“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
I recently coined the term 'IT-Saur'. It refers to a developer or development company that uses old technology in contemporary times. We all come across people using PHP5 or MySQL 5 in 2022, with no interest in using something else. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing bad with using time-proven technologies. They can be pretty developed and nice to use. They can even keep getting updates and new versions. Many people prefer to use them because that is just easier.
People are way more comfortable continuing to use what they already know, unknowingly letting that sense of familiarity fool them into not opening new doors for themselves. Not many people want the hustle of learning something completely new. But you can only get away with this approach for so long; it just doesn’t cut it in the long run.
As technologies grow exponentially, it becomes more difficult to stay relevant and up-to-date as a professional, especially within the field of Information Technology which is ever-evolving every single day.
For example, let's have a look at the once very popular language Perl at PYPL:
Google Trends paints a similar picture:
Clearly, its popularity is rapidly declining. At the same time, it is not dead, the latest stable version 5.34.1 was released in the middle of March 2022.
A more interesting example, the MySQL database. Even though it was initially released in 1996, it still confidently holds its place in 2022:
However, is it because of people's inertia, or because it is really good?
One of the core MySQL developers Steinar H. Gunderson who left Oracle recently, said 'MySQL is a pretty poor database, and you should strongly consider using Postgres instead' (1)
Adapting to the new technologies being developed is something that you must do if you want to be seen as a valuable professional asset. The more backward you are, the harder it becomes to catch up. So, while the entire IT community pushes forward to the next big thing, you become obsolete…an IT-Saur.
For a company, this means that hiring new people becomes much more challenging. For you, it means fewer available positions that you are qualified for. So if you don't want to end up being a proud user of something like Perl or Coldfusion in 2022, KEEP LEARNING. Learn something new every day, don't become an IT-Saur!
At the same time, don't make the mistake of rushing into using young, over-hyped tech just because they claim to be a new word in software development. Don't be like teams that decided to use a NoSQL database just because it was 'hip' at the time and ended up with completely messed up data.
Be well-informed, but choose carefully weighing all pros and cons, not hype or force of habit.
Here are a few resources that might be worth following in order to stay at the top of the modern tech world: