Learning Versus Keeping Up

I am in a discussion with the owner of a local consulting company, AstraDigital. We were talking about Delphi and its current popularity. He had suggested an article on Delphi 2010 for Developer.com. I’m not sure if he was serious, but I’m sure he would write it if there is interest.

My response, however, was that interest in Delphi is not what it use to be. In fact, if you look on sites such as LangPop.com, you see that Delphi is indeed pretty far down on the “popularity” chart, although it is ahead of technologies such as ColdFusion and COBOL.

The interesting thing about these three languages/tools is that they at one time were extremely popular–so popular in fact that if you knew how to use them, you could find a job even if you weren’t an expert. Today, they are obviously not as popular and you’d be much harder pressed to find a job.

The change in popularity of programming languages generally leads to a discussion on learning new stuff. Today’s more popular technologies are .NET, C#, Java, and a several others. Of course, there is always new stuff to learn. Beyond that, there is always new concepts and technologies you need to know just to keep up.

In my conversation the owner of AstraDigital, he made an interesting comment. It was interesting enough that I thought I’d write this entire blog post to simply share it with you.

Jeff’s words (he may have taken these from somewhere else):

Learning requires filling the void with something [the void wants to be full]

Keeping up requires dismissing old knowledge and replacing with new [much harder IMO] 

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