As a kid almost everyday when I’d come home from school my mother would ask me what I learned that day. I’m sure many of you had the same experience. More than likely there was at least something new my young growing mind absorbed. I was young and there was a strange new world I was discovering. It was exciting! Each year I could look back and be amazed at how much I learned and grew. As I went on with my school career and went on to college the “new” things I was learning were becoming less and less, but I was still learning… it was just more specialized. Then graduation comes and after that diploma was handed to me I realized that any future learning that I needed to do was solely on my own. I knew then that in this field continuous learning was incredibly important and vital. New software comes out, new techniques and tricks are discovered. Besides keeping my mind fit I was making sure I continued to have a job as technology moved forward and more and more people entered the field. Especially as more and more companies are looking to cut costs anyway they can and some of those cuts are with jobs. Trying to stay sharp and at the top of your field is the best way to stay employed. Sure there is always going to be someone better than you, there is no stopping that but why not be sure there are not 100 people better than you. A few ways I try and keep up in this fast moving field is to; read books and blogs, do tutorials, create tutorials, listen to podcasts, meeting new people inside or outside the community and looking at others work.
But nothing beats the actually doing. You can read blogs, do tutorials and brainstorm about projects but its not the same as doing. I try to have at least one personal project going on that I’m collaborating on with friends. It’s amazing how much I learn when I actually have to work on a project for a client that involves new software or techniques. Rather then asking yourself “what did you learn today," instead ask "what did you create with what you learned today?”
How do you ensure that you keep learning and stay competitive in the job market