As I have waited forever to post yet again, I was thinking about how much of a struggle it is to stay current and engaged in our modern I.T. environment. Many of us specialize, focused on particular aspects of technology that drives the world on a daily basis. It may be web design, networking, servers, software development or user support, but even then there are specialties: WordPress within web design, iOS software development, Windows or Linux servers and so on.
Yet even with those who can and do specialize in some aspect of technology, it can be hard to stay current and engaged within that particular field. How do you manage to learn, to keep up?
For me, I spread over a wide field of customer needs, from user support to web design, email servers and development. It’s ridiculous really, and I find that I spend half my time trying desperately working to keep up and the rest trying to avoid it! The good thing for me is that I love all of it. I started writing software and working on computers in 1982 (approximately) and as the technology grew it was only natural for my interest to grow with it. Finding a way to stay current though, that’s the hard part. Books are expensive. The Internet itself is an incredible tool, but can be so diverse and scattered that finding information can be difficult. Magazines? Remember those? Trade shows and conferences would be great, but require funds and the ability to travel, something I don’t really have at all.
So I ask, what do you all do to stay up to date in your field? How much time do you invest in trying to learn, and how much doing?