Things change by the seconds in the tech world. Every morning you wake up to see 10 new tools, 100 improvisations on existing technologies and 1000’s of people giving their opinion about all of this! How are we even expected to keep up with all the chaotic growth and constant buzz in the industry?
It doesn’t matter if you are just starting your career or have been a developer for decades, everyone is expected to stay updated with the happenings in our field and relevant to the trends that are being used by companies all over the globe. While we are at it, we need to make sure not to lose our sanity over the (truck loads of) information we consume.
Here are a few hacks that have not only helped me stay on top of things, but also made me look smarter to my co-workers by voicing my opinion on things.
#1 Daily dose of reading
Reading is one action that can take you from zero to hero, all areas in life. Similarly if you put in the time for a good reading on updates about your choice of technology, the closer you get to becoming an expert. While reading an article, always note key points that the article helped answer, it is a efficient way to introspect. For instance, if I read an article about a new tool being launched, I ask myself something like — What are the principles that the technology/tool works on. How and where can it be implement. What are the benefits of replacing current technology with it.
You might be thinking, I don’t have the time to look through all these disperse sources and figure out what to read. I hear you!! The best solution would be to look at one application, that delivers all or most of the news you are looking for. My go to for daily reads are Flipboard and Feedly, where you can curate your board and read through topics that interest you! I use it on my commute to work every morning, gives me a good head-start start for the rest of the workday.
#2 Don’t hesitate to ask questions
The path to learning is constantly finding answers to questions. In fact question and answers are an integral part of my daily life, every new project gets me working on different tools and technology and the only way I can get work done is find answers. First start with a small circle, ask your co-workers if they have any ideas or tips for the piece you are working on. If you don’t find answers there, I am sure there are several competency groups within your company you can reach out to. Sometimes the best results are from the search engine — pointing you to documentations and platforms like Github and Stackoverflow to look for answers. The bottom line is don’t hesitate to ask questions, it can save a lot of headaches and most importantly give you TIME to act on the answers 🙂
#3 Sharing your learning
There are many advantages of sharing your learning, it may help someone out there find answers or inspire them to pursue what you are doing; and it is one simple way to showcase your expertise to a large set of audiences. There are several ways in which you can start sharing, whether it is within your workplace or outside. Let’s first talk about sharing in your workplace. You can simply create a document and post it on a common platform, like Confluence for all your co-workers to take a look. You can hold learning sessions and talk through your project. These simple acts can put you in spotlight and have people come to you the next time they have questions. Outside of work, you can volunteer for organisations that help teach different groups of people learn about technology, like — Girl Develop It, ADA, you can find several others in your locality. This will most definitely make you confident of your skills and inspire others to work their way into the tech world.
#4 Relaxing is key
It is important to take a break from regularly stuffing your brain with information, and relaxing. Just like your computer needs a reboot once in awhile, your brain does too. For you to continue learning and building bigger better things, you need to make sure not to reach saturation. Any simple activities like- picking up that novel you wanted to read for months, cooking that recipe you bookmarked & never opened, a weekend getaway with family; can help you feel refreshed and start the never ending learning cycle all over again!
You need to imbibe these into your daily routine and be persistent, to see it take action on your work life! Hope these hacks help you stay up-to date with the trends and technologies every day.