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    The basic premise of this article is wrong. For most people, the best place to practice your skills is not on the job. If you don’t have time for side projects and don’t know anyone who can help mentor you, you should tackle that first.

    Please don’t use applications other developers are going to have to touch as a place to practice new skills. Screw up on your side projects, not your real projects.

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      You’re assuming practice new skills means practicing new technologies or coding techniques. And the post is very explicitly about skills that aren’t new technologies… because there’s a huge swatch of programming skills that aren’t about crapping out code.

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        You could be more specific.

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          He is in the article, not even 200 words after the that @flyingfisch was objecting too.

          Now, when you see the word “skills” you might immediately translate that into “tools and technologies”. And learning new technologies on the job is not always possible, especially when your company is stuck on one particular tech stack. But your goal as a programmer isn’t to use technologies.

          Your goal is to solve problems, and writing software is a technique that helps you do that. You job might be helping people plan their travel, or helping a business sell more products, or entertaining people. These goals might require technology, but the technology is a means not an end. So while understanding particular technologies is both useful and necessary, it is just the start of the skills you need as a programmer.