Human nature dictates that we should always be moving forward, and for the better. This is the core trait that drives our constant pursuit of innovation.
The IT industry always offers something new around the corner, always something much better than the previous iteration, something that revolutionizes our way of thinking on how we solve problems.
As an IT professional, being up to date with the latest technologies is one of the most challenging yet necessary aspects you would have to face.
You need to love the technology to stay motivated and always study. You need to keep up with the latest trends and demands, to have a satisfying career, and to be successful at what you do.
So in this article, I’ll be sharing 8 tips that you can follow, to get yourself up-to-date with the latest technologies.
Tip #1: Read updated research reports for jobs and emerging technologies.
Tech research reports provide very useful insights as to what particular skills and technologies are currently on the rise.
Publications such as The 10th Annual Open Source Jobs Report by the CNCF, conduct surveys and interviews on thousands of companies. They ask hiring managers and professionals what particular skill and technology that is open-source are they after. All information gathered is then compiled in a well-presented report that’s very easy to understand.
Being fully informed of the market demand in IT may give you a sense of direction so you can better plan your next steps. This allows you to focus on the skills that you need to learn to stay on top of the game.
Open-source technologies are often the spearhead of recent innovations, especially in the IT industry. So learning trending open-source technologies can definitely get you up-to-date with emerging innovations.
Tip #2: Get up to date with reputable tech news via websites or blogs.
You can also get information on what’s new, by reading up on news from reputable tech sites or blogs including ours.
Now, these types of content often come out at a faster rate and they also focus on big movements from top IT companies.
Be sure to check on multiple sources as well, as a good indication of a trending technology is that multiple sources are covering it, making it possible that it could be the next big thing.
Since these blogs are not as long as compared to full research or reports, you can expect that the content will focus on highlights and surface-level information that is designed to be easily consumed by the reader.
Tip #3: Join tech conferences, events, and seminars
Whether online or in an actual venue, it is always a good idea to join these types of events.
What’s great about this is that many of the speakers that are invited to these events are already experts in their field and most of them come from big tech companies.
They usually discuss insider information, a deep dive into new concepts, as well as solving complex problems they encountered. They share the steps on how they were able to resolve them using innovative techniques or maybe through the use of new technology.
It’s a great place to learn new things that are being used in the industry and also get fresh ideas that you may be able to apply to your own challenges as well.
These events are often free and only registration is needed to be part of them.
Tip #4: Check out job descriptions for the role you’re most interested in
One trick I do personally most of the time is to check out the job description of my current role or the role that I’m after, even when I’m not currently actively looking for a new job.
Often recruiters will provide a detailed list of what skills they’re looking for. If you see a pattern for a particular skill and it keeps popping up, there’s a good chance that there’s a demand for that skill.
Since demand often equates to trending technologies, this can be a good indicator that you should learn that skill or technology if it's in line with your role.
You can also use that information to adopt these new technologies into your current job. As these technologies may be the answer you’re looking for to solve a particular problem in your organization.
Tip #5: Use Google Trends
Google Trends, as the name suggests, is a portal where you can identify top keywords that are trending.
This should give you an insight as to what topics or technologies provide the most interest to people around the world.
For example, if you’re interested in knowing which programming language is trending, you can simply look up “programming language” and the result should give you an idea of what programming language is emerging in popularity.
Tip #6: Join community forums on certain topics
For example, if you’re interested in what’s happening around DevOps, you can join a community site like Reddit, in a section that relates to that particular topic.
Unlike big tech websites or blogs, the content within these forums is often from regular people like you and me, and some who are actually in the field, all sharing and collaborating with each other.
Whenever a new technology emerges, there’s a high chance that you’ll also get to see it discussed by people within these community forums.
Tip #7: Not all new is good. Focus also on polishing your existing skills.
There’s always going to be something new. While this is great for innovation, there is also a thing called a fad, in which these new technologies may quickly pick up popularity due to the overrated hype floating around them but also fade away just as fast.
Focus on new technologies or skills that are actually helpful to your career or role. Pick up on new technologies that actually solve a particular problem for yourself or your organization.
Besides learning about new technologies, you also have to keep up with how your existing tools are evolving. For example, there may be new updates and features added to a programming language or application. You need to familiarize yourself with these new additions, and changes.
Getting caught up with the updates is also a way to “sharpen your axe” and allow you to modernize your skillset.
Tip #8: Be part of an organization that focuses on learning and training
Training institutions usually build a line-up of courses that are well curated and organized in one place so you don’t have to scour the internet searching for new trends.
All courses are designed to equip you with all the necessary skills, practice, and knowledge of technologies that are important today and in years to come.
If you’re someone interested in DevOps, one of the best training institutions is KodeKloud. They are the #1 DevOps course provider and they help students learn trending technologies they need to thrive in their careers.
And those are my 8 tips that you can do to be updated with the latest technologies.
I hope these tips help you progress with your learning, and boost your career in the process.