The last few weeks I been thinking lots about why I want to disappear off with a laptop (this mainly because of the deadlines and working extra hours). Well I have this big stack of book I want to read but don't have the time, all these things that pop into my head that I feel I should write down but don't have the time for and just to have some time to work on my own projects, but really it come back to the fact I don't feel like am learning anything at work, just doing things in the same way I did straight out of Uni.
I brought this up at my appraisal and listed three areas or technologies (that are already used inside the company) that I think I need to learn more about: Perl, STL, GLSL.
My Team Leader said each time that already know enough to do my job and do not need any time to study them. He is well know for not believing in technical training, so I knew before I said anything it would be an uphill battle.
This just seems so short sighted, and got me a little angry, here was me asking for a little time to improvement myself so I could do my job better (only a few hour a month), all with technologies we already use but I got shot down. I was not asking to learn some hot new language or tools that would be little help to the company but things that would have a positive effect.
So it looks like the only technical training I get will be on my own time and be paid for out of my own pocket. That got me thinking, instead of what I need to be able to do my current job better, I should be looking at what technologies , languages and skills I need to keep me employable in the wider job market, if I have to invest my own time I should get the maximum return from that time. All this sound very negative, I like my job but I can imagine it being a good Idea for me to stay at my current place for ten years, really five years would be too long unless the company change in a radical way.
I thought as a start I'll use those days off when I get my face zapped to work on my own stuff things like learning more about Agile development (As I was writing this I saw a related book review came in on the Slashdot rss feed, just to reinforce that I should know more about that area.) and Java (which I feel very bad about not knowing) and Perl (part of the reason behind the daily links script was so I could learn the language).
Even after only doing a few little things this last week or two, it does feel better, like I'm more in control of where I will be in the future, not drifting so much and happier, which is never a bad thing. Which has the strange side effect of me being more productive at work.