Programming technologies are evolving so fast that programmers constantly have to learn more and more to catch up whether you want it or not. Often it is not just learning more in the same direction but starting from a scratch.
Lets say you were a topnotch programmer in 1999 who quit for 10 years and went to a job interview in 2009 (funny even to imagine) - how much of your knowledge is still needed? And if we take a carpenter, engineer, doctor or even mathematician - they all are still good specialists after 10 years.
So why programming is so not stable? Is it because it is just relatively new or because something important is still missing after 50 years and we can't find it to settle in that direction? Do you think after some time situation will change?
Learning something new all the time is exciting and all, but it is starting to worry me that as I become older it will be harder and harder. After all "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" and I'm afraid that at the end I just end up behind college students and become one of those "cobol dinosaurs", only it will be probably "java dinosaurs" by that time.