Being Technology Agnostic: Does It Help?

A long time ago, I started my career working on VB6. After that, I worked on an extensive and complicated project in JAVA. This was followed by projects in Salesforce, PHP, and Python. I have similar stories on the database side as well. Sometimes, when reflecting, I think it might have been good to focus on just one technology stack and achieve a guru status. However, when I dig deeper, I come to the conclusion that being technology-agnostic has been a blessing in disguise. In the rest of the article, I will explore the “why” and “how” of being technology-agnostic.

Why?

As with any other case or scenario, the first question to address is “WHY?”. Why does someone need to become technology-agnostic when he/she can become an expert on a given technology stack?

The answer is simple… “technologies come and go, but people stay.” When I first started my career, I worked on a product that had client-server architecture. As web-based applications became more popular, the industry was evolving to thin clients and thick servers. Fast-forwarding to the present, even with the web-based application, we have ventured back to a client-server architecture. All the JavaScript frameworks like Angular, React.js, and Node.js are taking us back to the thick clients.

How?

Now, “HOW” can someone become technology agnostic?

One thing which I have personally found helpful is to focus on the concepts rather than the implementation. If you have strong concepts, you can always figure out how to implement them. For example, if you are strong in JavaScript,  you will not have a problem working on any JavaScript framework.

For another example, pick any opensource framework and start looking at its code. The advantage of an opensource framework is that you can get to its codebase. Start looking at the code, and you will learn how things are implemented in an efficient, scalable, and compact way. In the early days of my career, I had the opportunity to work on a Java framework (not the application, but the framework itself). That experience has been one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences, as it helped me to understand the actual concepts and design principles of development.

Another “how” I’ve found beneficial to my career is to always be first in line to volunteer. Don’t wait to get assigned to a project. Talk to your network inside or outside your workplace and let them know that you are open and willing to take on new challenges.

Rewards

Being technology-agnostic has given me both job satisfaction and a better understanding of how to design application architectures. It has made me more valuable to my employer and my clients by giving them a well-thought-out solution that fits their needs and budgets instead of just giving them a solution based on the one technology platform that I know.

In conclusion, being technology-agnostic is not everybody’s cup of tea. It is human nature to want to be the best in one’s field.  Having a narrow field (e.g., one programming language) will get you there much quicker.  However, being patient, broadening your knowledge, and becoming an expert in many technologies and programming languages (e.g., technology-agnostic) can work out better in the long run as it expands your possibilities personally and for your clients.

Written by Purusottam Kaushik , Senior Manager

Purusottam is a senior manager with Cyber Group. He has eighteen years of experience working in the software services industry. Purusottam believes that in any techno-functional role, one needs to constantly work on his/her technical and project management skills. During his eighteen-year career, Purusottam has worked with numerous client teams to deliver quality products on various technology stacks. Purusottam’s motto is: “Get things done right and in an efficient way.”

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