Guest post by David Reichental

David_Reichental 

The year ahead is filled with a lot of new hardware and software releases, Windows 8 being one of the biggest.

This is one of the exciting elements of the I.T. industry; it’s changing constantly, rapidly and radically. It keeps you engaged, interested and learning. This is also one of the curses of the industry, no sooner is your system running with the precision of a Rolex watch or you’ve nailed that programming framework than change comes. The driver for this change is sometime just newer or better technology, but ultimately it’s driven by competition and business pressures.

We live in an increasingly competitive world and one of the advantages and differentiators a business has is the technology it uses, the efficiencies it can bring and the speed it can be delivered.

How do we manage this change?

It is complex, we don’t always get the luxury to sit back and weigh up all the options. Here I’ll outline five simple guidelines to narrow down your choices and clarify your goals.

1… Don’t try and do everything NOW.

This sounds simple but you need to break down what you want to achieve into Short Term Goals (6 – 18 months) and Medium Term (18 months – 3 years) and Long Term (3 – 5 years). Anything in excess of this is really aspirational, since Moore’s law seems to hold for all aspects of our industry it is very difficult to reliably foresee the technology trends 5 years or more out.

2… Be realistic about what you can achieve.

We are all constrained by budgets, resources and management. Sometimes we have the budget and the resources but management buy in is not there. Other times we have the budget but not enough resources. Therefore it can be good to start on something small and be successful, to enable you to move on to bigger challenges. Ultimately you want to under promise and over perform.

3… You’re allowed to say NO

It is a fact that we all like to think we can take on everything and please everybody. This is patently not possible. Every change coming down the tracks is not always practical. There may be many good reasons why this change should be implemented, but equally why it shouldn’t.

4… You’re allowed to say YES

Change is challenging, rewarding and fun. It is a chance to increase your knowledge to make a contribution to you and your organisation. So don’t be overwhelmed, take a deep breath and start investing in yourself. Remember, keeping your skills current, keeps you current.

5… Change is life

If humans didn’t embrace change, if we didn’t strive to learn and improve our world we probably would still be roaming across the Serengeti. Change brings opportunity, embrace it.

Over the next few months we are going to see some big developments, with new Operating Systems and updates coming from all the main vendors. Windows 8 is one very exciting update, bringing with it the potential of many new hardware form factors, the ability to integrate with technology like the Kinect sensor and seamlessly share content with all these devices through the cloud on Windows Azure. This all makes for a wonderful time of change and great opportunity.

David Reichental, Senior Software Engineer with Avida