Lesson 2: Knowledge is power
Lesson 2 applies to pretty much every aspect of life, but given the rate of change in the world of information technology, attaining relevant knowledge is often complicated by that old Perl motto TMTOWTDI, or “Tim Toady” - There’s more than one way to do it.
If you have read any of my previous posts, you’ll know that I often chase certifications as a way of encouraging myself to learn. Having a date set in the calendar, and my hard earned cash on the line usually works for me, but it’s not the only tool in my studio.
Here are some less stressful ways to feed your curiosity and stay current as you navigate the ever changing world of tech.
Note: For each section below, I have listed 5 of my most recent sources, just to give you a taste. There’s plenty more out there, with new material released daily. You just need to look…
Read books, magazines and whitepapers
I grew up in an era where carrying a book on computing was the equivalent of an hour in the gym. These days I rely on audio books and podcasts while working out, just to stay in shape.
- Database Internals
- 2600 Magazine: The Hacker Quarterly
- Universal Principles of Design
- Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud
- Information Security Journal: A Global Perspective
Listen to podcasts or audiobooks (see above)
Whether you are going for a run, walking (or driving) to the shops, or less regular these days - commuting to work, a podcast can be a great way to learn on the go.
A tip I learned from a survival podcast was to use OpenEar headphones when listening outside. There’s less chance of you getting run over or missing some danger you cannot hear wearing those.
Doomscroll your way through social media
It’s hard to avoid social media these days (I try my best), so I’m going to assume that you are following industry peers and products on your favourite platform.
Here are some YouTube channels I subscribe to (tech related) that you can watch when you get bored with Netflix.
Attend a conference or online course
Conferences and online courses are a great way to absorb the latest tech, and if you are lucky enough to attend in person, you get the added benefit of sharing stories with like-minded individuals.
Subscribe to newsletters, mailing lists or google alerts
It’s 2022, why are we still using e-mail? For convenience, mailing lists and newsletters continue to be a good way to stay up to date with the latest news.
- Hacker Newsletter
- Google Developers Newsletter
- RedHat Newsletters
- HashiCorp Announcements
- Newsletters at Microsoft
To help find new content, why not let Google do some of the hard work with Google alerts. You just enter a keyword as your alert criteria and Google will mail you if any new web content appears in the index.
RTFM and browse source code
Web based repositories make it easier than ever to look under the hood and understand how something works. Just head over to GitHub if you want some inspiration.
There’s no faster way to learn something new than being thrown into the deep end and having to fix it. Yeh, that’s experience talking…
So there you go. I hope you found something new from the suggestions above. I’ll try to write up another lesson before I hit 30 years in tech…