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I am at a transitional point in my career. I will again be working for myself, which I really enjoy. In the past, when I've been an independant contractor, I had a daily routine. I'd like to do the same now.
For example, in the morning I watch the news, read emails, and come up with a list of things I need to work on that day. This time, I would also like to schedule in some time for learning. I've paid for some Udemy videos. So far they're OK.
What else do you do to build on your skill set and keep relevant? Where can I go to find good blogs? What other resources do you use?
If it's not broken, fix it until it is.
Everything makes sense in someone's mind.
Ya can't fix stupid.
What else do you do to build on your skill set and keep relevant?
Talk to my daughter. She grew up in a time when computing became a ubiquitous commodity. Current tech trends which I find mind-boggling are mundane for her. She's a very useful indicator as to which things are relevant.
Besides, it just cracks my shit up when she starts a comment with "These kids today...". She turns 30 next year.
I use the Safari Online Bookshelf. Try Our Online Learning Platform Now - O'Reilly Media[^]
You can try it out for free for 10 days or something. All Tech Books
Every technical book from hundreds of publishers (manning, No Starch, microsoft press, APress, Big Nerd Ranch, and of course O'Reilly and too many more to mention) are available.
You pay a monthly fee and you can read as much of any books as you want.
There are also videos and you can get book content before it releases. In the books you can find information that you can't find anywhere else.
I am grandfathered into an old plan and it was originally $19.95 / month which was reasonable. Now it is $49.95 / month or $399 / year, which is a lot more expensive.
I suggest you try out the 10 day trial. It'll give you a better idea of what is available.
Also, I've been using the bookshelf since at least 2002 or so. For the first 5 years my company paid for it.
15 years or so ago I found my skill set had become "obsolete". Rather than keep playing the game of guessing which k3wl language/IDE would be hot in the near future, I decided to throw in the towel and retire early. Now, I was only able to do this because I had saved up in my IRA & 401K viciously, which was helped by taking on 6 figures of unsecured debt to buy stuff. Once I had retired, I found it very easy to rid myself of that debt without taking it from that IRA & 401K , which made retirement affordable.
That said, if I were still in the game, I would go in the direction of data science.
If you're looking to learn, forget it.
There's just too much to be able to keep up.
You'd have to know a dozen languages and about ten times as many libraries and frameworks and they'll all be obsolete next year.
I focus on what I do, writing web applications in .NET Core and Azure.
To "keep up" I read the daily CodeProject newsletter, which often mentions new languages, libraries and popularity polls.
I know what's out there without actually learning it and I keep up with relevant .NET Core and Azure updates.
If I think something's really interesting for a use case I have then I'll look for a course on Udemy, a book, or something similar.
Once in a while I'll learn something that's not directly relevant for my work, but which I'm curious about.
go for whatever makes you happy, whatever you like. that is, if you can. nothing else matters.
due to the corona virus panic and what not else, i had to swiftly search for a new job. anything that pays.
i learned to love the language. before that i used to think of JS like everybody else, listening only to negative bias.
now i work as a front end "developer". i am manipulating the DOM with jQuery or Angular. i hate my job. there is no way i can make my life better in this direction, whatever and however i build up my skill set.
if you are young, you can work only for the money. a job that you dislike. every day.
when you get back home, you can program in anything you like. hang out with your friends, not your coworkers.
but, when you have a wife and small children, the only chance to work on the technology you like is at your job.
so you see, the most important question may be, what do you really like?
i don't do anything to keep my self relevant, but i found out that i learn best from video material or books where knowledge is presented in form of many small exercises.
First of all, I agree with everything you said. My problem (and likely many others as well) is that finding a job doing what you like to do can be a lifelong search. I started out in one working for CompuServe building WinCIM and MacCIM, but they got tied to non-technical business requirements and folded. Since then, it has been a constant scramble to keep employed and try to find something nearly as good.
Not knowing your core skill sets, I offer this advice:
You cant go wrong with the web-development.
1. Web Development (HTML,CSS) preferably in a "Responsive model", such as React, or Angular.
Develop a "Template" System for common HTML Screens for display.
2. You can keep your C# Skills honed, by creating a C# WEB API in .Net Core.
> Set aside time everyday to learn one practical thing, as opposed to learning a "Whole Technology"
such as Angular. Keep this time to under an hour if you can. By "Practical thing" I mean -
Develop a few HTML Templates, thing that you can use.
> The best way to learn is to have a project. Ask your employer to put you on a web project.
or negotiate time to learn it.
Funny, About 2 weeks ago I did some analysis for this because I am taking a new roll next week and I want to give my team something that they can use for learning at work or on their own. So I sat down and went thru a ton of the online platforms for learning. Here is what I came up with.
tldr; Linked In Learning seems the best. for me.
I ranked them on Software they use, Cost, Certifications they offer, Technology they cover (Microsoft and Linux being important to me.) If they carry any classes in Arts stuff(Photography, Painting etc...) and if they offer Language (speaking writting) classes
The ones I checked out. Udemy, O-Reilly Safari Online, Linked In Learning(Formally Lynda). Udacity, SkillShare, EDx(Harvard), PluralSight, Corsera.
Udemy is very good but expensive enough for me to give it a pass.
Safari Online from O-Reilly just doesn't offer enough anymore. It used to be the best.
The others were either way to expensive or just not nearly comprehensive enough for my tastes.
To err is human to really mess up you need a computer
I agree with others here, just keep reading the e-mails on codeproject
For my particular world, nothing really interesting has happened "language-wise" that you couldn't do 30 years ago (yeah C and C++ get updated with mundane and trivial extensions once in a while, and then things like RISC V sounds exciting but meh, same old, same old).
Everyone got excited about JSON but I really don't like text files (too large and imprecise) and the only problem I ever encounter is little-endian vs. big endianess (and I don't believe non-technical people should ever have to read raw data with their own eyes)
Got bored with R and got bored learning Python (no use-case) so I'm going back to learning FORTRAN and Mathematica.
War should never be variable: it would never end, or indeed compile ...
"I have no idea what I did, but I'm taking full credit for it." - ThisOldTony
"Common sense is so rare these days, it should be classified as a super power" - Random T-shirt
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