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Andy Johnson
Andy Johnson

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How to learn tech skills outside of your wheelhouse?

I'm a backend engineer that does a ton with API's all day, but my front end kung-fu needs time in the dojo. What things do y'all do to learn technologies outside your daily wheelhouse?

Top comments (7)

aspittel profile image
Ali Spittel • Edited

I build tiny apps that fit my interests! I find that smaller apps that focus on learning one technology keep me interested and they make it fun! I also have something to show at the end of the project.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I'm sure there are a few different ways to address this question, but I'll say: Try to take pressure off yourself and lose the FOMO. Putting pressure on yourself to learn these things isn't going to get you anywhere.

One more thought:

Attend a workshop. Face time with instructor can extremely valuable. I have not done much of this but I'm consistently amazed at how effective a day with a good teacher can be.

maxwell_dev profile image
Max Antonucci • Edited
  • Do lots of tutorials. They're great for overcoming the initial hump and can lay the ground to figure out future projects on your own.
  • Think of small, useful projects you could use these new skills for. I love learning Rails, but not being familiar with it means I don't know what to actually make for myself, which stalls my learning. Don't make that mistake.
  • Discuss your learning. Don't be afraid to write simple "how I did this" pieces or ask silly questions. Even if you're not a writer, any kind of documentation of how you learn will help it stick and make it clearer.
  • Don't rush it. Cramming all your learning into small periods of time will make lots of knowledge slide out of your brain between cram sessions. Remember: Slow and steady serves your salary.
larswaechter profile image
Lars Wächter

I work on some small projects to learn new technologies. For example Node.js. Besides this, I watch some YouTube videos, mostly from public speakers, to stay uptodate with new trends or read through free PDFs online.

iamkratos profile image

I go on Youtube every weekend to do at least one random tutorial on stuff I have heard about, but never worked with. It helps me understand the different thought patterns of other devs, while I learn more about the technology itself. I also try to stay away from building to-do apps, they don't teach me what I am trying to learn

steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao • Edited

Just playing around with stuff and watch youtube videos that interest you and documents the process in a blog post.

The best way is to actually share what you had learnt in a meetup, youtube video or a blog, it accelerates your learning process that was what I did for a workshop on building Amazon Alexa skills during Pycon.

idanarye profile image
Idan Arye

I usually make a small program that can help me with my daily routines. I try to make it with the technology and techniques I want to learn even if they aren't the best tool for that job.