I was listening to some colleagues the other day, talking about a new technique that there were trying out on their current project. As I listened to them, I thought that the technique sounded interesting, however, it also sounded like it took a lot of work and time. I’ve got my set of techniques that work for me, as I thought to myself, so I’m good. I don’t need to learn anything new.
Hmm…I don’t need to learn anything new. As I repeated that to myself, I suddenly felt like an old dog. I’ve got my set of techniques that appear to work for me…but do they? How will I actually know? Are my software requirement documents perfect? How do I know that the new technique that my colleagues were discussing would take a lot of time? A lot of time compared to what? Compared to getting requirements wrong and having an unhappy customer?
Why am I shrugging off new ideas simply because I’m comfortable with the set that I currently use? And how did I acquire this set? Well, at one point in time, they were new ideas that I tried. Why am I so resistant to change?
So, in the spirit of the new year, I am making a New Year’s Resolution…to try one new idea a month. That is 12 new ideas in the space of 365 days. Even though I’m busy, I should be able to handle that.
It does not have to be a big idea, and it could be about anything. Perhaps it will be a new way of organizing my notes. Or a new visual model that someone has found works well for them. Maybe it will be new technology. The point is to try something new.
And who knows what the results might be? Perhaps I’ll find a new technique to add to my personal tool chest? Perhaps I’ll find something that does not work for me…but at least I’ll know it doesn’t from experience, instead of just assuming (oh, we all know what happens when we assume!). I can guarantee that I’ll grow and learn.