15 February,18 10:40
Looking backwards to the past, reviewing my 20 years career life in I.T. field, I can only see a word-nothing.
What I have done in these 20 years? My working procedure is that according to someone's requirements to make a plan for developing a new software, coding and testing, that's all. Is it boring? Right, working is boring. Computer programming is boring, too. Please don't think you can do something to change the world. This changing rapidly industry will drive you crazy.
What I have really learned in these 20 years? Many, really many, but not from my working position. Self-learning is quite important for a computer programmer. I have learned various kinds of programming language. I put a lot of effort and time on learning programming language. Eventually, I have nothing and am just struggling to stay in this industry.
Friends asked me to go gathering. No, I couldn't. I needed to go home for reading books and doing some practice, I needed to enrich my Visual Basic skill. After a certain months, friends asked me to go hiking. No, I couldn't. I needed to stay at home for reading books and doing some practice, Java had just launched a new version. I have been living in such lifestyle, it seems to be impossible to make a change. What HTML 5, CSS, PHP, C++, Python, Android Development Kit, Qt, Eclipse, all I learned in the past 10 years toughly. I spent at least a half year to learn a new kind of programming language, spent another half year or even few years to get familiar with it.
Although, Qt and Eclipse are editors for programming, I still needed to learn C++ and QML for developing mobile apps to work on Nokia phones. Android apps are developed base on Java. Although I have good knowledge in Java, I needed to learn using Android Development Kit that is as difficult as learning a new sort of programming language. At least, it is more difficult than learning HTML5, CSS, PHP and Python.
"That's good, you are well-prepared to build web (both of client & server sides), desktop and smartphone applications, right? Now, you can have a new lifestyle. You should take a good rest everyday after working, you can have time to meet friends." No, no, this lovely scene hasn't realized yet.
I refused my friends one time, two times, then, no anyone found me again. They might think I didn't want to keep in touch with them or they didn't want to get refused anymore.
I learned many kinds of programming language, but there are two programming languages and two editors that I haven't used for a very long time. Those are C++, Visual Basic, Qt and Eclipse. I spent roughly one year to learn and got used to a sort of new programming language, this means, I totally wasted roughly two years, plus, one year for two editors, roughly a half year each. Thus, I wasted three years to learn some useless things.
Some people would say "Don't say waste, you learned some things, they have been kept in your brain, they may be useful one day!"
What I am trying to say that is learning and practicing a sort of programming language, then gradually forget it; learning and practicing again, then gradually forget it again......this is an undesired cycle. I don't know whether other computer programmers would fall into this cycle or not, but I would. Because of this undesired cycle, I wonder whether I have been moving forwards and upwards or just moving around a lemon tree? 20 years are past, I am surely still at the same place, because I can see the lemon tree. "Turning, turning, turning around and just see a lemon tree......"
That isn't too bad if a computer programmer can stay at the same place for such a long time. In fact, many computer programmers are eliminated suddenly. There are many big companies, such as Hong Kong Bank and Cathay Pacific Airlines, they laid off so much staff in the past years over the world. The staff members in I.T. department, of course, including computer programmers were in their lay-off list. Is it terrible? That isn't the worst case. I encountered the worst of worst one. Around 8 years ago after Steve Jobs invented the first iPhone, the iPhone brought an extremely great impact in the market. At that time, I was building some apps for Nokia Symbian smartphones. I uploaded my apps to Nokia's website for downloading by end users. I set the price to USD$1.00 for each app. I earned good money in this way. When I felt happy to find a good second income source, Nokia decided to terminate their mobile phone business and sold it to Microsoft. Microsoft started establishing their Windows Phones. Can you see how bad the situation was? I spent so much effort and time to learn C++, QML and Qt, they all suddenly became useless. My second income source was vanished!
At that moment, if I still wanted to have a second income, I needed to learn building apps for either Windows or Android smartphones. I wasn't that stupid to aim at Windows smartphones. I chose Android. In most of time, choosing to learning a type of new programming language is likely making an investment decision. If you are smart to predict the trend accurately, you can stay in this industry and earn good money; if not, you will be terminated and no qualification to stay in this industry anymore. Working experience doesn't have any power to keep you staying in this industry.
Actually, I am trying to talk about being a computer programmer or working in software development industry, you may not be able to accumulate your knowledge and experience. I know, some of my existing knowledge and skills may become rubbish some day. I ain't sure which day. I can only learn fast to chase new knowledge and skills. I am starting to get disgusted with working in such insecure circumstances. Suppose, I put effort on Chinese and English languages, as well as writing skills, I believe I have already accumulated good enough experience and skills to master many writing jobs. Learning human language and writing are good "investment" comparing with programming language. At least, human language and writing skills never become totally useless.
If you ask me what programming language should you learn, I would answer you learning human language is better. You can enjoy the power of accumulation, rather than struggling to survive in the near future.
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