“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
That’s one phrase I remember from college. I’m not sure where the phrase originates from, but I’m pretty sure I heard it from the head of the CIS program at GVSU, and professor for one of my final undergrad classes. At the time I thought it was a little strange to be coming from a technology professional, because we were inundated everyday with how once we get out in the “real world” if we didn’t keep updating our skills and staying on the cutting edge we would get left behind. As I go through the beginning of my career however, I am beginning to see the wisdom of that phrase.
Lately I have been reading a book called Blogging Heroes. A spur of the moment grab from the library, it interviews 30 of the top bloggers at the time about their experience and advice for blogging. The book is a little dated, published in 2007, but most of the bloggers they interviewed were still relevant, so I thought it would be a decent read. While it was interesting, what I found most intriguing was their perspectives on blogs. Most started their blogs in the early adapter stage of blogging, and talk about how they didn’t know where blogs were going. What was so interesting to me is that if I changed the word blog into social media, Facebook, or Twitter it looks remarkably similar to many articles I read today. Will ____ survive the test of time? Does ____ really add business value? Are ____ too personal and biased to be considered journalism? Across a period of four years and a ton of technological advances, the same questions are being asked now. Today, blogs are mostly taken for granted as a good idea that will be around for a long time, now it is social media that is being questioned.
As I look at other aspects of technology, the phrase rings true as well. Printers today are wireless, vibrantly colored, direct-from-camera enabled, and yet, I spend as much time un-jamming and power cycling them as ever. Today I program mostly in coldfusion, jquery, php, and asp.net, but the concepts I first learned in basic HTML and Java still hold true and influence how I code. Despite how connected and networked our everyday lives have become, the go to utility to test a connection (ping) has been around since at least the early 80’s, probably before I was even born.
It seems, especially concerning technology, the more things change, the more they stay the same.