April 16, 2016
As a leader in mobile app development, we consider it our responsibility to keep current with changing technology. It’s easy to be overwhelmed, though, given the vast number of new products, languages, versions, and technologies that continue to be created in this industry. In our experience, staying on top of your game requires two things: time commitment and an awareness of how you learn best. The team at InspiringApps spans a wide variety of personalities and each of us has a preference for how to keep our tech knowledge fresh. Here’s a summary of our techniques for staying sharp in a sea of constant change.
Ideas for Staying Current with Changing Technology
We list many higher-tech options below, but we have to mention books first. The old-fashioned way to learn still has its appeal. We appreciate a few different book series from several publishers:
Manning Publications, especially the MEAP program: www.manning.com/meap-program
Pragmatic Bookshelf: www.pragprog.com
When we’re looking for a deep dive into a subject, but want a more interactive approach, we like taking a course online. Some of our favorite sites include:
General Assembly: www.generalassemb.ly
Studio by UXPin (specific to design): www.studio.uxpin.com
College classes are another way to get expert insight into a particular topic. Amazingly, many universities provide access to their professors’ lectures at no charge. It’s almost as good as being in the room! We’re tuned into:
Stanford Lecture Series: https://itun.es/us/xvvV4
MIT Open Courseware: http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
There are lots of other options for those of us who are auditory learners. Whether commuting to work, taking a long bike ride, or relaxing before turning in for the night, we’re hooked on these podcasts:
Android Developers Backstage: www.androidbackstage.blogspot.com
Accidental Tech: http://atp.fm
Re/code Decode: http://recode.net/podcast/recode-decode-hosted-by-kara-swisher/
TWiT (This Week in Tech): https://twit.tv/shows, especially MacBreak Weekly
Daily Tech News Show: http://www.dailytechnewsshow.com
NEWS SITES & AGGREGATORS
Information is plentiful, and many of us find it helpful to get small doses on a regular basis. These sites present information in manageable chunks or combine similar content from different sources.
[Within reddit, we love the article links and new lib releases that show up here: https://www.reddit.com/r/androiddev and here: https://www.reddit.com/r/iosdev/ and here: https://www.reddit.com/r/mobiledev/]
BLOGS & NEWSLETTERS
In a similar vein, blogs and newsletters are another great way to stay abreast of the latest and greatest in the tech space. Some provide curated information from a variety of sources, while others represent the views of a particular person. Here are a few we trust for insights:
Android Weekly: www.androidweekly.net
AndroidDev Digest: www.androiddevdigest.com
iOS Dev Weekly: www.iosdevweekly.com
Android Developers Blog: www.android-developers.blogspot.com
Fast Co Design: www.fastcodesign.com
LIVE & IN PERSON
While learning on our own is great, there’s nothing like rubbing elbows with folks as interested in tech as we are. We enjoy connecting with people locally, and find Meetups to be a great way to meet others. Likewise, expanding our network on LinkedIn via groups and updates often leads us to new resources we hadn’t considered. And, if you have the time and resources, industry conferences are stellar. The face-to-face conversations and interactive sessions are hard to beat. Our favorites:
Google I/O: www.events.google.com/io2016
With all these options, how do you choose? As we mentioned at the start, we think the best advice is simply “know thyself.” Like an exercise regimen, we recommend picking a method that works for you, which increases the chances that you’ll stick with it. If you’re not a morning person, you’d never commit to a 5AM jog each day. Likewise, if you don’t have uninterrupted listening time, podcasts may not be the right choice for you. Decide on the time you want to spend, figure out how you like to learn, choose a suggestion or two from our list, and keep on learning!
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