Skill-building has always been a primary motivator in my career. I encourage everyone I work with to challenge themselves by trying new techniques and technologies. Just recognize that you can always grow in any project, even if is not in your perl or whatever technical prowess you are applying. Perhaps the trick is to realize how you have grown.
When the task is actually mundane or a simple permutation of a familiar solution it may be senseless to demand of yourself a technically novel "personal growth" solution. It’s OK, even sometimes best, to repeat the proven familiar solution. Sometimes the way I have needed to grow is to recognize that my technical growth is not the immediate primary goal of my team or organization. I may need to sacrifice my personal technical criteria and grow by strengthening my character. How, by suppressing my own personal desires and showing my commitment to my organization's reaching a larger combined goal with greater ultimate shared satisfaction.
Certainly our own needs are important for us to recognize and strive to satisfy. As professionals we have to balance them against the demands of our projects. Often I must choose an effective solution rather than most efficient or the most elegant. Credit yourself for making better choices in the heat of the daily battle.
Bob...who has been at this since every computer had impressive arrays of blinking lights and shiny rows of toggle switches...and is still learning.
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