Re: [THE FUTURE & CAREERS] Request for Advice

A Davidson (
Tue, 8 Jun 1999 13:52:37 -0600 (MDT)

On Tue, 8 Jun 1999, Terry Donaghe wrote:

> Here's my question: In order for me to break over into the next level
> of income generation or at least stay in my current salary window, what
> sorts of skills should I be adding? I hope to be certified as a MCSD
> (yeah, yeah, hiss boo) before winter, but what else should I be
> learning/doing? What will the Next Big Thing be?

I think you are doing exactly what you should be doing -- keeping abreast with current trends in technology. It's next to impossible to predict what the next big thing will be. Even if you are right in a prediction, you won't know if you were right or wrong until it is the current big thing. By fooling around with linux, C++, java, and whatever else comes by, you are making sure you understand and can use the latest tools if need be. If java suddenly explodes next year into the most in-demand skill, you will have already fiddled with it and will be able to adapt quickly.

Harness your adaptation skills. They will be the most important skills in the next 10 years of rapid change. Never become a stale VB programmer. Specialization is the key to extinction during times of rapid change. Keep learning. Know how to do everything competently. Don't worry about becoming a grand master of one thing. That only pays off in the short term.

For specifics, I would pay attention to Java, Networking, Platform Neutrality, and maybe even AI (although no telling when AI will come of age), and make sure you are good at writing multi-threaded software because undoubtedly the future is in parallel.

| Aaron Davidson         |                |
| Silicon Creek Software | |