One thing that’s been in the back of my mind is “how to stay on top of my career?” More importantly, what should I be doing or could be doing better?
Currently I peruse reddit, listen to podcasts, pickup books, follow a few blogs, attend local meetups, and read articles from Hacker News and LinkedIn. There are thousands of resources available and the internet has made many of them extremely accessible. It’s also impossible to keep up with everything as technology and its applications are constantly changing.
However, I personally find the best way to learn is through hands on experimentation in personal projects or at work. I tend to have several projects in progress (not always software/technology…DIY gear, simple furniture, DnD props, etc), but at some point coming home to study/read/code started to feel exhausting. I’m currently working on setting aside dedicated coding time and one thing that has helped is keeping a list of ideas for future pursuit. Minimally, it allows me to think through how I would architect and implement the project which is a form of practice on its own.
A pet peeve of mine is studying for interviews. The concepts are important, but it can feel repetitive compared to discovering something new. Having sat on the other side of the table, interviewing is almost an art of its own as you attempt to assess the skills and competency of the candidate. FizzBuzz and similar questions have their place, but there’s a balance between ‘pop-quiz’ and evaluating a skill set.
Books (a few that are easy to recommend as a starting point):
- Clean Coder
- The Pragmatic Programmer
- The Mythical Man Month
- Code Complete