Have moved over to my usual haunt for my annual trip to London. The conference I'm helping out with is being held here as it has been since before I started coming four years ago. I won't dwell on it except to say it's very nice and, while not as conveniently located as the one we vacated yesterday, the staff is exceptional and the bathrooms are outstanding, including a separate shower with five nozzles each with water pressure so awesomely powerful, it should be declared an environmental hazard.
The conference is on fiscal systems for oil and gas from around the world which I mention only for completeness.
On the first morning, I overheard a snippet of conversation 'twixt two of the attendees. One of them was an older gentleman who clearly had invested the bulk of his career in the oil and gas industry and they were discussing the upcoming course. The other asked him why he needed to attend given how much experience he had. The reply: It's a life-long process.
Whereby you now see where I'm going with this post. The gentleman clearly said it with a great deal of enthusiasm, such that I hope I show half as much when I'm attending the "Why Won't VB Just Die Already?" conference in 2021. Here was a man in his late 50s or early 60s barely containing his excitement at attending a course on oil and gas economics. And having "attended" the course eight times in the last four years, I have to admit that he's in for a treat even with my limited understanding of oil and economics (but not necessarily gas).
Here's a tip for fledgling developers: If the prospect of taking at least one training courses per year for the rest of your working life seems only slightly less palatable than an "All Rosie All the Time" TV channel, then learn to fake it or get out now. As JP says, you need to develop with passion (or in Justice's case, lust). And that kind of fervor requires that you get excited about learning the industry.
And it's drop-dead easy to develop an obsession in software development these days. Yes, it can be overwhelming. But by the same token, you aren't starved for choice. If you can't find something that interests you, you are trying too hard to complain. Go be an actuary.
I use a pretty loose definition of "training course". In these days of blogs and white papers and "How-to" articles, you don't necessarily have to shell out cold hard cash to sit in an over-air-conditioned room for a week. But it does mean you need to spend the time. Which generally means taking time out of your contract/job to do it unless you don't sleep.
I'll leave it at that for now so as not to belabor the point and also because you don't need a humble hillbilly telling you how to run your career. You've heard this advice before from smarter people than me...er, I mean, I. But it doesn't hurt to hear it again, if only to give the impression that I engage in such a practice to prospective employers.
Kyle the Learned