Next column: the tradeoff between innovation and a constantly changing environment

The following message was posted to my web log on O’Reilly…

Learning new tech. is fun – However, we have to learn things very well and make a living out of it. I guess MS does not really care about the developer who had to run after each so called inovative idea along their way to glory.
The problem I have is I put 10 hours at work and I need to put another 5 hours at home just to get by so that I may still be able to get a job in 12 months again.
If you don’t put all this tech. in your resume no one will hire you. You need to know CSS, HTML, SQL SERVER, UML, .NET, COM+,Web Services as well as data modeling, Rup some networking and O/R mapping, web design and you may get a contract for $35.00/hr – Let alone the degree that cost you tens of thousands and the endless stream of books and hours worked for free to catch up with things.
At the end of the day all software usually does is create, read, update and delete data. That is all of it.
While MS is making life difficult for every one who codes, companies are suffering too. Who will maintain the systems written in .NET 1.1 in 3 years from today?
Developers burn thier lives while companies build the tools.
Will MS pay for my re-education or for learning Active-X and VB6 books and courses that is not only worthless now but even harmful?
The funy thing is that CICS and COBOL are still the same. The last 10 years wheras COM+ that cost me $3000 to learn 3 years ago is out of the “windows”.
This is not funy. I am very angry I am loosing my life but helpless after the bad investment I made.

My first impulse is to blow off this kind of concern (I for one am happier writing in .NET 3 with C# than I was writing in C for DOS) but there are a lot of folks who feel much the same frustration; they do not see the constant innovation as anything but burdensome.

I’ll explore this in some detail, though it is not a new topic, it is one that we all grapple with and with .NET 3 on the way it will be front and center soon.