It’s a great time to be a web developer!
There are countless great tools out there that make development easier and faster.
But, there is one BIG challenge.
Things are moving fast.
Two million new blog posts get published every day.
New tools, frameworks and workflows are flooding the market.
As soon as you learn a new framework or technology it becomes outdated.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed.
And at some point you ask, “How in the world can I keep up with it all?”
In this post you’re going to learn four simple ways to stay focused and ahead of the game…
Without getting overwhelmed.
Try to set aside some time each day to invest in the activities shown below.
1. Follow the News
There are literally a gazillion and one resources out there.
Open source code.
The key is to find resources that work best for you.
I like curated resources such as weekly email digests. Curated lists make it easier to consume all the information in one place. Let other people do all the leg work.
But, don’t just choose any old curated list.
The key is to get a wide view of what’s going on out there:
What trends are emerging?
What are the latest technologies you could use day-to-day to boost productivity and performance?
Always be thinking about how the information could be incorporated into your workflows and line of business.
The channel doesn’t matter. Whether it’s email, social media or blog RSS feeds, vet the resource, sign up and read it.
Here’s a few I like to follow:
2. Listen to Podcasts
There are a lot of great podcasts out there.
I like them because of the convenience – listen when commuting or exercising.
Many of the podcasts will provide an in-depth look at specific technologies and programming languages, looking at the business problems they solve.
The podcast host will typically interview the core developers of a given technology which can provide invaluable insight.
A few podcasts I listen to:
3. Attend Local Meetups
Staying up-to-date with the latest and greatest in tech is important.
But, you should also take some time to look at what’s going on in your local community.
What technologies are local companies using?
Are there any exciting new products emerging?
What problems are they solving? Are they similar to the problems you’re solving?
Are there any strategic opportunities?
Local Meetups are not only a great way to keep your finger on the local pulse…
They often provide an opportunity to see technology demoed and see how to get started without having to invest your own time to discover everything.
Not to mention, they provide a great vehicle for connecting with other local industry professionals.
Meetups do require a larger time commitment, but they provide a unique opportunity to learn and form valuable connections.
4. Attend Conferences
Conferences are a must! In fact, I just got back from the Angle Brackets conference in Las Vegas. Great learning experience!
Conferences provide a vehicle to connect with hundreds or thousands of industry professionals and influencers.
Presentations tend to be higher quality, touching on the latest and greatest.
You can attend general conferences with a lot of variety and multiple tracks or conferences focused on very specific subjects and technologies.
Knowledge is nothing without execution.
The best way to learn something new is to teach it.
Write a blog post.
Talk at a local meetup.
Record a Udemy course.
Host weekly brown bag discussions.
Ask for feedback.
Take what you’ve learned from the resources above and find a medium to implement it.