I have a little voice inside my head that oftentimes speaks up when I read something good about some new technology. For example, someone said that TopLink looked impressive, and my little voice told me that Hibernate was fine and that I shouldn’t bother myself with a commercial product that’s probably bloated, overengineered, and messily implemented. Before that, when people told me about other persistence layers, my little voice told me that there’s merit to hand coding all your JDBC calls and that using a persistence layer is for the weak. I could cite many more examples, but you get the idea.
What I’ve learned is that I will get furthest in my career by doing exactly the opposite of what that little voice tells me. I think it’s a response to the rapidity of change in the IT industry and my fear of not being able to keep up. By arbitrarily reducing the number of things I need to know about, I can feel secure about the things that I do know. Unfortunately, listening to the little voice has often left me beind where I need to be in some cases. I was behind in learning how to use JUnit, behind in learning how to use persistence frameworks, and I’m still not where I want to be with EJB.
The reason I bring this up is that if you have a similar little voice, I’d advice you to pay close attention to it and then do exactly the opposite as well.