I guess this question is more aimed to people who have jobs, because it is my understanding we usually use the same tools in our jobs on a daily basis. Ever since I started my new job I’ve been buys learning and using Angular/Ionic so I’ve lost track of React and all the other hot techs out there.
In this field everything changes so fast and there’s always something new to keep an eye on, I’d like to know how do you guys keep updated?
Do you also work on an existing skill that you have but you don’t get to use at work? Like in my case I don’t get to use React or Node :/, although I don’t think I could completely forget these skills I think I might be left way too behind to use them again in the future.
I keep a sort of surface-level awareness of what’s happening largely through social contact. Watch some videos of conference talks. If there’s a talk that you like, look and you’ll probably see that the speaker is active on Twitter. Having grown a network that way means that I at least see what people in my sphere are getting excited about. Similarly, you might choose a curated news/rss feed and just make reading an article or watching a video part of your work routine. And of course there are the other developers that you work with.
Some passionate developers enjoy attending regular meetups and working on personal projects at home during their free time. That’s really cool if it’s what floats your boat, but I think that the trend to expect this as something a developer has to do to “be worthy” of the title to be grade-A bullshit. I like programming, which is why I spend more than 40 hours a week doing it. What time I have left I like to spend on my other interests.
There’s always new and cool stuff to learn out there, and yes things change to fast to keep up.
I usually try out lots of cool new stuff in my free-time, not all the time, but when I want to spend more time programming haha. I usually spend part of my early morning, and lunch time reading topics I find thru medium. I use also feedly to keep track of a number of things to skim thru, and just get a super high level idea of stuff going on, and some funny comics here and there haha.
About once a week during my commute I listen to some programming-related podcasts (download and listen through google play music, so I can play it thru my car).
I’ve found I rarely watch videos on programming topics or talks, unless its record from a live talk I am very interested in. Watching older ones just take up to much of my time and focus, reading can be skimmed thru, so articles are usually my go-to most of the time (hence why I use medium and feedly)
Finally, I usually keep track of side project I want to do, and new technologies/approaches I’d like to try out and use. This way when I do get the time to build something new, I can try out a number of new things. Also, at work I gained a lot of experience from diving into code I wasn’t originally familiar with. Something as simple as trying to solve a bug that isn’t assigned to you, but no one is working on yet will give you an idea of other technologies other people are working on.
For example, I ended up learning mongo+nodejs+express by fixing bugs I noticed when I was working on the front-end. There’s always opportunities to learn more in the workplace, just make sure you don’t spend to much time learning without being productive haha.
I used to think I would have the energy to work on personal projects after having a job but I as much as I enjoy programming I also like doing other things on my spare time, so I think reading/watching videos would be my best option to keep myself updated. Sometimes what I do in my spare time is solving algorithms, given that it’s a skill that I always want to improve and I only invest like 2 hours when I do.
Podcasts are great… I usually listen to them when I go to bed or on the ferry, its a great way to hear about new stuff and opinions on it. I love Front End Happy Hour…the more they drink, the more interesting the convos get
The truth is that there’s only so much time and so if you’re going to be learning outside of work time, you have to focus on very particular subjects.
Over time you learn where you’re strong at where you need some work.
However I know I have to do more work on understanding how to do more advanced SQL queries - because when I’ve been working I have discovered sometimes I’ll run into a SQL problem and have to google around to solve it.
Once I know that I need to work in this area, there are a million resources, so I can just go to a site like Udemy and google “Advanced SQL”, or buy a book or whatever.
In terms of keeping up to date, I have some google alerts set up, and otherwise I keep an eye on hackerne.ws. People at work post in the slack channel about things they find that are interesting, and so I’ll usually end up reading about some things at work as well.
The other thing is to have side projects, and sometimes get interested in a new language. This last year I became interested in GoLang, and so bought a bunch of books, went through a Udemy tutorial as well.