Monday, December 17, 2007

Twenty excuses to avoid learning

[This was originally posted at]

I was thinking the other day of all the excuses that I've heard for my software developers avoid trying to learn new things. I'm a huge advocate of developers doing continuing education, so I always find the excuses interesting. Here's a random list of the top twenty:
  1. I’m too old / I’m too young.
  2. I’m not smart enough.
  3. I don’t need anything new / I don’t care.
  4. But my memory is too bad…
  5. Even if I learn something new, it won’t help me.
  6. I don’t have the technical job yet. First I’ll get the job, and then I’ll learn about it.
  7. The technology will just be obsolete by the time I learn it.
  8. I’ll just wait until some teaches me.
  9. Learning is punishment for being bad - i.e. the grade-school mentality when you're teach assigns extra homework to "punish" you.
  10. The instructor dislikes me, therefore I won’t try.
  11. The techniques/resources aren’t available.
  12. My environment is unfair, so why put myself on the line when it’s setup against me.
  13. Training is too expensive
  14. It’s too overwhelming
  15. It’s my boss’s responsibility to train me
  16. I don’t even like my job, why would I want to learn more about it? (Rebuttal: then learn about another job, the job you want).
  17. I don’t want to waste effort learning something unless I absolutely need it.
  18. If I learn some niche tech, then I’ll get stuck maintaining that obsolete system.
  19. I worked really hard before, and nothing good came from it.
  20. It’s not worth it.

Are there other ones that you've heard? At some point, I'd like to offer explicit rebuttals to each of these.

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