The IT industry is tough enough for young people such as myself. Lot’s of excellent people, you need to keep up with a fast changing world and stick out in a mass of like minded geniuses. I’m not excellent, the changes are happening way too fast even for someone my age and I know friends with way more amazing skills than me.

Sounds like a harsh world. So what can our generation do? Run Forrest, run! No, it’s not all that bad, but you have to think in business terms. Invest your time in those activities that get you the best return. Take the fast-track on the information superhighway (I do miss that term) and use all that soon-to-be-called micromedia to your own benefit.

Reading blogs has become ambiguous, everybody does it, so why should it help you stand out from the rest. If you follow the usual path of becoming a professional, you start out small – interested in some topic – and continuously learn the basics until you reach a certain amateur level. Think of the young nerd with his first programming book who grows up, keeps improving his coding throughout college and finally he’s sitting on his first day at his new job. We have all been in the situation and one day we will have worked with someone in that situation.

At this stage you need mentoring, you learn from the best and compete with the rest. You make mistakes, you may fail miserably but it’s all about the experience you gain in this phase. But if you ask me this phase never ends. You are constantly learning from your mistakes and improving your skills to achieve higher goals.

So this isn’t new to you. Everyone has done it and if you think about it, we probably also all went through many of the identical mistakes and made similar experiences. But think about the synergies that lie beneath this last point. Thanks to blogs, Web 2.0 or call it micromedia if you prefer, but they all have in common that people can share these experiences very rapidly, others can learn from them without making the same mistakes and this in turn speeds up the whole cycle. It basically works like a cat that you’ll find in your car. It turns toxic elements (those young developers) into less toxic elements (more experienced developers) but much faster and more compact than the environment itself could do it.

Now consider every new generation learning from not only specific mentors but from a vast mentoring space. Information workers in the broadest sense will invent different methods to use this potential and find solutions to combat the downsides such a possible information overload. Not everybody will adopt the same ideas, there might not be that one correct way to do something right. But similar to the way ant colonies work more people will adopt similar clusters of techniques, form new ones and leave trails that lead new generations on faster paths to success.

Our generation has access to a network of information and if we learn to utilize it in the right way we may soon see a different version of Moore’s law being applied to growing numbers of processes in our industry. We will be constantly improving at an ever growing rate. But could the mass and the diversification of quality throughout the space be a cause for concern? Staying with the automotive analogy could it clog up our sensitive motor and possibly bring the machine to a halt? Well that’s a topic for another post.

Good night, sleep tight.

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