How often do you emerge from you cubicle to look around, note new faces or new facial expression on old ones? How often do you emerge from you technology stack to consider better another approaches/practices?
If you do this rarely – bad for you, you will miss important changes in your environment, loose the track or even worse – you will work hard in wrong direction. This is important not only to be qualified, but also to be competitive and have broad experience.
But, my time is very valuable, so even downloading something and reading its documentation is an investment I’d rather shortcut if I can. Therefore I definitely need some way to measure current trends, so I can predict outcome of my investment – diving into new technology (or even technology stack).
As a super-web-developer I’m about to consider the following frameworks to learn: ASP.NET MVC, Django Python and Ruby on Rails.