Keeping up with the latest trends is an integral part of any software specialist’s work. True experts don’t have weekends, holidays, and days off. One missed day of research can mean staying behind the competition.
If you are a beginner in the software development realm, you need to understand how to stay up to date with the latest trends. Otherwise, you’ll never grow out of the amateur state.
You have to understand that research is one of the most important parts of software development. And this research doesn’t have anything to do with your current projects.
How do you stay on top of your game? These few tips can help you get started.
1. Discover The Right Resources
All software developers should start their mornings with industry news. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Meanwhile, the number of resources claiming priority in the IT realm is overwhelming. Which of them are worth your attention?
You can start by browsing such popular websites as:
Just make sure you don’t end up reading all of them. This way you won’t have any time for work. Pick one or two that seem the most suitable for your needs at the time.
2. Find A Community
According to Dallas software developers from EntranceConsulting, one of the best ways to keep up with the latest trends is to join a software development community. Such communities give you a wonderful opportunity to discuss important questions related to your projects, learn about new developments, follow important people in the industry, and much more.
Some of the most popular software developer communities are:
Joining a couple of these communities can help you save time on reading numerous websites to find out about the latest trends. Most likely, your fellow developers are already dissecting these trends on the forum.
3. Watch Podcasts
One of the best ways to stay on top of your game as a software developer is to keep learning. To do that, you can watch or listen to the numerous podcasts. You can find a variety of them on the web. Some of them are short enough to fit into your workday. Others may require some of your time off. In any case, the majority of them is likely to help you follow developments while learning something new.
› The Big Web Show - you can learn useful information related to web publishing, content strategies, web technology, and topography.
› ChangeLog - You can find informational stories told by the developers on various topics to help you make important conclusions and find inspiration
› Herding Code - Weekly podcast that focuses on the latest technological trends.
› HTTP 203 - general information on software development, including life hacks from the experts and interesting lessons from developers like you.
4. Build A Community
A proactive way to stay ahead of the competition and on top of the latest developments is to build a community. It can start with your friends, family, and coworkers and grow into a larger place to share ideas, news, and developments.
You can start a blog or work with your social media profiles. Newbies without too much to share can start by following industry leaders and their way to build communities. Eventually, anyone can build a small community, even if it’s just a WhatsApp or Telegram group.
To develop a community, you need to go through 4 key stages:
› Find your niche - software development consists of numerous niches, such as web, mobile, game, AI, machine learning, app, and more. Focus on one area, which you are an expert in and figure out how the developers can benefit from joining the community.
› Find your audience – in order to find your audience, you can visit “neighboring communities” and figure out which questions aren’t answered properly. More often than not, narrow-specializing niches are the ones that need a community the most.
› Generate content – to help the community grow, you need to generate high-quality content, at least at the beginning. Be the driving force behind the new community for a few months and soon it will develop a life of its own.
› Find Leaders – maintaining a community on your own can be problematic. If you can find assistants to become community leaders, you don’t just get an additional source of vital information but find more free time to spend on your projects.
5. Attend Events
Conferences and meetings are an excellent way to follow new trends. Many new products and developments in the IT realm are presented at conferences.
However, local conferences may not be all-encompassing while international travels are costly. Thankfully, you can usually watch a stream of a conference or get a recap online.
One of the most important benefits of such events is an ability to meet important people from your industry and make valuable contacts.
Some of the upcoming events in 2019 are:
› ApacheCon North America – September 9 – 12, Las Vegas
› Open Source Summit – August 21 – 23 in San Diego, CA.
› DevOps Summit – Fall 2019 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
› Microsoft Ignite – November 4 – 8, Orland, FL.
› DevOps World – December 1 – 5 Lisbon, Portugal
More often than not, attending a conference, especially when they are far away can be complicated. However, it’s possible to justify such attendance to your boss or yourself by listing the following benefits:
› Attending a conference can help you get your mind off the current task. The new environment can help you refresh your brain and get the long-awaited inspiration to complete a tough project.
› You can make new connections by getting access to thousands of specialists, who don’t just offer insights but can help with business growth.
› The opportunity to hear top software developers speak is an excellent chance to stay on top of the new trends and get a fresh perspective at the current projects.
› A chance to learn tips and tricks from the masters of the game as well as find out which resources they use to stay on top of it.
› Industry experts are bound to put you on the right way to making changes in your work and the overall business function.
› You can see how the new tools work in the real-life scenario
Attending a conference is a priceless opportunity to share your experience with the expert and get their opinion about your work and on how it can benefit from the new trends.
6. Read Books
Yes, this method seems outdated. However, books can help you learn new information and get a fresh perspective on your current project. Books contain approaches to staying on top of the latest trends that you’ve never considered before. The following books are “must-reads” for all software developers regardless of their experience.
› The Pragmatic Programmer by Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas
› Clean Code: A Handbook Of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin
› The Software Craftsman by Sandro Mancuso
› Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual by John Sonmez
› The Goal: A Process Of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt
7. Get Certifications
Even though some software developers view certifications as a waste of time, others believe that they are extremely useful. It’s a way to hone your skills, stay on top of your game, and become more competitive in the changing world of software development.
Seeking certifications in the new technologies can help you become an expert in the subject before the competition.
Other advantages of certification are:
› Ability to dedicate your time to something you believe is useful for the business or career
› A chance to become noticed in the IT industry and meet industry experts
› An opportunity to acquire new skills that can help with further development efforts.
Even though certification may appear time-consuming, it’s an excellent opportunity to become better at what you do while keeping innovations in mind.
8. Take Courses Online
Software developers, who are always pressed for time, have an opportunity to stay on top of the trends by taking online courses. Online education is gaining immense popularity due to its low cost and time-saving advantages.
By following the latest news of the software development realm and taking courses to improve your qualification, you can become the highest demanded expert in your field.
Consider such websites as:
9. Feel Open To New Ideas
No matter how much research you do and how many courses you take, you won’t stay up with the latest trends if you aren’t open to them. The key character trait software developers often lack is flexibility.
The world of IT is changing on a regular basis. Without an ability to change with it, it could be tough to outrun the competition.
Be ready to rethink your approach to development every day.
Staying ahead of the competition and on top of your game requires a formidable effort. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced software developer, the above tips and resources can help you follow the latest trends starting today.
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