Part of what makes software development a perfect career choice for me is that it never stales. At least during my lifetime so far, technology hasn’t sat still for more than a few years at a time. The next layer of capability, the next opportunity, the next whatever is always incubating. I can safely say I’ve rarely had the same year of experience twice.
And I love that about it. I love that I need to keep learning and reinventing myself as a technical professional, that what I know is only a little bit more important than what I’m learning. We are served well if we can maintain a “Beginner’s Mind”. [I first learned of the Beginner’s Mind from Zen Guitar by Philip Toshio Sudo but a quick search will provide many references.]
One of my favorite stories (perhaps even a parable) related to the Beginner’s Mind (cobbled together from a couple different versions) goes...
A university professor comes to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly serves tea, the professor talks on and on about Zen. The master fills the visitor’s cup to the brim and keeps on pouring. The professor watches the overflowing cup until he can no longer restrain himself. “It’s overfull! No more will go in!” he blurts out. “You are like this cup,” the master replies, “full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”