This weekend I picked up a Jon Wegener Alaia riding a finless board is very difficult and requires relearning how to surf. However, it is teaching me a lot about how my "regular" boards work. It could be that I just want change for the sake of change, but I feel that trying different boards helps me become a better surfer.
Software is the same way, I've spent the last decade writing Java applications that use a relational database to store data. In the last 18 months or so I have been leading a change throughout the development organization to dismantle our RDBMS infrastructure and move our production systems towards using technologies such as Solr and Coherence. Additionally, I've started to use Python to test Map Reduce jobs and we moved our build system from Ant to Maven. We've had a lot of change over the last year and we will have more change coming. My hope is that the change forces us to rethink our assumptions and leads us to create faster more resilient software.
One thing I have learned from my new board and from the changes we have instituted over the last year, you have to be comfortable wiping out. The trick is to make sure you don't give up, realize that things will get better. Remember, change requires practice and most importantly, have fun wiping out.