisely!

Fred Mitchell

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