Professional Skills

10 Ways IT Professionals Can Keep Their Tech Skills Current

For the vast majority of human history, change was a slow, deliberate thing. It was only with the advent of electronics that humanity suddenly decided to hit the warp-speed button on change, and now we are left scrambling to keep up with all the new innovations that we ourselves are creating. How are IT professionals especially to keep their skills current amid all these changes? In an article for TechRepublic, Alison DeNisco Rayome provides 10 suggestions:

  1. Set time aside: The most straightforward way to keep current is to carve out a few minutes of calendar time in every day to learn something new. After all, 15 minutes a day is enough time to watch a few videos or put a dent in a book.
  2. Follow innovators in your space: Generally speaking, Twitter is probably one of humanity’s worst mistakes, but it is also pretty handy for following thought leaders in your space. Spending a few minutes a day to keep tabs on the ideas of these innovators could trickle down into useful insights for you, and it could also clue you in to what the “next big thing” is.
  3. Attend tech conferences and trade shows: Conferences and trade shows are excellent ways to learn about news and breaking trends straight from the horse’s mouth. They also provide ample networking opportunities. If your business is willing to pay for you to go to these events, then take advantage of it.
  4. Tap your network: Your network is bound to include specialists with dozens of interesting stories on new developments they are pursuing. Invite them out for a meal and hear the buzz, or communicate through LinkedIn.
  5. Seek online courses and credentials: This is an obvious option. Learn on demand on your own time, using platforms like Khan Academy or ITMPI.
  6. Join a professional organization: Every decent-sized city has some sort of tech industry association camped out in it. Joining one can provide you with many new resources and training opportunities.
  7. Read: But hey, you are already on IT Workforce Journal, so clearly you know the value of this one.
  8. Experiment with personal projects: You probably have an idea for a passion project kicking around in your head—pursue it. Learning by doing is one of the most effective methods.
  9. Hold internal peer reviews: Is your code up to snuff? Compare notes and decide together. Hold code and performance reviews and look for ways that the whole team can improve.
  10. Diversify your knowledge: Multi-vendor solutions are becoming the norm, and you need to have a working knowledge of the underlying technologies. Be on the lookout for opportunities to test drive something new.

For a deeper discussion on any of these points, you can view the original article here:

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