Friday, May 23, 2008

How to use new technology at work

Don't ask.

That appears to be the answer that's most common. Find technology that's free, so it doesn't cost the company money, bring it in house, set it up without the real powers that be knowing about it, and use it. After it's proven useful, then present it. I've been listening to the Ruby on Rails podcasts from 2006 (I'm just getting into them), and every one of them says that they got Ruby into the office by just doing it and not asking. If they couldn't have flown under the radar they wouldn't have made it.

I've heard it said that it's better to ask forgiveness than it is permission.

What all of this really says though, is that generally corporations are against helping themselves. They go out of their way to prevent new technology and solutions that could help them advance. Look around at your company, is it stuck in the status quo? Does it still do what it did 3, 4, 5 years ago? Even using the same technology to solve those problems? You may be at a company that's in it's own way. Think about that when you start looking for things to do to fill your free time, you may need to start looking at the next language. Figure out what will work best for you, but don't let your skills get stale, just because you are at a company that still does what it used to do.

And as you learn these new technologies, bring them in to work. It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission, and your company probably needs a good internal push anyway.

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