Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Mar 2013 21:06 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Change platforms. Whenever you can. Ever since I got into computing, I've lived according to a very simple adage: change platforms all the time. For reasons I won't go into, the importance of this adage was reaffirmed today, and I figured I'd share it with you all - and hopefully, get a few of you to follow this adage as well.
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Why?
by maxz on Thu 21st Mar 2013 21:46 UTC
maxz
Member since:
2012-06-30

For reasons I won't go into, the importance of this adage was reaffirmed today[...] The reason is simple: always try to broaden your horizon. Never get stuck in one place. Never become lazy. Never settle. Never let the same set of neurons fire. Never come to rely on any one company.

No, please go into the reasons.

For me, tech is a tool that I use, not a goal in itself. So swiching platforms just for the sake of keeping momentum a seems like a stupid thing to me. I agree that trying out new platforms is a good thing, perhaps this is just the new tool that lets me do things in a better way. Not relying on just one company can also a good thing, it usually leaves me less vulnerable.

But if you switch platforms so often that a considerable amount of energy gets wasted in the process of switching instead of getting work done, you are doing it wrong. If it costs you nothing to switch all the time, I wonder how much you really are using those platforms in the first place.

Broaden your horizons. Support innovation. But don't let yourself be fooled that switching is a goal in itself.

Reply Score: 13

RE: Why?
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 21st Mar 2013 21:48 in reply to "Why?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

But don't let yourself be fooled that switching is a goal in itself.


Of course! The switching isn't the goal - its consequences are: experience. Broadened horizons. Etc.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Why?
by maxz on Thu 21st Mar 2013 23:05 in reply to "RE: Why?"
maxz Member since:
2012-06-30

Of course! The switching isn't the goal - its consequences are: experience. Broadened horizons. Etc.

Well, there you have it then. It is not the switching you are really looking for, but the consequences. Even if switching gets you there, switching might also get you other less desirable places.

Switching takes a lot of investment, more specifically money and time. If your job is to try out new tech, it is what you should do. In my line of work, tech is merely a means to an end. I would like to play around more to get more experience. But reality keeps me in line and limits what I can do. Switching for the sake of it is not an option, switching when beneficial for the cause is.

Also, switching around much without having enough knowledge can be counter-productive. I have friends who never took time to fully learn one platform or piece of thech, instead they grew impatient and jumped onto the next bandwagon that came along. Later on they asked me how I did it and was surprised that I could squeeze more juice out of their old things than they ever could. Why where they surprised, they neither had the knowledge nor gave it the time to discover and learn what they had.

This is why I think the advice to switch as often a possible is a bit too simplified. Get experience with as much as possible, but make sure you get experience, not just a lot of new shiny toys or names to write down in a resume. Otherwise I have no objections.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Why?
by aargh on Thu 21st Mar 2013 23:55 in reply to "RE: Why?"
aargh Member since:
2009-10-12

You're so promOScuous!

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Why?
by lindkvis on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 16:56 in reply to "RE: Why?"
lindkvis Member since:
2006-11-21


Of course! The switching isn't the goal - its consequences are: experience. Broadened horizons. Etc.


What if you'd rather broaden your horizons in other ways than tech? The money and time spent on keeping up with mobile phones, tablets and operating systems could be spent on many other things.

I appreciate that we're on a tech website, but deciding to use your time and money on something else is hardly admitting defeat.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Why?
by rcsteiner on Thu 21st Mar 2013 22:27 in reply to "Why?"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

I personally think that "switching" is overkill unless you have a lot of time and money to toss in the direction of techie toys.

I prefer experimenting with multiple platforms in parallel. Always have. Single-threading OS use is boring...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Why?
by gan17 on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 02:29 in reply to "RE: Why?"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

I personally think that "switching" is overkill unless you have a lot of time and money to toss in the direction of techie toys.

Even if you have time and money, it's still overkill on the planet/environment.

Edited 2013-03-22 02:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Why?
by WorknMan on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 01:03 in reply to "Why?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

If it costs you nothing to switch all the time, I wonder how much you really are using those platforms in the first place.


This. If you can switch platforms that often (and I mean as your main workstation), then you are definitely not a power user. It would take me MONTHS to find suitable replacements for the 40+ apps I use regularly, assuming suitable replacements even existed. Not to mention all of the macros and shit that would have to be rewritten.... ugh.

You would have to give me a goddamn good reason to go through all that effort. Sure, you may get stuck on one platform this way, but once you get REALLY proficient at one of them, switching from any one to any other is going to be painful, unless they run the exact same apps. And you're likely to never run into that scenario, unless you're just switching Linux distros (which really doesn't count, IMO).

Back when I was younger, I used to like tinkering with other platforms. Now days though, I rarely find the time. Just not as important as it used to be.

Reply Parent Score: 4