Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Learning…A How to

I feel like I’ve been learning A LOT lately so I decided to write up a post on my learning process and some of the resources I’ve been using. So basically, I have to be in the mood to learn and sometimes…I realize I’m the fat kid running a 40 minute mile against my peers and their 5 minutes. Luckily it inspires me and kicks the competitive side of me into gear.

Typically, I won’t start using or learning something until I’ve read a TON of stuff about it. I think generally I want to make sure it’s worth learning and that it’s going to stick around for a while. I used to learn anything new that was out and immediately implement it and then I was burned a couple times…stupid datasets…ignorant young coder…poor first employer :)

So once I’ve read/listened/watched many blog posts, new books, videos, and podcasts, I start up a new project and give it a whirl. Now that I understand more of the smelly parts of my code, I know when I need to do more research…it’s like it doesn’t feel right and I can’t continue until I figure out the simplest way to do something. As some of you may or may not know, I work for a school district so simple is always better! I’m the app dev supervisor and we’re like a breeding ground for fresh developers right out of college that want experience…then they get it…then they leave us like a hot day in Texas…wait that can’t be right…how bout like a cow to greener pastures? I’ve never been good at similes…

On to the good stuff:

A Few of my Favorite Blogs to Read:

TIP: Setup Google Reader or some other blog reader…saves a TON of time!

Books I’ve read or are on my list…EVERY book on my to read list was recommended by someone

I also recently subscribed to Rob Conery’s TekPub for videos on various topics. So far, I’ve really enjoyed them. Rob makes me laugh and I’ve learned something new in every video I’ve watched.

Developers I follow & who generally respond to questions:

I think one of the best things about Twitter is that you have basically have a group of professionals there to ask a question or ask for a recommendation…it’s great!

Primary Web Resources:

As I think of more, I’ll certainly post and hopefully you’ll give me some good comments on what/who I’m missing. Have a good one and thanks for reading!

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