Change is a constant factor when it comes to programming, and if you are not in the know of what is happening around you, it is easy to get left out of all the exciting things. It also means that you could miss out on a lucrative opportunity owing to lack of information. These and more are the reasons why staying ahead of trends is essential to programmers across the globe.
However, keeping up with change is easier said than done. In this digital era, there is so much information online, and you need to separate what’s important from what is not. Here are a few tips to help you along the way as you work to build a career in programming:
Belonging to a community is essential as it enables you to interact with like-minded people and in so doing, empowers you to be better at what you do. In these forums, you come across experts who are willing to divulge knowledge as well as people who are well-informed as to the happenings regarding programming.
From updates to the evolution of new languages to what language will soon be obsolete, you will find a lot of information to help you prepare for what’s coming. The truth is that learning will never come to a stop for you. And if you are in employment, your company will expect you to take the initiative and explore ways in which you can perform better. Failure to do so will lead to replacement, and this also holds for freelancers as clients want the best skills that they can get.
You can try using Stack Overflow or Google Developers Group which have lots of valuable information as to developments in the industry.
As you watch out for the latest trends in the market, you also need to figure out how you can exploit them to your benefit. Yes, you could know everything that there is to know about innovation, but it proves to be of little use if all your expertise is theoretical. Try your hand at something new, and the chances are high that you could make a good deal of money from the same if you do it well. Who knows? You could end up teaching people how to go about you as you heighten your skill levels.
Researching on the best bloggers out there, as well as websites with news on developments, regarding programming is a great way to stay in touch with updates. Sites such as Hacker News and Product Hunt are some of the best sources of information. If there is something new in the industry which could prove to be of use to developers, such as coding styles and tricks, you can trust that they have it. Look for a site that caters to your needs and be sure to subscribe to everything that will eventually be of value to you.
Podcasts are great because you can listen to them on the go. You could be out for a walk or struck in traffic or other situation where you cannot log into a site to get information. Listening to people talk about innovations in the industry has many advantages. For one, there is minimal risk of misinterpretation because you can discern the human voice components such as the tone. You also get to listen to different points of view, and you can compare them to your take on the issue, thus broadening your perspective. In this regard, you can consider listening to the Modern Web and Herding Code podcasts, which have proven to be quite useful in the programming community.
Since we are dealing with change, reading may seem a bit far-fetched as most of the information might no longer be useful at this moment. For this reason, many people shun reading books, and they opt to immerse themselves in what’s hot as stated in various sites. However, reading may be the key to opening your eyes to new ideas. In them, you can find fresh concepts that you can use to better your skills. You can start with ‘97 Things Every Programmer Should Know’ and see how that goes. If you like the experience, you can broaden your research to other books where you can come across timeless tricks that may not be available online.
You can go a step further by taking up a course, and the good thing about it is that you can do it online free of charge. Though there are courses available at a fee, you can find lots of vital materials available without a cost, and you can use this foundation to leverage your skills.
The other thing that you have to do is to engage with people in your field. You could be doing everything right, but you could have missed a vital point which someone could point out during a conversation. It also helps to be around people who understand what you do and the challenges that you face on an average day. From online communities to social media to conferences, there are lots of ways that you could network, and it all depends on what works best for you.
With these steps in play, you will have an easier time attracting clients/ keeping your job, and you’ll also have much more fun as you discover innovations. Try one of these today and pave the way for an innovative future!
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