Check, Not Checkmate

from the innovation-ain't-over-yet dept

I’ve been hearing more and more people saying things about how the technology industry is now growing boring – and there’s nothing new left to work on or discover. I think (of course) that this is completely ridiculous. In the last couple weeks alone I’ve seen some incredibly cool new products that will be on the market soon. Here’s a column basically saying that there’s still plenty of innovation left to come. I’m actually going to speak to this point a bit next week during my talk at the O’Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference (for anyone who’s planning on attending). I’m amused by the pessimists who say there’s nothing new coming, because they strike me as the same sort of extremists who thought that the market was only going to go up a few years ago.

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Comments on “Check, Not Checkmate”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Lemme try and explain my point of view.

I’m a 26 year old network engineer. I started using a computer in second grade, first opened one up to add my own hardware in 8th, started a CS major in college but switched o philosophy because CS was “far too utilitarian”. I went back to computers because a friend of mine said “Hey learn this computer crap and you’ll be set for life!” (heh) Well, I hired on to the mom and pop ISP he worked for, and four years and three jobs later I’m a network engineer. I’m at the point where I don’t want to learn any more achronyms or terms for things that already exist. I don’t really have any desire to further my certifications or even maintain the ones I do have. My primary skill is reasoning and provided that the medium I work within is rational, I’ll figure it out. I used to listen to chemical brothers for their spacious and futuristic sound. Now they sound nostalgic and I find myself popping in slipknot. I’m not sure the sci-fi depictions are even possible any more based on the earth’s resources and I find myself daydreaming about alternate careers I could start in other fields. Maybe I was never cut out for this, but at one time I knew I was. It only took 4 years to kill that. I like that new stuff keeps coming, but if it’s not on (or /.) I don’t really have time for it. Is there hope for me? Does my field normally experience early burnout? Am I just at the point where “life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone”? I feel trapped now that I have a house that requires a hefty salary to pay the mortgage.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Lemme try and explain my point of view.

Oops. You just discovered why your twenties are supposed to be used for exploration, travel and screwing up, not industrious career-building. For a philosophy major, I’m not sure you ever understood what your teachers were parroting.
Compared to you, my twenties were a pinball disaster zone (which might have had something to do with the fact that I graduated college into the 1990-1993 recession). By necessity, I tried a bunch of different jobs, and even went overseas looking for work.
While I was crashing down the road, I bumped into my wife.
For all the scars and heart attacks, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Now, while you still have time, do something radical. I’m not saying quit your job and walk on your mortgage. I am saying realize that one day you are going to die, and when you are on your deathbed, your memories better not be “I followed a sensible career path.”
Find a strong avocation. Volunteer to be an EMT. Build a cabin in the woods. Become a child advocate for the courts. Start a project that will forever make spam obsolete. Something. Anything. But for God’s sake, it is time you start writing the stories you intend to tell your grandchildren.

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