This post is sadly not going to be about code so much that it's going to be about the profession. Some professions have it easy. You can cut hairs without having to learn something new every 2-3 months. You can build houses without having to learn new methods every year. Of course, all professions are evolving and new ways to do the same task more effectively are created.
What is really different when you are coding is that new languages are coming every 1-2 years. Methodologies are coming every 5 years. New frameworks are coming every 5-6 months. I might be off on those numbers but I feel pretty confident about it. WPF came in less than 2 years. C# 3.0 came in a year and a half ago. C# 4.0 is due to 2010.
All those technology require a lot of our time to learn. This is the main reason why there is so much conference, workshop and community event happening in a single city. This year, I'm going to the .NET Montreal User group , I'm trying to organize a Coding Dojo, I'm attending the Montreal Codecamp 2009 and I'm presenting at this same Codecamp. My question here is... is it too much?
I feel that I won't learn enough in my lifetime to but a great programmer but that if I work enough, I might just be good enough to be proud of my work and make changes in the way that we do our job (The Daily WTF anyone?).
However, even if the amount of changes are tremendous... I don't see any desire to participate in community events. It doesn't mean a lack of desire to improve. I just think that a lot of people like to learn on their own off a book or by doing the trip themselves.
How is it on your side? How is it like in the US? India? Slovakia (yeah! got a lot of those readers!) ?
What is your take on participating inside the community and self improvement?