How Software Developers Can Stay Up-To-Date With The Latest Technology
As a specialist IT recruiter, we make it our mission to spark technological change and growth in the UK. This is because we recognise that new technologies are constantly springing up in the fast-paced digital world which we currently inhabit. This means that software developers need to be aware of the latest industry trends to keep abreast of the competition.
In our opinion, the most successful software developers need to learn something new everyday to stay ahead of the curve, and we have a few tricks up our sleeves to help you.
Join communities and follow them
Even if you are busy with day-to-day coding or dealing with clients, you should find the time to interact within developer communities. A community is an excellent place to get the latest news, find out about possible industry problems or issues and get high quality advice from other experts.
Being an active member of a community is especially important for start-ups and freelance developers, who are looking for assistance without making a considerable financial investment.
Whatever your specialism, you are sure to find at least one relevant community to join. In fact, it is better to focus on just the one in order not to spread yourself too thin. Most likely, you will find much of what you are looking for without sifting through dozens of community websites.
Some communities to keep in mind are WordPress, Stack Overflow, Google Developers and Code Project.
Attend industry events
Attending industry events is highly important for keeping up-to-date with the newest technologies, whatever stage you are at in your career.
New products, services, and innovations may be available to peruse online. However, learning about them at the event directly is much more useful as it affords you with the opportunity to ask questions and interact with other industry players.
Trade shows and conferences offer personal interaction with like-minded professionals and enable you to become a familiar and dependable face among the software development community. You may also discover useful information about a completely unrelated subject just by strengthening your connection with the community at the event.
Some developers opt out of attending industry events due to the high travel and ticket expenses. In most cases, you can find an online recording to watch after the presentation. It may not be as effective as the live version but can still carry excellent value.
Build you own social media network
Software developers can take advantage of social media to build their network or community. Twitter and LinkedIn provide a great way to follow industry peers, blogs, magazine and online communities. This is because they tend to post regularly and you can join groups relating to tech topics that you are interested in.
Friends, co-workers and colleagues who meet at conferences are also constantly working on ways to hone their skills and they can do so by uniting on social media.
Sharing your experience, talking about new developments, making conclusions and simply chatting can keep you up-to-date with the latest technologies. The bigger you grow your community, the easier you can get access to the right information, paving the way for career growth and professional development.
Follow tech influencers
Many tech leaders enjoy a prominent online presence, be it on mainstays Linked and Twitter or even Quora, Stack Overflow and other online boards, forums and networks.
Finding the people whose content you admire provides a means for further education around your industry and allows you to understand what is happening in the software community.
Do your research
The toughest part about following the newest developments is finding time to do it. Going through large amounts of information on a daily basis is time-consuming. If you are pressed for time, you can opt for social media communities. They are the easiest to scan through when the time is short and can be considered a part of your work day.
Staying up to date is just as important as coding, debugging, designing, and testing. Without current information, you may lose out on crucial work opportunities.
Take a proactive approach to R&D
Whatever new innovations you read or hear about, they are worthless unless you are willing to try them out for yourself. Working on pet projects or spending time on R&D will engage your brain and is a great way to trial a tool or platform to understand how it relates to what you do.
Take an online course
Staying up to date in the software industry involves upping your qualifications on a regular basis. Since you may not have time to attend live courses, you could also consider remote education.
Today, online courses are gaining immense popularity due to their time and money-saving features. Software developers must follow new courses closely to identify which ones are most beneficial for their careers.
Read blogs and listen to podcasts
Another way to get information about the latest industry developments is to read programming blogs, where complex information is distilled into easy to digest articles.
Besides keeping you up to date, software development, blogs can help you solve problems and get free advice. CodeBetter and A List Apart are good options to take a look at.
Some software developers even write their own blogs to grow their community, research new developments and interact with peers.
If you commute daily, go for a morning run or like to listen to something while doing errands, then podcasts are a great way to stay up to speed. There are numerous software development podcasts, including Modern Web, The Big Web Show and The Web Ahead.
Embrace new ideas
The worst thing that could happen to a software developer is arrogance. Even if you think you know how to do your thing better than anyone, do not reject new ideas.
The tech world is changing on a daily basis. Anything you may have thought innovative yesterday could become a thing of the past tomorrow.
Get to know your colleagues
If you work in a company with other highly motivated individuals, you can bond with them to share tips, resources and experiences. Meeting once a month for a catch up and arranging workshops can be beneficial and may help you to meet other industry peers that your fellow colleagues are familiar with.
Engaging other team members can teach you about internal policies and help you to improve on your work based on the expectations of other teams and departments.
Staying up to date with changing technologies is tough, regardless of the industry you are in. For software developers, it is especially important. By knowing which resources to tap into, a software developer can keep ahead of the competition.
For our part, we have an extensive network of software geniuses at our disposal who are at the top of their game and can provide your business with a wealth of technical expertise.
We have a host of roles available with some of the UK's greatest IT innovators. Browse our latest Software Developer roles today.
Stay tuned to the Oho Group blog for all the latest insights into the world of specialist IT and electronic engineering recruitment.