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Up Front

Embracing Change

by Michael Swaine

Generic image illustrating the article

Change Is Coming

Actually, it’s already here.

Change is inherent in the career you’ve chosen. If you’re a software developer, you have little choice but to embrace change. You’re in the business of making change. Not like the guy in the toll booth on the Bay Bridge, but—oh, you know what I mean.

Chances are you have already had several jobs in software development. If you haven’t, you will. Moreover, you’ll probably have several kinds of jobs. It’s common in this field to move freely from small startup to corporate megalith, from team member to team leader, and back again.

What this means is that you spend a lot of your time learning, feeling like a newbie in an unfamiliar situation. Two authors this month offer advice that may help.

Maybe you never thought of yourself as a salesperson, but now you realize that you need to sell yourself or your project, and you could use some tips. John Bresnik has your back.

Or maybe you never asked to lead a team, but this agile project needs some direction and you see clearly what should be done, but could use some tips on team leadership. Jonathan Rasmusson has your back.

But even if you feel secure in your niche, you should be aware that the niche is changing around you. Mike Riley invites you to step back and think about the implications of some of the new ways that computers are interfacing with the world, and what they mean for your work.

Dave and Andy advised in The Pragmatic Programmer that you learn a new language every year. If Scala isn’t checked off your list, Venkat Subramaniam’s article in this issue could be a good place to start that change.

Of course, the more things change, the more they stay the same, and Dan Wohlbruck demonstrates that again with another technology history article, this one dealing with Grace Hopper.

For more advice on keeping up with change in your career, check out the the Pragmatic Bookshelf books on Career Development.