We as software developers should always learn something new about technology and improve ourselves. There is a multitude of different topics in the technology world and it is growing every day. Yes, we won’t be able to learn all of these things but we should keep learning.
We cannot just stop and keep staying at same point because tomorrow we will be a step behind. Missing one day of learning means regressing.
What can we do right now? Just start learning something right now. OK, right after finish reading that article.
I’ve indentified for myself these TODOs:
- Choose a topic
- Set a goal
- Every day spend time on that topic
- Choose another topic when the goal was reached
Choosing a topic
At that point we need to choose a topic we will learn about for certain period of time. Picking up a random topic which came into your mind is not always a good idea. Instead, try to choose a topic from those you’re currently working on or things you’re about to interact with. It will help you to practice with it and make you more valuable on current position or even move you up in career path. It is also a good idea to choose from topics what interesting to you.
Setting a goal
So here we are. We’ve got a topic. What to do next?
Now we need a goal. Without a goal, we can’t see where we should go and how long. More than that, we need to adjust our goal after several steps to be sure we’re moving towards our goal. Make a plan (or a TODO list) for every chosen topic and start making progress. To make a plan you just need to split the goal into smaller subproblems and begin to complete them one by one.
Goals could be anything like:
- Develop application using language X
- Integrate library Y into my current project Z
- Read the book A and solve all excercises from it
- Complete a course and pass an exam
Whenever you like.
Now start to improve yourself in the chosen area every day. The most important part is always to keep moving. You can start from 15 minutes per day and then increase that time to 20, 30, 60 minutes after you have become comfortable. In that period of time making something that will move you towards your current goal: “Read the Chapter from the book”, “Implement a simple feature in your project”, “Watch a bunch of YouTube videos about that topic”.
Anything, just keep moving.
When your goal has reached choose another one and repeat thousands of times. You can bounce between topics and come back to them again to make even more progress.
And now, choose your topic and start improving yourself. Every single day.