Lifelong Learning: How Adapting to New & Relevant Tech will Help Your Career

Adapt. Learn. Evolve.

I started my career in technology in the late '90s and feel like I have had a front row seat in watching the rapid evolution of many technologies.

In the late '90s, Microsoft and Cisco certifications were hot ticket items. People working in technology were paying thousands of dollars to obtain these certifications for rapid career advancement. Big financial institutions were still using mainframes and Visual Basic had really taken off.

In the early 2000s, the idea of hosted dedicated environments really exploded. During the dedicated hosting years, you really needed to know how to support the underlying hardware, software and applications. Technicians would typically specialize in one of the layers of the stack (hardware, software or network).

Around 2006, Amazon released AWS, but most dedicated hosting providers didn’t realize the technology shift that was coming. AWS had built the cloud model that removed a lot of the burden of dealing with dedicated hardware (servers, network components and storage). Around 2008 and 2009 is when the cloud boom really started to gain traction and with it so did the need for engineers and developers with skills to write software and services to utilize dynamic environments. Engineers would need to add more development skills to their skillset or get left behind. We no longer needed to pay for servers that could sit idle, the cloud allowed us to consume resources as needed. It was more utility and dynamic and our skills needed to grow in order to manage services in the cloud.

The latest trends we are seeing revolve around serverless and edge computing. Serverless, as the name suggests, is really just the concept of running a small piece of code that performs small operations. There is no virtual machine or application to maintain and it's extremely light weight.

Edge computing is the concept of running code at the edge of a provider's network that is closest to the end user. This helps with latency and responsiveness of the application. This is yet another example of something that today’s engineers and developers will have to adapt to.

In conclusion, technology is always evolving and in order to keep pace you must become a lifelong learner and evolve your skill sets to new market needs in order to stay relevant. With the amount of online course material, podcasts and other resources available today, it’s easier than ever to learn new technology for today’s job market.

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