The Old Guard
Do you happen to listen to these things called smodcasts? If you don't, than there is a good chance you missed this episode of the Web Ahead. Andy Clark had a solid rant concerning the Old VS New guard of the web. Another person who feels relatively passionate towards this subject would be Drew Wilson who puts on Valio Con, which aims at bringing "young guns" into the speaking spotlight.
Does anyone remember when Coda and Textmate were new on the scene? When I see people continuing to use these tools I make a concoious effort to interrupt their workflow and ask them what they are working on in Coffeescript? Or better yet: how they enjoy Compass? Sure this could be construed as a "dick" approach however, you learn a lot about people while being said: dick. In 99% of these mentioned interactions I am gifted with a face that expresses both confusion and an utter sense of discomfort.
If you were to prod deeper into what these "Web Professionals" do, you realize that whatever it is, it has no outside influence. They don't spend Saturdays flipping through specs or reading other people's code on Github. Rather, they go to work and do the same thing they did yesterday; only changing when a client shows or better yet, demmands something new. This reactive form of learning is what separrates the Old from the New.
An example: Smashing Magazine wrote a recent article about how to do just this: "stay up to date."
If you as a "Web Professional" think it is hard, than yes, it is. Why? Well, the fact is that you have been resting on HTML and jQuery for too damn long. It is time to wake the fuck up, smell the Coffeescript and learn all the cool things that 'the kids are doing.' Why? The simple answer is that you have already coded yourself out of a job. If you want to keep learning, that job will likely still be there. However, if you continue to be a curmudgeon about the whole subject, than you just might be... Properly Fucked.
With all good posts, this shall end with an epic list. The list will be broken up by headlines describing the following projects. Find one that looks cool and give it a whirl. Hate it? Drop and try something else.
Yes, I realized that I mixed frameworks and libraries together; however, I don't care. Go forth (yes, spelled correctly) and learn!