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Thread: Professional development

  1. #1
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    Professional development

    How do you stay fresh and up to date with what you do professionally? Do you work in an area where you're constantly having to learn new things due to the nature of the work, or do you teach yourself new things on your own time? Or both/neither?

    I've mostly done both, using on the job experience, industry certifications, and online education to train myself. Nothing beats actual experience though, and I've started documenting new methods, tools, etc in a OneNote notebook.

    If you don't do any of this, why? Apathy? Working in a career with no complexity? If so, do you have no desire to do anything else?

  2. #2
    Sky Anvil Vison's Avatar
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    I've recently come to a place where I need to start working on this in my own time. Im curious how everyone else does it.
    Oh fuck it, Its the 90's.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vison View Post
    I've recently come to a place where I need to start working on this in my own time. Im curious how everyone else does it.
    The only real hope of doing it for me is by making it a routine. At one time that meant waking up 2 hours early every day to fit the time in. Right now, it's simply a few hours every weekend. But you have to make it a regular thing.

  4. #4
    Sky Anvil Vison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lud View Post
    The only real hope of doing it for me is by making it a routine. At one time that meant waking up 2 hours early every day to fit the time in. Right now, it's simply a few hours every weekend. But you have to make it a regular thing.
    I think this is what im going to end up doing. I have a few courses to take and need to make time to get another language...
    Oh fuck it, Its the 90's.

  5. #5
    .: PERSISTENCE IS ALL :. Pan_Sonic_000's Avatar
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    I take on tasks that are way outside my comfort zone. It stresses me the fuck out sometimes, but I feel good about myself when I accomplish them and learn something new.

    When I stagnate and feel incompetent, it's bad news for me - and everyone around me. So I just force myself to do things when I haven't the slightest idea of how to accomplish it.
    Wild skies
    Full moon and thoughts collide
    We look for answers in those catatonic, bloodshot eyes
    A steady stream of madness
    Rises to a flood...

    ...The clock is ticking for Bad Blood

  6. #6
    Member Denzien's Avatar
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    I have this problem. Also, I'm so mentally fatigued lately, that I just can't seem to make myself give a fuck. I suppose that could have something to do with my overactive children always hanging out around me and fighting each other. My wife has taken a second job for whatever reason - one in retail and now I'm alone with the kids a LOT because her working hours now include nights and weekends. She's angling for Store Manager, but that's going to take a while.

  7. #7
    <3 gator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pan_Sonic_000 View Post
    I take on tasks that are way outside my comfort zone. It stresses me the fuck out sometimes, but I feel good about myself when I accomplish them and learn something new.

    When I stagnate and feel incompetent, it's bad news for me - and everyone around me. So I just force myself to do things when I haven't the slightest idea of how to accomplish it.
    This. I say yes to so many things I haven't done before and then I just figure it out. When I run into issues I'll check Lynda.com or look up tutorials for things.

    I read lots of articles on trends in my industry and I'm part of a professional organisation that sends me a magazine that I read as well.

    I haven't been very good at going to conferences or classes. I haven't had the money or time and up until recently I haven't had employers who were supportive and willing to pay and give me the time off to go.

    I also have side projects outside of work where I push my boundaries.

  8. #8
    dormant jigglypuff's Avatar
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    i'm constantly learning new stuff which i think is a part of being where i'm at skills-wise and actively seeking out new freelance work experiences, taking classes (RN i'm doing a part time certificate program (sorta like professional development) at the local cc which is supposed to be my "cushion" if i don't end up going to grad school anytime soon), and experimenting through personal projects. the idea of doing online courses sounds great but realistically i probably would have a hard time sitting through online courses, and i've never gone through with a single one. i've also held jobs where i was basically training myself on how to use certain equipment and software (heavily using google). internships are great for short-term "immersion" type development ime when what you need is a foundation; after that it's more effective to just learn on your own.

    when it comes to learning a language (culture, literacy & conversation), i think i'd be more successful in a class environment than doing self-study, so i'm looking into that now.

  9. #9
    Pull the strings! Architect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lud View Post
    The only real hope of doing it for me is by making it a routine. At one time that meant waking up 2 hours early every day to fit the time in. Right now, it's simply a few hours every weekend. But you have to make it a regular thing.
    That's what I've been doing for some years. In addition to working a day job as a software engineer I wanted to start my own company, one difficulty was time. I found that the evening was getting wasted; I was so tired by the end of the day that I didn't do much with it. And my family was off doing their thing anyhow, so now I go to bed at 8PM and wake up around 4AM usually, which gives me hours before work starts. Additionally I'm at my best in the morning, now it's a fast habit.

    To OP, at work I'm fortunate in that my boss sees that I'm interested and creative in new directions so he throws the speculative stuff at me. So I've gone from projects like creating my own language to doing a Cloud based system. In my time I'm working for my own company, and lead a open source project for "pro-bono" work. I've taken a number of online courses (including the three that started off the MOOCs), but don't have time anymore.

    Pretty busy, it takes being careful with how I manage myself and my time. But I've found how to do it so that I really enjoy myself, and still get lots of time for idle speculation. Pretty tired by the end of the day though, which is good as it helps me sleep.

  10. #10
    was here.. LordLatch's Avatar
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    Several years ago, I realized the day job wasn't cutting it for me and I needed to create for my own growth and amusement. So I wrote a bunch of android apps then I moved to html5 and was working on a crochet design webpage and realized I hated the buttons I designed so I shifted my focus to art and made a bunch of youtube videos with Blender and learned some stuff about color theory and composition. After that I learned how to learn how to draw and learned how to cultivate new ideas and foster creativity. Then, I started building a 3d printer and while waiting on parts, I wrote some software to make art with a language that inspired the language the printer's microcontroller runs on. Now, I'm printing parts to make a more precise and bigger 3d printer and am constantly looking for new ideas to go from my imagination to a real plastic part.

    Each thing led to to the next and I don't know what the next step is but I'll find out when the new printer is up and running. I suspect it will be injection or resin molding because fused deposition manufacture is only good for 100's of parts. For 1000's you need a faster system. I'm not too far from ordering some motors for nonprinting arduino automation but I don't have a project for that yet... soon.

    Maybe I'll be able to take over the world next year... or the next.

    Before 2012, I had accomplished mostly nothing in my life.
    This just in: I'm accepting all friend requests too unless you're a fricken jerk and I can't stand your existence and inane drivel. If that's the case, then I'll accept your friend request so I can keep an eye on your ass unless you don't hold any interest for me; then only the threat of keeping my eye on you stands. feces

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