My learning quest

Early in January, I declared this the “Year of Learning”. The year I would immerse myself in technology and absorb as much as possible in all the areas I don’t yet consider myself knowledgeable enough. This means I have started and will continue to deepen my understanding of various aspects of software development from patterns to new programming language syntax, from modern data stores to effective debugging tools and techniques, from JavaScript and its myriad helper libraries to the intricacies of asynchronous programming.

Strategy Strategy

In order to accomplish this lofty self-improvement goal, I took the plunge and subscribed to PluralSight online training. This amazing library of on-demand videos is now my introductory-level training resource. Apress, O’Reilly and Manning are three great sources for technical books and regularly offer discounts on select eBook titles so I’ll be supplementing the online training with their wares, starting with the small collection of eBooks I purchased in the past year but never got around to reading. These should help flesh out concepts to a higher degree than an online course could ever do. But skills learned and never applied get lost quickly so I’ve also committed to spending more time developing code at home so I could try out interesting techniques and tools I might not otherwise get a chance to use.

How will I measure improvement?

I’ll know I’ve improved when I’m able to read the MSDN Magazine each month without feeling that every article has been written for someone much smarter and knowledgeable than I am.

Measuring Progress

It’s only February and already, I feel I’ve woken up to all sorts of new-to-me concepts and strategies that I can’t wait to put into practice. I must be doing something right!

What next?

Now that I have been at it for almost two months, I’m ready for the next step in the journey and that is to share some of what I’ve learned with others as I go. This is prompting me to dust off my “One Thing I’ve learned Today” series. I’m not aiming to write every day but I’ll post something here as often as I can in the hopes that someday, someone else may find a useful bit of information that will help them along their own journey.

Please join me!

One Thing I’ve Learned Today: Joining the community is hard work!

Blogs have been around for a long time now and until recently, I was convinced I had missed the boat. So many people were publishing excellent content on flashy and often well-designed web pages, how could I hope to compete?

 

I regularly read various technical blogs but lately, I’ve started to feel like I’m on the outside of a fascinating community looking in. It took several invitations like this one before I gathered my courage and took the plunge.

So here I am, a newbie in a world of pros. Tonight, I figured out basic things like how to change the theme on my WordPress out-of-the-box blog page. I added the RSS feed and social media (the few I’m connected to) icons though I’m not convinced I like them yet. I’d much prefer if they stayed put. I also created a new Facebook page to go with the blog. I now feel more connected but utterly flummoxed at how many hours it took me to research and learn about everything so I could configure things almost just right.

So now that I’ve finally made a step towards joining the “community”, will it accept me? Will it think what I have to offer is good enough? Is it sufficient to create a blog and regularly write to it? Is it truly a case of “if you build it, they will come”?

Somehow, I suspect that joining the community is likely more a journey than a destination and that the hard work is yet to come… 😉