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Continuous Learning for Developers

The world of technology never stops moving, and developers are frequently told that they have to be constantly learning in order to keep up. Entire industries are devoted to helping developers stay on the cutting edge, and they offer a multitude of options and formats: books, video, online interactive programs. There’s live training, both on-site and remote, small groups and large, and mixes of all of the above. Your time is valuable, so how do you get the maximum return for your investment? You’ve probably heard about learning styles, but recent evidence indicates they’re not as useful as previously believed. Preferences and ingrained habits have more effect on learning and retention than an inherent style.

In this session, I’ll introduce you to the various learning formats available, and provide some advice on selecting the one that best fits your needs, or those of your team. Your needs may vary depending on the situation: The resources you need to learn a new programming language probably aren’t the same as the ones you’d use to learn a new version control system. Know how to identify a format that isn’t working for you, and when to change it up. Cost plays a factor too, of course.

Attendees will learn:

  • The available forms of continuous learning
  • Some sources for finding these products, and what they cost
  • How to identify the form that works best for you
  • Evaluating whether education is working

With a little planning, you can make continuous learning something to get excited about.

Presenters

Brian MacDonald

Brian MacDonald, Pragmatic Bookshelf

Brian MacDonald has been an editor of technical publications for over 18 years, and currently acquires new projects for Pragmatic Bookshelf. For most of that time, he ran his own business, with clients including O’Reilly, Pragmatic, Wiley, Apress, Wrox, Osborne, and Manning. He also spent a few years as a technical writer at Microsoft. He has co-authored two editions of Learning C# and Learning ASP.NET for O’Reilly. He lives in southeastern Pennsylvania with his wife and son. You can follow him on Twitter at @bmac_editor.