How To Stay Up-To-Date With The Latest Development Trends

Sergii Karpiak, CEO / Full Stack Developer at Bitcom Systems on 2019-05-06

A few tips how to:

Stay familiar with the new trends, avoid getting stuck on the same level and keep moving up.

Nowadays, the IT industry is developing very fast and changing even faster. Every day, it generates amazingly new technologies, breakthroughs and trends. You always face new challenges and increasing competition. Under these circumstances, you will want to know how to stay a state-of-the-art developer and to be in the know of the latest trends, libraries & frameworks?

How do you become and keep being a successful developer? It is obvious, that you need to evolve as fast as the industry does and not only within your current level but beyond it. All of us know that moving up to higher professional levels is good, but how we can keep evolving in such a competitive environment?

We’ve split our tips how to stay knowledgeable as a software developer into three groups based on complexity (and our subjective opinion) into Beginner - Intermediate - Advanced levels.

BEGINNER

Once you’ve realized that you need to constantly study to be a demanded professional, which normally happens pretty soon after you started your software developer career, you can try some or all of the following.

  • Benefit from reading books

Specialized literature is the key source of knowledge for junior developers, especially at the beginning of their coding career. A must-read Javascript book is Douglas Crockford’s Javascript the Good Parts. Then go to POODR by Sandi Metz where he explains how to write a well-crafted code. As soon as you realise that it is not about just writing the code but creating a maintainable and extensible product, proceed to Domain-Driven Design by Eric Evans and Angular Succinctly by Joseph D. Booth. Basically, the top-rated sources are easy to identify and find, so go ahead!

  • Subscribe to relevant media

One of the easiest and most popular ways of staying tuned in the tech world is following popular resources, Youtube channels, podcasts and blogs. As a JavaScript developer you will want to follow DZone, GitHub or Reddit.

  • Take online or offline courses

Another valuable asset is various coding courses. They can be online, offline, free of charge or very expensive. Don’t hesitate to invest in your learning, it will pay off. What we know for sure, is that one can read hundreds of pages and miss the most crucial point. An experienced teacher will outline the most promising frameworks and libraries, explain the most important stuff saving you time and resources. Browse top-rated free courses with W3school.com, Microsoft Academy web developing, Tutsplus front-end and back-end programming and Ionic Academy with its great community of learners.

  • Find a role model

Another alternative to looking through tremendous volumes of information is finding so called “gurus”, tech influencers, or just cool developers in certain fields and watching their videos and blogs. Internet is full of popular resources, podcasts and free information.

INTERMEDIATE

If you are already doing all the abovementioned, try the following.

  • Attend professional events

You can benefit from visiting and participating in various events related to your field of expertise. It will help you understand the direction of the technology evolution, its groundbreaking nature, and a lot of other news in the industry. Always check for new predicted and featured breakthroughs in graphics, animation and apps. As you have already something to discuss and to offer, such events always motivate and encourage new ideas and enterprises.

  • Try peer programming

Peer programming is another option. By sharing questions, ideas and concepts medium-level developers go further in their understanding of efficient and cutting-edge technologies. If you still have some fears that you are not as good in Javascript – go ahead – find a coding fellow. As a result you will improve your weak points or just understand that you are not as bad as you used to think.

  • Opt for coworking instead of working from home

If you are not a couch potato, go ahead and proceed to co-working. Programming is the most knowledge-sharing industry, isn’t it? The fastest way of sharing information so far, is personal communication with colleagues. This means that the most efficient way to learn more is still to ask somebody who knows.

  • Do your homework and investigate some new stuff

When completing a project, read something related to the subject but at the same time new. Shifting the perspective may help you overcome “blindness” when you have been working over something for such a long time that your perception gets blurred. For instance, get familiar with new JavaScript frameworks to come in 2019 and discover their new opportunities and limitations. Check out Angular, React, Meteor, Mithril, Node, Polymer, etc.

  • Join open-source projects

Working with open-source products is another great asset allowing you to stay both excited and challenged. Learn by doing: work hard to face challenges and tough issues. Each small victory is a part of big success. Joining community open-source projects will push your boundaries and increase your fellow network.

ADVANCED

Now, if you want to go one step further, try one of the following:

  • Become a mentor

Think about guiding one or a group of students. By passing your knowledge and sharing experience with someone less skilled, you will have to answer very unexpected questions every now and then. This may be crucial for your own breakthroughs in the field already known and familiar. Sometimes this helps you generate really cool ideas. While explaining, you can go even further in your knowledge and take a different look on how to arrange information.

  • Do your own startup

Work on your own product. If you have experienced an issue with a commonly used solution or application – go ahead and start you own mini research, aka a pet project. A non-for-profit undertaking. Create a super ad-blocker or a cute app to remind your family about some important dates. Automate some of your routine processes both in business and at home. Automate everything! Who knows, it might bring benefits one day.

  • Spread the word

Sometimes writing articles or maintaining a blog gives you all the motivation you needed to get ahead. Share your knowledge via articles or create a blog. Become a speaker at professional events/meetups/talks. It will encourage you to go an extra mile and spot even more new and exciting stuff in your domain.

We hope our advice on how to become and stay a pro software developer will help you build your own professional strategy. Of course, the list above is not exhaustive, especially, taking into account the ever changing tech environment, but our tips are not a fish, they are a fishing rod.