Staying Ahead of the Curve

Abstract

We all want to stay ahead of the curve - after all, that's what you go to a conference for. But have you ever considered how being ahead of the curve might be dangerous?

Using a new language before you understand it, putting a technology into production so you can learn it, abandoning "old practices" before you've got the benefit from them… These things are common practice, under the guise of Progress and Keeping Up To Date.

But while we shouldn't be running around like headless chickens chasing the next Shiny New Thing, we do need to see to our Continuous Learning and, of course, we should Embrace Change.

How do we balance these two extremes? And how do we see to our own growth and learning as techies while meeting the needs of our project, team and organisation?

Videos

Also presented at:

  • SpringOne 2021
  • Craft Conf 2016
  • Agile Manchester 2016

Slides

I'll leave you with this crude decision chart and the mind-map of potential ways to play with a technology. Remember, learning to say "no" to a technology can be very powerful.

Decision Flow Diagram

Related talks and content from me

This talk was built off an earlier blog post I wrote, about how to decide which technologies to invest your personal time in. The talk also references:

Other Resources

Thanks to

Ancient code from the earlier version

Mind Map of Approaches

Approaches to trying new technologies

Either join us live, or watch the recording, as Dalia, Helen, Mala and I discuss the topic: