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How to be constantly learning in programming

Or anywhere really

“A group of people brainstorming over a laptop and sheets of paper” by Štefan Štefančík on Unsplash

The world of programming is never ending. New technologies are constantly being crafted and we, as developers, need to keep up with such an advance or we will be left out in the mud.

It’s easy to think:

“Well, you just have to keep updated with the latest news and tech”

But the reality is that it is not so linear. People have jobs, projects, hobbies and families to take up their times. It is never easy to always be on top of the situation. Your company might work on some old technology and you are the one maintaining it, therefore, pulling you away from the current progress. Some might fall further behind on the learning path just from the attitude they generally have towards their work/programming life.

What can you do?

If you can, invest in yourself 💰

If you have the money resources to invest in learning new things or even improving your current knowledge, I would recommend allocating some money torwards learning, specially if it is new technologies.

Invest in online courses, workshops, conferences and even conferences in another country. It all depends, of course, of how much you can invest but I wouldn’t worry because most websites have sales periodically, so you can get a lot of knowledge for really good prices.

Some great (all-around) learning websites include:

You can even check if you are interested in any workshops near you if you check Ryan Florence’s workshop.me.

Subscribe to your preferred topic in several news channels 📰

Maybe you are already doing this (if you are reading this article through Medium). Medium is a great way to follow the topics you are interested in and to keep always up to date on what is new or changing. If you browse reddit, you can always check for some sub-reddits that might interest you.

Browsing a steady channel of news everyday is great way of always being aware of what is going on around you, which brings me to the next topic.

Follow the right people 👪

This is one that I’ve found to be working wonders! You first must select a number of people that are influential (can even be online teachers) in your desired topic, and then, you follow them on their outlet social network.

For most people I’ve noticed that it seems to be Twitter the social network of choice so, create your twitter account if you haven’t already and start following those bright minded people!

If you do this, any news, releases and interesting stuff will fly right into your notification box and you’ll never miss a beat.

Listen to others and be humble 👂

Don’t be a narcissist. Don’t consider yourself above others and always try to understand what other people are explaining to you.

If you engage in a discussion about a certain topic, present your arguments and evidence backing up those arguments and listen to what other people’s arguments are. Don’t dismiss them right away because, most of the time, if you take a moment to listen, you might just learn something.

Just remember that in the majority of cases there is no definite right set in stone way of doing something. The requirements of the project and a plethora of other factors will influence the best way to do something and most of the time the decision will come from a gray area. Hardly anything will be so black and white.

Believe in yourself 💪

Leave that impostor syndrome out in the trash! You don’t need it. Start your personal projects and don’t give up.

Yeah your code could be better and there might be bugs, but you’re learning! It’s supposed to be like this. Don’t let it bring you down because if you give up, you’ll stop learning and that is so much worse for you.