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I'm writing a recommendation for a fellow IT expert, and I want to say that this person loves to investigate the state-of-the-art technology, always checks out the most recent things on the market the minute they are released, and is always on top of what's happening in the technology world. What's the concise way of saying it?

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I'd say something like "always on the cutting edge in investigating state-of-the-art technology".

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Or you could use bleeding edge (as in the tip of the cutting edge) or pushing the envelope. (That term, I think, comes from aviation, courtesy of Tom Wolfe's book The Right Stuff.) –  Martha F. Mar 25 '11 at 16:16
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State of the art is, in my experience, only used for technology and not to express the skill or knowledge of a human being. So a weapon can be state of the art, or a computer, but not a person. I would say that your colleague is 'at the forefront of technological knowledge in the field of IT'.

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