Yes, you can find your way back after feeling disconnected from the industryBy Dana Gagnon
Have you ever felt detached from your work? Not a “it’s the holiday season and there’s too much sugar around the office” kind of lethargy, but a deep feeling that you’re disengaged and your career is suffering for it?
That’s how Anthony Chu (right), 36, felt a few years back. Anthony began his developer career during the dot-com bubble, and then went on to work as a .NET developer for a forestry company for 11 years. He realized that he had started to feel a disconnect from the industry, not only when it came to keeping up on new technology but also on development methodologies and design principles.
“I knew I needed to find a way back,” said Anthony. “I made a conscious decision to do the best I can to catch up and keep up.”
And “keep up” doesn’t exactly describe what came next. Anthony took more than 80 Pluralsight courses in two years.
“[Pluralsight] was a huge part in getting me up to speed with the rest of the technology world,” said Anthony, who credits his vast coursework with helping him land a new job this year as a developer/architect at 3AG Systems, a small consultancy firm in Vancouver, B.C. “Things are moving way faster than they used to, so it’s really important to have something like Pluralsight to help me stay up to date. “
Being a father to two young children, how did Anthony find the time to do so much learning? Video training gives him the flexibility to train after his kids go to bed or on weekends. He uses it to get up to speed on a lot of things—and fast.
“You’re learning and watching things being done at the same time, so I find it to be a very efficient way to learn,” said Anthony. “Pluralsight is a really good way to dive into some of the details of the stuff I want to learn, so it’s a big part of my learning process.”
He finds he can take in information a lot more quickly from video training than other methods. At his new job, he was able to learn about Node.js over a weekend and start working with it that Monday. He uses the speed feature on Pluralsight’s apps to go at his own pace and jumps around to the topics that are most interesting.
“What I find [with classroom training], they’re generally pretty slow,” said Anthony. “They don’t quite go at the speed that I wanted to go at.”
Anthony stresses that in order to be successful in this field, developers have to be willing to invest their own time to keep up with what’s going on, and not rely on their employers to provide training. He also says taking on side projects is a great way to keep motivated and try out new skills. It’s all about continual self-improvement and ongoing learning.
“The key is to try to figure out which technologies to get behind,” said Anthony. “I was at a point where I was almost able to watch every Pluralsight video that I cared to watch, but now I’m at the point where I’m only watching a fifth of the ones that I’m interested in, because it’s coming up so fast.”
And that’s coming from someone whose pace is taking 40 courses per year!
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About the Author
Dana Gagnon is the Director of Branded Content at Pluralsight. After working for years in Chicago media, she joined the team in 2012 to continue bringing quality news, tips and more to Pluralsight's audience. Find her @ChicagoDana or on Google+.
Author's Website: http://blog.pluralsight.com/