Grace Hopper was the oldest serving member of the United States Navy, but she was also a computer programmer. Her main point of the quote above is that humans are allergic to change and that it is important to discover different ways of getting things done.
The Fear of Change
I’ve worked with companies that absolutely feared the idea of doing things differently. Eight years ago, I worked for a company that worked strictly with static HTML, FrontPage, and Dreamweaver. The idea of working with a dynamic language such as PHP was completely out of the question. To the web design department, this meant numerous hours of site changes and SEO work to incorporate. It wasn’t until nearly a year later and some hard convincing from industry experts, that they agreed to begin using WordPress. As you can imagine, the results were like night and day. Clients were able to update their own content, FrontPage got to die in peace, and less time was spent doing menial site changes.
I Am Where I Am Because of Change
At the time I was hired at that company, I had an understanding of PHP but had never worked with WordPress prior to that. I honestly believed that switching to a PHP application for blogging was a dumb idea and that the best solution to our website management problem was to simply use PHP includes. Today, I am thankful for that change to WordPress. Because despite what many tech startups and development companies say, WordPress is not going away anytime soon. It is a constantly changing web application framework, which has gone a long way from being a simple blogging tool to a complete content management system that powers 20% of the internet.
This little life lesson has taught me that change can be a good thing. It has allowed me to not be so close minded and to not disregard new techniques or procedures that could have a great impact on future development. I would encourage anyone to take a chance and try something different. If it doesn’t work out, at least you know what not to do in the future.