Are you ready to become obsolete?

One of the most important skills I have found in leaders and candidates is what is often called “learning agility.” Learning Agility, a term coined by psychologists, simply describes your ability to rapidly learn new things.”
Josh Bersin
, here.


Fig 1: Oxford Economics – SAP 2014 Talent Research

Do you think the stat in the top right corner is accurate in relation to the OSS industry? Do you think that our skills have a half-life of only 3 years?

Part of me says that the industry will surely adapt, although many OSS vendors have such a vested interest in their code base (ie the number of developer hours already invested) that they will seek evolution rather than revolution of their products.

Another part of me says we’re on the verge of revolutionary change in the OSS industry. My definition of the next big thing in OSS is detailed in an earlier blog. If this vision does eventuate, then many our skills will become obsolete (our experiences will remain invaluable and transferable though hopefully).

Only one third of respondents to the Oxford Economics – SAP study expect their company to provide the training to take them into the next generation. I’d hazard a guess that the percentage would be even smaller in the OSS industry. This means the onus is on you to develop / enhance your learning agility and reinvent yourself.

This website and blog is one approach I’m using to stay abreast of change. What approach(es) are you using?

Josh Bersins suggests the following approaches (link to article):

  • Read as much as you can
  • Get to know experts around you
  • Take time to play around with new stuff
  • Go to industry conferences
  • Take courses. Yes, real ones
  • Teach others
  • Visit YouTube and TED
  • Ask for development projects
  • Learn to think expansively. Look for the “Big Picture”
  • Change jobs

Also, if you’re aware of any revolutionary OSS concepts that I haven’t discussed here on PAOSS, I’d love to hear about them and share them with all the other readers.

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