What did you do to become a better professional?


My grandmother is 94 years old. She was born in 1921. Granny grew up in a time where cars were rare and the word television did not even exist. She has her own Facebook account now and she uses an iPad to communicate with her family all over the world. I think that most people around me believe that things will not be that different in let’s say 50 years time. Perhaps devices are integrated into our bodies, nanobots will heal diseases, the Internet will be everywhere, but that’s it. Changes like we had in the last 93 years… no.

You are wrong… things will change fast, much faster than they did before. I believe the speed of change is even logarithmic. The more change we cause, the faster new change will be.

Now, all the knowledge you have today… what will it be worth in a few years?

One of my favorite questions in a job interview is “What did you do last year to become a better developer/tester/professional?” Most of the time the candidate needs some time to think about the question, develops a distant glaze… and then starts talking about plans and ideas they never executed. “I wanted to read a book and I planned to visit a conference but work or some other thing did not allow me.” Most of the time, the candidate only offers excuses why they did not become a better professional. This is unacceptable when you are a proper professional.

I believe professionals should constantly improve themselves. You should always try to learn new things or improve things and, as a result, learn. Learning is not only attending a conference or a training. It is much more: reading books and blogs, meeting and talking to people when visiting a conference, exchanging best practices between companies, trying out new things in your work, writing your own blogs, being open minded for experiments.

I feel the world will change and even much faster than we probably can imagine. Your experience can help you adapt to this new world. However, you will need to keep working on becoming a better professional to stay ahead of the game.

So, do you dare to ask yourself the question: “What did I do the become a better professional last year” and how will your stare be?


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