It seems to me that there is a hard barrier between the software development world and the systems programming world. I feel left out of the developments in software that have taken the world over. Agile/Lean programming, EJB, J2EE, .NET, .NET Remoting, JSP, JSTL, Web containers, EJB, MVC, Spring, OpenID, SSO, Indigo, WCF, WPF, Aspect Oriented Programming, Web services, CSS, XML, XSLT, XQuery, ADO, LINQ, AJAX, RSS, RDF, etc. are keywords I hear everyday from my other friends everyday and wonder where I've been while the world has been changing so dramatically?
In retrospect, I've been working on concepts that were quite well understood in the 60's and 70's - Virtualization, Resource Management, Processes, Threads, etc. Concurrency is very interesting, specially due to multi-core now being ubiquitous. My TODO list looks very dull - Python, Algorithms, Architecture of so and so processor, etc.
It seems like there is a hard barrier that prevents people stuck in systems from working in the layer above. I feel left and cut-out from the innovation in the application space. While, I am still finishing up on the basic design patterns, the world has already moved on to domain specific patterns. I do feel lost, but there is hope. Hope that someday, I'll take a look on the other side, where the grass seems greener; jump the fence; make sense of the new world; the world that seems to be moving at a rapid pace.