My friend John Locke wrote a great post about people stagnating in their learning. I’ve found this to be true with people learning development. Some keep digging and others stop because programming was just a fad for them.
John’s main premise is that people stop learning as they get older.
But one thing I’ve noticed as I get older is many people begin to limit what they expose themselves to as they mature. They cut off their opportunities to learn from others, perhaps for fear it will change what they believe their core essence to be.
Hey, I had a birthday this year, which means I’m older. And I also pushed harder on specializing in my business.
Just today I cut 50% of my RSS feeds. Sure, some were dead so I really just got more speed out of my RSS refresh, but a good portion of the ones I cut were publishing content on a regular basis.
Some of it was technical, just not in the specialty I dig into.
You could look at this and say I’ve started to stagnate since I’m narrowing the swath of information I take in.
Is that really the case though? Does narrowing my focus really mean I've begun to stagnate?
I believe there will always be a tension between those items that really challenge us and provide value versus those that just fill up our lives. My goal is to get my ‘inputs’ down to the very few I actually need.
Don’t go stagnant because you fear something new, like John says.
Do refine your sources of information to those that are high value, and only pursue those. Only get into a new tool when it solves a problem.
It’s a hard tension to hold.