Why should every programmer upgrade knowledge
In this age of competition and business flourishing, gone are those days when employers would look at someone specialized to execute projects. Though this still holds true for Architect level positions, but; employers expect a little more from programmers and software engineers.
Today knowing an array of technologies help you get a job of your choice and also helps you to negotiate a better pay package. The reason why employers prefer multi-talented employees is because not all projects is to be developed using a particular technology or language. Further, many software installations are the outcome of successful integration of various sub-systems written in different technologies.
So the question is how do you keep adding to your knowledge? How do you learn so many things and retain information? Where do you meet people to share information with you?
I recommend the following ways in which knowledge can be enhanced
1. Make a plan of action
This is the first step towards the path of enhancing your knowledge. The basis of this plan should be, a properly done research on various trends and requirements that companies follow. You need to analyze whether learning .NET is good or Java, or learning Web Services would help you or knowledge of AJAX would help you. Look at various job postings available in Daily Newspapers. Identify a pattern of technologies that various companies have a requirement for. Once you have identified technologies that you wish to learn, make a plan and execute that plan.
2. Tips on learning many technologies and retaining
This is what I do. I always compare each new procedural language to ‘C’ and each Object Oriented Language to ‘C++‘ and ‘Java‘. Use the style of associative learning. Think to yourself, if you have printf() in C – then it resembles to print or echo in PHP. This way you can make associations and retain.
Making notes for each technology so that you can revise it later as required.
3. Participate in forums
Participating in forums has a win-win situation. You not only share your knowledge, but also get to learn from it. Help as many people as possible. As a result of helping people you get to understand the subject more in depth, plus if you lack knowledge in some areas; other members of the forum supplement the missing piece of information.
4. Get into the habit of reading
Subscribe to blogs or technical news sites that publish learnings and tutorials of various technologies. Schedule time over the weekend to review articles and implement examples.
5. Participate in Meetups and conferences
A good source to add to your knowledge is to participate in meetups and conferences. Attend such events with a broad mind and accept knowledge that has been relayed. Take notes, meet people and discuss with people there. When you meet like-minded people; try to network with them and create a schedule to meetup once a month and discuss learnings.
These are some of the ways in which you could improve your knowledge and skills. Over a period of time you must sharpen your axe. The field of technology is rapidly changing and one cannot always keep up to the changes and new technologies introduced. Following the above mentioned steps will help you in a big way.
Please leave behind any comments that you mind have if you have other tips as well.
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