How do I keep my skills up to date

Technology is always changing. New products are created everyday. How do you stay current with all these changes? When it comes to software development, we have to ask ourselves the same question.

In this post, I want to share what I do to keep my skills up to date.

1.  DotNetRocks
If you are a software developer and not listening to Carl and Richard, you are not taking advantage of all the information that it’s shared by this podcast. This is my number one way that I stay relevant in my profession. At the beginning, DotNetRocks was mainly about .NET framework, ASP.NET, and Microsoft technology. But in recent years, I have seen more interviews related to Javascript, DevOps, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and other topics. After every show, I visit any links provided in the show notes. There is always something good there.

2. Scott Hanselman
Scott Hanselman has the best technology blog. He shares important announcements related to ASP.NET and the .NET Framework. In addition, he is always exploring cool open source projects. I also listen to his podcast, hanselminutes. As of this writing, the podcast has 510 shows and all of them are great. I highly recommend software developers to listen to this podcast. It will help you stay current and relevant in technology.

3. Cloud
You have to keep up with the latest change on the cloud. For me, there are 2 major players in this are: AWS and Azure. With more companies moving their infrastructure to the cloud, there is a high demand for professionals that understand the cloud. At MDBuyline, we have projects hosted in our data center and some projects at AWS. Recently, I decided to invest more of my time understanding the different services provided by AWS. I usually learn by doing and it’s a good way to gain the experience needed to pass the certification exams. I believe all software developers need to have hands on experience with the cloud.

4. Open source software
We have to thank Github for hosting open source projects for free. I like to spend time reading the source code for these libraries. Lately, I have spent time reading the source code for Knockout JS. If you read the documentation for any project, it is easy to get started. However, when you run into issues with the library, it is necessary to read the source code. In addition to reading the source code, I like to contribute back to them. I have had the opportunity to contribute back to Django, a very popular Python framework for building web sites. I also had the opportunity to give back to the Ruby community by sending a pull request to Rspec. Giving back to the open source community will help you stay current with those libraries.

5. Sharing
Twitter is a good way to share interesting pages. There are great sites being shared thru twitter. Another way that I share relevant information is thru this blog. I have written articles related to Python, Ruby, Javascript, and ASP.NET. Writing forces me to spend time researching and taking notes so I can write more effectively.

6. Pluralsight
This is one of my favorites resources to stay current in my profession. When I’m using new technology, I spend time with Pluralsight and watch the videos related to that technology. It helps me understand the basics so I can build on top of that knowledge.

Conclusion

It is difficult to stay current in technology. It is always changing. It is always evolving. The same is true for software development. To keep my skills up to date, I listen to podcasts, read blog posts, read open source projects, and take courses thru Pluralsight. Let me know what you do to stay relevant in software development.