How to get out of your tech comfort zone?

For many years I have been at the heart of the new tech trends. Mostly because I used to switch jobs/companies a lot, and every time it was about learning something new, something I’ve never worked with before, and I really enjoyed staying on top of my game.

However, when I settled in one organization for a relatively long time, I did not get the chance to learn and use new technologies mostly because the project(s) I was working on had already a tech direction set and we were just building software on top of it.
And that’s when we get used to the comfort of knowing and using that technology.

We tend to get complaisant and forget that technologies keep evolving until that day, that day when we take a look at what is happening out there, because of a need to change organizations, or desire to evolve our career.

I found this being a pain to get back to square one, learn something new from scratch, we used to be experts, we’re now rookies, and it’s all uphill from here.

How do you get around this?
How do you keep learning about new technologies and processes?
How do you learn about technology when your job doesn’t necessarily require it (i.e. your project are exclusively on AWS but you would like to learn about Azure)

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I don’t have any advice here but wanted to sympathize with you and say I feel the exact same way. It’s much easier to learn a new tech if it’s somewhat forced upon you as a job requirement.

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Does it count that I have a “summer learning list” a mile long? :laughing:

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I’m right there with you, @marykay25!

Maybe you should share it with the community to see if others here either want to learn together or even are familiar enough with the technologies that they can help you learn it :slight_smile:

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Perhaps introducing some “immersive learning”?!?
This typically involves the entire product team and should. Delivering real work (backlog, feature delivery, etc.) while introducing new technologies, tools, and working patterns using that real work. If the expertise doesn’t exist at the team level, consider including coaches…i.e. Dojo.
You can continue to provide business value while injecting continuous learning and experimentation with a Dojo or similar practice. Starting with grassroots is just fine. Large enterprise scale will, however, require upper level buy-in to scale.

We see huge success in team up-skilling, collaboration and deliverables when applying this practice. Let me know if you’d like to chat more on this subject.

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I like the idea of Immersive Learning @jgetzie and welcome to Skycrafters!

It would be most of the time advisable to break a project or a system into smaller working units and I think that is where new technology can be introduced without impacting other team’s work.
I’ve seen in the past team members that are knowledgeable about a specific tech and that would be a great way for them to share that knowledge in the team.
To your point, I have been there and haven’t been able to implement it for a lack of upper-level buy-in, because change is scary.

Also, as new projects emerge, it is good to assess the technology landscape and, if need be, adopt something new. To @marykay25’s point, it makes it easier to learn because the job justifies it and because that’s the right tech for the right application.

Yes, @raphabot, I vote for @bnwoods to share your list of things to learn, I’m sure we’ll find some common interests in learning and potentially learn from each other :slight_smile:

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