Vadym Fedorov is a Solutions Architect at SoftServe, a leading global software application development and consulting company, and a regular blogger on the SoftServe United blog. Vadym has 12 years experience in enterprise application development, as well as 2 years’ experience in Cloud and operations optimization.
This is one of the two winning articles for the Learning at Work Week 2015 competition – Great work Vadym and hope you enjoy your prize bundle!
The most distinctive peculiarity of the IT-related professions is a necessity to constantly learn. Fundamental knowledge is not enough: expertise in modern trends and hands-on experience are a must. In real life it’s difficult to find time for non-stop learning and by far not every work assignment provides proper practical grasp. So here’s a 5-step plan to crack on books (and not only) keeping your knowledge up to date:
1. Refresh (or get) your knowledge of computer science, algorithms, and software engineering fundamentals. Oftentimes, in College or University we don’t reveal much interest in this stuff because we don’t understand its real value, or where and how it may be applied. However, with a bunch of years spent in the IT-kitchen, you will definitely come to the point when you need this basic knowledge, but you probably need to refresh it. Such online learning resources as Coursera may come in handy (Editor’s note: Microsoft Virtual Academy is also good!).
2. Learn practices and patterns. Programming languages and popular frameworks are constantly changing, so what is in trend today may be forgotten tomorrow. But patterns and practices do not pass by so fast and they may be applied within any in-thing programming language. These two resources are really worth trying:
3. Identify modern trends: keep your eye on the latest tendencies and try to “conquer” them. All kinds of social networks and web 2.0 will be of a great help, for instance:
- Github Showcases, a vast open source community reacting to the technology trend changes with the speed of light, from new wrinkles in the open source project programming languages to popularity of the open source frameworks.
- Indeed Job Trends is a pool of the open vacations and job descriptions showing skills and knowledge needed for today’s business.
4. Be social online. Having knowledge is not enough; you should implement it in practice. Programmers’ online communities may help you check the real-life value of your knowledge. You may want to engage in such communities as MSDN Forums, Stackoverflow, etc. Here you may ask questions and provide your answers on the topics that you are interested in.
5. Take part in user groups and meetup events. There you kill two birds with one stone by grasping something new and networking with other professionals.
Continuous learning process requires time and effort, but it is a profitable investment into you future career and success.