As most developers are aware technology changes so frequently that you need to build a routine and a set of practices around learning and keeping up. The sooner a developer establishes these practices the soon they will become a senior developer. Likewise, within a short period of time after a senior developer stops or slows down their thirst for knowledge they could find themselves being superseded.
Here are some of the practices that can assist a developer in keeping on top of changes in technology.
- Subscribe to news groups, tech blogs, etc. (using an RSS reader, via email, etc.)
- Subscribe to forums and contribute to solving other peoples problems e.g. stackoverflow.
- Subscribe to pod cast e.g. from your mobile to make use of dead travel time.
- Have a pet project that you can use to trial out new technologies. Ideally you want to choose a domain your familiar with and passionate about so as new technologies come out you put the time into learning the technology and not both the technology and domain at the same time.
- Going to user groups. Do a search for a local community user group and start attending – the usually meet once per month.
- Have a blog and give back to community. This can also work as resume of sorts.
This post is one from a series of posts on the subject of becoming a senior developer (see initial post for more details). Please leave a comment if you found this useful or have something to add.