Never stop learning, simple.

Never stop learning, simple.

Andrew Bettany

I am currently engaged with mentoring some young technology start-up businesses.  What strikes me about these companies is that they spend the majority of their time utilising their skills to deliver their product.  They are agile, knowledgeable and very hungry to succeed and to create.


When do they find time to “learn” new emerging technologies?  They seem to have learnt it “on the fly” as they go along – such is the pace of technology at the moment.  With cloud computing, mobile computing and social media now becoming the current “bubble”, I realised just how easy it is for anyone in IT to become out of date quite rapidly.


 

There is an old saying which says “use it or lose it” and I will add “use it, grow it and keep your eyes open to what is happening around you, always”.   In this process we must keep learning. 


Stopping learning, even for a few months or a whole year can make a huge difference.  It is like being having a motor car – use it regularly and it works fine (sure it may need a little maintenance), but leave it parked outside for a year unused and the battery will be flat, tires a bit softer, oil a bit tired, the gas will have lost its vitality etc.  (Of course it does depend on where you park it – it may not even be there when you return!)


Learning is the same, especially in IT (and most other professions – like medicine, law, tax etc) we need to keep up to date, and even a few months “out of the game” will render us less sharp, and left with an uphill battle if we want to regain our status.


If "IT" is our career, then we need to learn on a regular basis, via personal learning, e-learning, books, attending classes, or as I am realising, by working with very sharp entrepreneurs who are leveraging the three technology areas listed above without even breaking into a sweat. 

What are your experiences of keeping yourself in the best shape you can?

Comments
  • Anonymous
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    Thats true !!!

    I always make sure that i read and complete 2 Books every Month and apart from that i make sure i also keep track of some website and read them frequently ...

  • Wayne Hoggett
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    Yep, IT = Life long learning. If you want to be successful, you just have to accept that.

  • Anonymous
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    As of now cloud computing is on peak and I believe this last for further 10 years .

    Browse for cloud computing

    www.sqlservermanagementstudio.net

  • Anonymous
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    I liked this article and started to learn again.Really thought provoking Article.

  • Anonymous
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    Reading alone won't help.... Practice!

    Build a home lab, spend some in forums like Technet, ExpertsExchange... Reproduce the issues...this will keep you in the race

  • Anonymous
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    Nice work Andrew. What would I do if I had to stop learning? I dunno.

  • Anonymous
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    I find it almost impossible since I am now doing two people's full-time jobs due to budget constraints.  At the end of a work day, I am so exhausted that I can't think at all, let alone study and try to keep up with the new technology.

  • Anonymous
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    My experience is similar to Carolyn's. I am "doing more with less", doing two+ jobs, supporting technologies as new as 3 years but mostly up to 8 years and older along with a handfull of flaky applications. No one else in the organization knows as much as I do, so everything gets pushed on to me. As long as I keep showing up to work, they are not going to hire anyone else. I am on call 24x7x365. I can barely find the time to study, much less the money to pay for exams. I try to read as much as possible, but my days are sucked away with the next "emergency" in which I need to drop everything.

  • Anonymous
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    If by Cloud Computing you mean a server farm in Amsterdam, then OK. If by social computing you are referring to Enterprise 2.0 then OK, if by Mobile computing you mean more than phones OK.

  • Anonymous
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    That is so true. Concentration-Focus is the secret of strength, success and in staying updated. Concentration-Focus lost then a dead end street is a good place to turn around :-)

  • Anonymous
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    That is so true. Concentration-Focus is the secret of strength, success and in staying updated. Concentration-Focus lost then a dead end street is a good place to turn around :-)

  • Chris Rhodes (Regional Lead - UK)

    Very true. Once you are plugged into the 'mode' of learning, it becomes an everyday part of life. I will read blogs, websites, tweets, attend conferences, training and events - just to stay current. It's getting harder to keep on top these days, but little and often helps me keep pace rather than slip behind.  I would hate to be updating my skills now, from a point 2 or 3 years back. I see it as a constant.

    Every day is a learning day!

  • Anonymous
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    Nice post. I use to follow blogs & tutorials and practice latest trends at my free time.