How to stay sane in today's world of tech

Published on 2021-07-07. Modified on 2023-10-24.

Is it even possible to stay sane in today's world of tech? Well, both yes and no :)

It doesn't matter whether you're young and just starting out, or if you're a senior with lots of experience, or perhaps a senior with no experience trying to make a new career in tech, I believe that the most important thing to know and understand is that nobody, and I mean nobody, can keep track of everything and master everything in tech. The solution to the stress of trying is simple: Just don't try!

When I started out in the industry in 1987 it was still possible for one person to understand the technology all the way down to the level of the electronics. We understood pretty well how the chips worked, how the motherboards worked, and how all the different communications equipment worked. Everything was so much simpler back then.

Today it has become much more difficult.

If you try to master a single skill in the tech industry today, perhaps in order to become an expert, you will loose the ability to know a lot of different skills and technologies and hence loose job or consulting opportunities. On the other hand, if you try to know and become good at many different things, it will be very difficult to become really good (expert level) at any one thing.

That's just a hard fact of how much the technology has changed and progressed.

There are a lot of benefits to this progress, such as everything has become so much easier to work with and the technology has become so much faster. However, not every advancement is caused by a necessary need.

One of the really bad things is when the industry becomes really greedy and it keeps pushing and pushing the development of faster and more sophisticated tech while at the same time force-feeding people the idea that they need to upgrade to the latest and most shinny thing, yet the "old" hardware still performs and works flawlessly.

This kind of rapid development is not only reaping havoc on the environment, but it will inevitably cause a major breakage at some point in the future. At some point no one will be able to fix the things that break (we're already there) and we will not be able to simply make new stuff because we have run out of resources.

Anyone who is old enough to have owned an Intel 386 or an Intel 486 based PC can tell you that back then we tried our very best to squeeze every ounce of performance out of the beast before we even considered upgrading to something new. Not only was the development much slower, but the hardware was also very expensive and nobody in their right mind would even consider to simply throwing out a machine like that and get the next model in line, like many people do nowadays.

When I look at the industry today I am appalled at some of the things I see.

The gaming industry is a really good example, but by no means the only culprits out there. In the gaming industry it has reached such levels of squandering due to greed that it is hard to find words to describe just how unacceptable it is. Rather than fixing bugs, making better games and improving performance, the Triple-A companies just keep pushing more and more demanding games on the market that really offers nothing new, they do this in corporation with the GPU makers who keep adding dies to the graphics cards GPU's. NVIDIA e.g. hardly released the RTX 20 series before it was "outdated" and replaced by the RTX 30 series. Advancement is great, but we don't need to keep pushing products on the market all the time when the old hardware haven't even reached a tenth of their true potential! But then, how will they keep making money?