JSJ 387: How to Stay Current in the Tech Field

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Panel

  • Charles Max Wood

  • Joe Eames

Episode Summary

Today Joe and Charles are discussing how to stay current in the tech field. Since looking at all the new technology can be overwhelming, they advise listeners on what to focus on, which will differ depending on your career. Joe brings up that one of the top reasons people choose a job is because it has a technology they want to learn. Joe and Charles discuss trends in the tech world, such as the rise and fall of Rails. They discuss what to do if you’re happy with what you’re doing now but want your career to stay viable. While it is important to continue moving along with technology, they agree that the stuff that’s really important is the stuff that doesn’t change. Charles believes that if you have a solid knowledge on a subject that isn’t necessary current, that is still very valuable.

Joe and Charles discuss the importance of having a learning plan and the importance of having soft skills in addition to technological know-how. Another important part of staying current is figuring out where you want to end up and making a plan. If you want to work for a specific company, you need to learn the technology they’re using. Joe talks about some of his experiences trying to get a job with a big company and how he was reminded of the importance of the fundamentals.

They discuss the merits of being a generalist or a specialist in your studies and the best approach once you’ve chosen a technology to learn. Once you’ve learned a technology, it’s important to start building with it. Charles and Joe talk about different ways of learning, such as books, videos, code reading, or tutorials, and the importance of finding a medium that you can understand. They discuss the isolating nature of tutorials and how it is important to have real-world experience with the code. They discuss how to know if you’ve learned a technology well enough to move onto the next thing, and whether the technologies you studies should be career focused or passion based. Charles advises listeners to divide their time as follows: 50% of your learning should be focused on what you’re currently doing at your job, 25% looking towards the future and studying upcoming technology, and 25% on your passion.

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