Top 5 tips to keep your software development skills up to date

Software development is a dynamic field that requires you to stay updated with new trends to be more productive at your work and stay relevant in the job market. Learning in the IT industry has no end but this isn’t telling developers to learn everything that comes along with it.
Developers need to keep an eye on new libraries, frameworks, languages that are constantly upgrading but often it seems like developers are overwhelmed with so many resources available online. However, if you establish your way of learning and choose some online software development course or forums that help you to upskill your knowledge on the current industry trends will help you to stand out from others.

The IT industry is updating every day, there are so many releases of frameworks, design patterns, algorithms, code strategies. Each one of them has its pros and cons, now the question is…how to consume all these resources and how to adopt a new strategy to keep yourself updated all the time?

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This article helps you keep your software engineering skills up to date
Why should stay up to date with new technologies? Here is the answer

  1. You want to stay in the job market
  2. You want to be productive
  3. You are passionate about technology and you’re genuinely interested in learning more.

Also, if you’re looking for a job change, HR or recruiter will check your social profiles to see if you stay updated with the latest trends, follow well-known professionals, etc. 

1. Take Online Courses and Pick New Things to Learn

No matter how educated or skilled a developer you are! There is always something new to learn in the software field. As a developer be always curious to learn something new and take up software certification courses from top universities or watch some video tutorials. Every software developer needs to devote some dedicated time to take up video lectures, online courses. There are both free, paid courses and some of the institutes like great learning, Udemy, Coursera provide certification which can be added to your CV. Online courses not only help in keeping your skills up to date but also helps you to get certifications from top universities, save a lot of time and energy. But before that, one needs to evaluate your current skills and decide which course you want to do or which online course is best for your need. 

2. Read Blogs and Newsletters

Just like some people have the habit of reading the newspaper, developers should also adopt the habit to read some blogs and the news of the latest technologies in the morning for at least 30-40 minutes to check what’s happening in the software world.
There are some popular websites where developers can get regular updates about the latest trends. Some of the popular websites are:

  1. Reddit
  2. Total Engineering Blog
  3. Great Learning Blog
  4. Hackernews
  5. Slack Engineering Blog

These websites help you to understand more about new languages, frameworks, libraries and can also subscribe to the newsletters to get the information straight forward into the mailbox and stay updated with real-world evolution

3. Read Books

Books are an excellent source to explore a technical topic in-depth and certain concepts can better be absorbed by reading technical books. It helps in broadening the base of your programming knowledge, helps in mastering a specific technology and solving difficult problems. The biggest perks of reading the book is that you don’t get distracted by so many ads and notifications.
These books which are listed below help you to enhance your knowledge:

  1. Cracking the Coding Interview
  2. Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship
  3. The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
  4. A Philosophy of Software Design
  5. Don’t Make Me Think
  6. The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering
  7. Head First Design Patterns

4. Attend Events/Conferences/Meetups

Networking with like-minded people at different event, conferences or meetup is as important as the practical implementation of the project at the workplace. These events help developers to think broadly in the technical community. One of the biggest perks of attending these events is that you can ask questions face to face and you build a network with industry players. So check out the Meetups, become an active member of the IT community.

5.Practice coding and work on Side Projects

The more you code, the better you become in software development. In programming, this is one of the best ways to keep your programming skills up to date. It doesn’t make any sense if you only spend your time grasping the content without doing any practical implementation. No matter how many books or blogs you have read, no matter how many tutorials or courses you watch online, if you don’t apply your knowledge practically in some real-world projects, you won’t be able to learn things in a better way. As a developer, you should always dedicate some time to work on side projects. 

Once you learn about some new technology, frameworks, design pattern, or coding strategy, try it on your own. You will have strong touch with the specific technology and you will have an idea that how things work in real-world projects. If you make a habit of writing code every day and working on side projects, you will have strong knowledge and a long-lasting relationship with the programming language or library that you just learned.

Here are some more tips to update your skills:

  • Instead of being frustrated, be curious
  • Stay open to new ideas
  • Trust your instinct about new technologies
  • Once every few weeks
  • Meetups and your social/professional circle
  • Google alerts
  • GitHub explore
  • Twitter trends (or trends from other social media)

Conclusion

As a software developer, it’s good to keep yourself updated all the time. In this article, we have discussed plenty of ways and resources to stay updated on current trends. All you just need to do is to make a proper strategy and work on them. Devote some time to learn every day and track your progress after some months. You will be surprised to see your learning curve grow exponentially after spending a couple of months in these resources. Follow the above tips in your day-to-day life and stay “relevant” as a programmer.

About Author
Osho is Tech blogger. He contributes to the Blogging, Gadgets, Social Media and Tech News section on TecheHow.

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