Who is this post for?
People in IT who are in the early years of their career and finding it difficult to cope up with all the technology, leading to confusion which area to specialize on.
It happens to all of us
This is obviously a very common challenge that we face. I touched on this topic a little bit on this post. And I can definitely say that I as well go through this along with many others I know. I believe there can be 2 aspects to this:
- The technologies you need to cope up with because of work
- The technologies you are interested in and want to work on
I have a dedicated post on this topic here.
I think that handling either one of these is pretty ok. But if you have both of these then it becomes a little bit overwhelming and can be quite stressful (and I'll explain about the stress part in a bit). Now the reality is that it's more likely that we will be prioritizing the things we need to study because we need it at work. Not that it is imposed on us but rather it is more of ourselves creating that pressure to fulfill our duties. So at the end of the day what happens is we tend to work on what's in front of us. Every time we come to work we realize our weaknesses and we come up with a list of things we need to improve on. Not that this is a bad thing, it's totally normal. Now whether this will affect you or not depends on the question - aside from your needs do you have any wants? And so we move on to the next and important point.
Now if you are in a situation that you are working on some technology that you need to get the job done, but have this burning desire to study some other things you are interested in, this is where stress kicks in. It's just human nature. It's like wanting to be in some other place but you're stuck at where you are. If this is not the case for you then that's good, you don't really have much to worry about. Now that we've got that out of the way let's focus on what you can do to ease your dilemma.
Given that you are in your early years of your career and that at this stage it can be sometimes confusing on which path you want to go. Even if I have tips to actually recommend what skills are good nowadays and are quite good knowledge investments I feel that it is always better to go and explore first with people your age. There is also that incomparable experience of discovering yourself. And I know that will be something you will be proud of in the future.
Now my background is more on Network Automation and I'd like to share a little bit about how I got to where I am today. So the truth is I never really knew I was going to end up in network automation, NetDevOps, and all that software-defined stuff, however you might want to call it. I started to do coding purely out of necessity. Just so myself and my team back then could cope up with all the work. And I never really looked for a job related to it. I wish I had some good words to describe it but it really just happened. Just as plain as that. There was no magic. But one thing is for sure. Although I did not intend to walk the path that I'm taking today, I did embrace it immediately. I had the passion for it. So if you are in a place wherein you are presented with different paths, why not try them out? It's the only way to tell. You'll never know when you will get to work on something which you will embrace and grow a passion for. You'll always end up in a situation wherein you will be comparing the new things with the ones you are already passionate about. And there's nothing wrong with having multiple passions. It's even a good thing if you would ask me. Not all people have many options to choose from.
So if what you do right now is not really something you are passionate about how about looking at how you can bring in what really interests you into the mix? If possible then that's great. You can combine it, that way you get that compromise. And just keep searching. Something will come your way that you will love doing. It could hit you in ways you never expect. Don’t be afraid to taste different things. Just be open and keep being curious. As you never know what you will stumble upon. You also never know what you will find out about yourself. What you can do, what you can begin to offer and contribute. Just like this little blog post I'm writing, which I never knew I would be doing, not until a month ago. I hope this inspires you to keep exploring. As humans, this is what we are really meant for. So keep going as there's a lot more ahead of you. :)