Tuning your Personal Technology Radar - Future proof your technical skills

Technology tools, products, and techniques continue to advance.  The industry continually evolves and the people who want to be near the top of the industry must continually learn and grow. 

Technology radar is a technique, pioneered by ThoughtWorks, for always paying attention to the technical horizon watching trends, trying to determine future technology winners, and learning more about different technologies as they become more and more likely to become important. 

We have more confidence and learn with more depth for the nearer-term technologies.  We have less confidence and less depth for things farther out where we "just don't know" if they will catch on. This is tough because things like language-based ML seemed unlikely to many 5 years ago. 

Technologists must continually sweep the current news and trends to determine where they will put the learning and future-proofing investment. Near-term are covered as part of today's work.  Mid-term items are going to have training and experimentation phases. They are allocated a certain amount of time for learning, training, or PoC work.  Long-term items are riskier bets so we work on those with less depth.  Eventually, they will no longer be of interest or they will move into the PoC Train and Experiment phase.

  1. Everyone spends the bulk of their time on current technologies used in today's work.  This may include new tech being adopted by the company.  No radar scans are required here because the technology decision is now.
  2. Some amount of time or brain cycles are allocated toward identifying and gaining some experience with likely technology. 
  3. A smaller amount of time is spent learning about bigger but possibly less likely technologies.  
How much time should be spent on Tech Radar and the self-improvement around it?  



Thoughtworks created and has iterated on the concept of Technical Radar

  • https://www.thoughtworks.com/radar
  • https://dustinewers.com/building-tech-radars-for-fun-and-profit/
  • https://mcode.it/blog/2020-05-23-technology_radar/


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