TECHNOLOGY: KEEPING TRACK OF NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN TECHNOLOGY

Things change fast in the technology world, with new developments constantly emerging, keeping track can become a chore that’s easy to procrastinate but dangerous to a company or an individual’s tech life. You deal with technology in your office productivity software, security system, air conditioning, computers systems, networks, phone systems, and much more. Whether the new trend in tech is a simple cash register program that tracks inventory and daily purchases or a sophisticated network that links people and places around the globe, or a simple app that helps you maintain you to-do list or the latest changes in on a social media platform. Keeping up with technology helps companies and individuals identify and solve problems in this technology era.

Many companies have implemented and developed Technology Intelligence (TI) systems, designed to capture information about emerging technologies and trends and to deliver it in a usable form to decision makers. Establishing such a system can be challenging and requires the ability to evaluate large volumes of data, identify what is relevant and transfer it to those who need it. A recent research program at the IFM’s Centre for Technology Management has been investigating these issues with the aim of establishing the underlying principles of an effective system. Before going into these principles there are certain factors we must consider first.

FACTORS THAT INDUCE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE TECHNOLOGY WORLD

· User needs/wants

· Unsolved/arising problems

· Inefficiency of old/already existing techs

User needs/ wants: the issue of user demand and supply has not still been balanced because users’ needs/wants are insatiable. So therefore, as the time flies, users begin to need more. They begin to need a better version of an old tech, or a tech to solve a new problem or a tech to satisfy their wants. Since the satisfaction of users is the reason for developments and production in every area of life (not only in technology) and also a priority in the world of tech, the demands of the user has to be met in any way possible. For this reason, everyday technologists all around the world look for new and better solutions to problems in order to satisfy its users’ needs/wants.

Unsolved/arising problems: everyday as problems are being solved new ones arises. For instance; the problem of transportation was solved in the ancient days by using animals, but soon animals became inefficient and unreliable, the bicycle was invented, the car, but still it couldn’t travel thousands of miles, so others mediums of transportation were invented and now this problem affect the climate and other life factors thereby creating other problems to be solved. Same thing applies in the tech world, for every problem solved another arises. The beauty of the tech world is that problems will always arise and solutions will always be given, hence the new developments.

Inefficiency of old/already existing technologies: just like clothes that solve the problem of covering our bodies, we get tired of them overtime when they become old. Same thing applies in tech world, users usually get tired of old/obsolete techs that are not upgraded. Also overtime the problem that a particular technology was solving can develop another smaller problem, thereby making that particular technology unable to solve it. So new development or upgrade in that technology is the only way to re-curb that particular problem.

THE KEEPING-TRACK ALGORITHM

This is a simple algorithm that helps you keep track of new developments in the technology world or space.

· Step 1: Determine Your Needs

(You’ll determine your needs from the type of technology you and your users live and work with, your existing knowledge base, and your learning style).

· Step 2: Assess the Resources Available to You ​

(This is the most important part of the algorithm as it tells you where you can easily assess new trends in technology)

1. Flip-board And Technology Industry Events (Face-to-face user group meetings, meetups, webinars, tech festivals and technical conferences)

2. Web Media (Blogs, Podcasts, Forums, News Aggregation Sites)

3. Social Media (Twitter (especially), Facebook, etc.)

4. Training (On-site, Online Classrooms, Web-based, Online Tutorials, Web Casts)

5. Print Media (Books and Magazines)

· Step 3: Rank the Resources in Order of Usefulness to You​

(The good news is that there are a lot of resources, the bad news is that there are a lot of resources. Prioritize them based on how well they help you keep track of new developments and trends.)

· Step 4. Make the Time to Use the Resources ​

(Fix this in into your schedule, for what is the need of gaining the resources without actually using it to keep track.)

· Step 5: Keep track of keeping track

If a time keeper loses track that he/she is keeping track of time that means he/she is no different form the person who is not even keeping track of time at all. Make an effort to sit back from time to time to analyse and observe the changes and new development in the tech world

GET STARTED

Keeping up with technology is important because of its central role in our lives and work. Keeping up with technology is possible because of this algorithm. Practice using this algorithm and soon it will be as much a part of your life as technology development itself. It’s impossible to list all the web media and social media resources available to you, but the following should get you started.

Web Media (Blogs, Podcasts, Forums, News Aggregation Sites)

o Google.com

o Stack overflow

o Mit.edu

o Technologyreview.com

o Techxplore.com

o Reddit

o Techmemme etc.

Social Media (Twitter (especially), Facebook, etc.)

Twitter:

o Scott Guthrie (@ScottGu), Scott Allen (@OdeToCode) –.NET Gurus

o Josh Bloch (@JoshBloch) — Java Collections Framework

o Kent Beck (@KentBeck) — Creator of TDD, XP, and founder of JUnit

o James Duncan Davidson (@duncan) — Founder of Tomcat & Ant

o Martin Fowler (@martinfowler) — Software Development Methodologies

o @BillGates — Can you guess this one?

REFERENCES

· The Balance: Brian J. Nickleson Ph.D.; Technology growth

· Forbes: Forbes Technology Council (FTC)

· IFM: Center for Technology Management; Technology Intelligence Systems

· Summa: Chris Wastchak; Technical consultation

NOTE: Be advised that this algorithm isn’t a recognized standard from any institute or organisation, you could also develop your own algorithm, as the end point is keeping track of new developments in technology.