I write a lot about growing your career. I think it's important to find a good career, but also learn to be good at whatever you choose to do for employment. While I do think that learning is a skill and each of us ought to sharpen our saws, I sometimes find people chasing new things all the time. In this interview, I saw a great quote:
"... while it’s important to be informed about the latest frameworks and best practices, learning this at the cost of developing fundamental skills is a bad tradeoff."
That's something I imagine Jeff Moden saying about all the new technologies that get incorporated into database work. Often I find there are a lot of DBAs and database developers that want to implement PowerShell or MDX or Python because they can and not because it's a good choice. Or perhaps more often because they aren't as skilled in SQL as they should be.
I am a fan of experimenting with different methods and determining if there is a better way to solve a problem. However, I am only a fan of using new techniques when they are better. Either they have to perform better (less resources or a lot less time to run), simplify the situation, or they save a ton of developer time. And not just your time, but for all other developers.
One of the things noted in the interview above, as well as something I've seen, is that many younger people want to constantly try something new, without developing deep skills in any area. They often move in new directions because they can. I also see intermediate or senior engineers getting bored with their work or excited by something they read about and looking to shift everyone to a new platform/language/framework/etc.
New can be better, but isn't necessarily better. Instead, I might try to answer these questions from the article:
- how can I make every code change great?
- how can I be as good at X as someone on my team - For SQL, can you be as good as Jeff Moden or Itzik Ben-Gan? Or maybe closer to their level?
The goal is to become better at your craft. Like the woodworker who improves their skills in shaping wood, or the chef becoming better at creating more tasty recipes, or maybe the weekend race car driver who learns to shave seconds off their lap times with improved driving technique.
If it isn't important to you to become the best in your team, maybe this will help. The cloud, AI, and competition from younger people will ensure that if you don't improve your skills at all, you'll slowly fall behind and your current manager, or the one that takes their place, might find a way to replace you with someone that does the job better, faster, and cheaper.