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Comment Which Skills? (Score 4, Interesting) 272

None of the articles I've read on this theme list the skills are going to be out-of-date. Which skills? What disciplines?

In 2008, I was laid off after 8 years at a large company, and I'd been using the same tools for those 8 years. As a front-end developer for dev-ops shops, my skills were woefully out-of-date: We'd been using Sencha (JS) and Webware (PY), with some Python 2 Python-to-C libraries. I knew nothing about what the cool kids were doing. I sat down and in a few days taught myself Django and jQuery; I rebooted by SQL knowledge from my 90s-era experience with Oracle and taught myself the ins and outs of Postgresql.

And then, in the bottom of the recession, I took shit contracts that paid very little (in one mistake, nothing) but promised to teach me something. I worked for a Netflix clone startup; I traded my knowledge of video transcoding for the promise of learning AWS. I worked for a genetic engineering startup, trading my knowledge of C++ for the promise of learning Node, Backbone, SMS messaging, and credit card processing; a textbook startup, trading my knowledge of LaTeX for the promise of learning Java; an advertising startup trading my basic Django skills to learn modern unit testing; a security training startup, trading my knowledge of assembly language in order to learn Websockets.

The market improved. I never stopped learning. I gave speeches at Javascript and Python meet-ups. Recruiters sought me out.

I've been at another big company for four years now. Will things go to hell in March? I don't care. I have the one skill that matters.

Comment This stuff is starting to matter. (Score 3, Interesting) 42

The frightening thing is, a year ago, I wouldn't have understood this post. Now I'm reading the paper on Contifications and nodding my head, going "Yeah, yeah... huh... uh... yeah, okay..." It's been that kind of year. This is the kind of stuff that's starting to show up on webdevs' radars. With the release of ECMA-6 and the precompiler suites, the essential core scheme-ness of even Javascript is starting to infect us all.

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