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how to stay uptodate in IT

  Asked By: Alex    Date: Jun 11    Category: Java    Views: 395

I am a J2EE Developer, I find it hard sometimes to keep myself up-to-date.I was wondering whats your tips to keep ourselves up-to-date with new technologies?
what websites do you read every day and how much do you spend every day to learn? It gets very hard when my schedule is very tight with work stuff.



8 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Luki Fischer     Answered On: Jun 11

One simple answer: http://reader.google.com/ :)

Answer #2    Answered By: Dennis Hayes     Answered On: Jun 11

These are just some points that come to my mind now:

1- You should like your job
If you like what you are doing then you spend more and more time doing it. You
also have focus when doing it. Otherwise what is the point in staying up to
date? Is it just money? You can earn money more easily in business and you don't
need to spend hours in front of computers!

1- find  your goals
You should know what is your goal. Do u want to be a good developer  or an
analyst or what?
Aim high and start working on it.

2- Read
Read about anything you like in IT. read  patterns, other's codes and works,
algorithms, methodologies,...

IT is one of the things in the world that you don't need to go to uni to learn.
There are heaps to read and you can never finish reading! You just need a goal.
dzone, theserverside, infoq, jroller,dr. heinz, javalobby,... are just a few to

3- Plan weekly or monthly
You need to plan. Set some books to read this month or next week and commit
yourself to finishing it no matter you work  till 8 PM, your are sick, you are
tired, etc. These are all justifications!

4- Spend time on it
software is changing all the time so you have to spend time to keep up with it.
You should accept that as a software developer you should spend more time
reading and working on software compared to someone like an accountant!
You should learn  to stop going to cinema or seeing friends to save yourself some
time. If you reach this point you might have a bright future in IT. This is the
change in attitude.

5- Contribute
As you search anything in Google and find your answer in someone's site, you can
also create your blog, write your findings, help people in forums, contribute in
open source. Let the information flow!

6- Learn new things
Do not just stick to Java. It might die one day. Dare to read and try any other
language or framework.

Answer #3    Answered By: Canan Kaya     Answered On: Jun 11

just add some more comments. Remember Java technologies are more stable comparing for example by .NET which has a revolution version by version, and most of them are based on JSRs, and a JSR is hardly deprecated or changed completely.
So the more you go through the standards, your won't lose your knowledge.
For example instead of spending time to learn  SWT, JFace, Struts, Spring and Hibernate, try AWT, Swing, JSF, EJB, and JPA. and Let learning non-standard techs in case.

Basic knowledge (networking, computer structure, compiler, regular expressions and so on) are so important, so if your univ field is(was) not related to computer,
you must work  on it.

Interoperable architectures and technologies such as Web Service, XML, BPEL and SOA also have a high rank.

Finally do not lose your self-confidance in an interview if you haven't heard of a technology or worked with it, they are just tools and you are the brain, and if you are smart enough and have a standard knowledge of Java EE, you have always so many opportunities to be employed in a smart and successful company, and be update in a way you like.

Answer #4    Answered By: Steve Boyd     Answered On: Jun 11

the guys touched the concept, but here is the same thing in my words. I recommend you to build a career path for yourself. If you want to get into details of everything that has a j2ee  taste you will never get to the bottom of anything. I suggest you to make a decision on the tier you want to build your skills on. In very simple terms, either be a person with %100 web knowledge and reasonable understanding of lower stack layers, or be a reliable business tier (and lower) person with some knowledge of layers above. That will eliminate the need for reading a whole bunch of stuff  on the net and eventually you will get an in-depth knowledge of certain concepts. Also you will be able to allocate correct time for your study by choosing correct material. Resumes that say ,expert in JSF, JSP and servlet and as the same time top-notch on object modeling, never gains anyone's interest. It just doesn't add up. I hope you understand where I'm going with this. remember that an enterprise project is not a one-person job, it needs right experts for the right place

Answer #5    Answered By: Raul Clark     Answered On: Jun 11

Being up-to-date  in world is hard. You really need to study and try new things every day.
I remember early days of Spring framework, one of my friends asked me if is it necessary to learn  this new framework and I told him no. We both now are working with spring but we learned it when we have to.
I believe that learning new things must be on need, if you need it or if you are asked for it, study, try, do your job and then rinse and repeat.Â
Reading news sites like TSS, infoq and so forth is good and bad. Good for being informed of new things happening in the world and bad because it shows a lot things to study and learn and this will scares many people (like me).Â
I want to ask you something: Do you know which web framework has more usage these days? Seam, JSF, EJB 3, Spring, ...? Guess what. Struts 1.2! Yes this a 8-years-old framework.
Finally, IMHO just remember the names and a one-paragraph-description of new things. If someday you need to know more, do it.

Answer #6    Answered By: Nixie Schmidt     Answered On: Jun 11

RSS helps me to follow the only part which I am looking for. Choose most qualified websites, blogs, forums... around your interests and add them as feeds. This saves your time. You don't need to surf many link full web pages. The pages come to you automatically.

Answer #7    Answered By: Isabelle Brown     Answered On: Jun 11

I'd say you must have 2 strategies for learning, esp in our dynamic and volatile IT field: big picture (horizontal) and details (vertical).

To have a clear big picture of the major trends in the industry, keep an eye on major java sites such as theserverside.com and read  some weblogs. This will give you an idea of what to focus on for the coming months and years. Then dig into the details based on which java field your current employer is active in. For example you may be working in a company that's active in web app development. The kind of technologies you must pay attention to are quite different from those used in banking, or cloud computing, or internet mashup sites and so on. You have to specialize in only one of them, at least for a while. Or in other words as said in this great book (media.pragprog.com/titles/mjwti/generalist.pdf) you have to be both a generalist and a specialist. Know everything, and know a few things very well.

Answer #8    Answered By: Nagaraju Iyaner     Answered On: Jun 11

in addition to things other said,
there is one other important thing to remember,
you can hardly find  enough time to learn  enough at home,
so a good strategy is to work  in companies that you can learn there

there rest may be evil but, if don't stay long in one company, change your job often to learn new technologies used by different companies, but don't change to often that you don't learn any thing!

some companies let their employee to spend their time learning new concepts in project time, these are good places for learning.

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