Keeping up with the train

What I’ve learned in my career is that technology is like a train that is always moving forward – always going about 2mph, 24 hours a day. So you have to keep up with it. You can run out in front, or fall behind – you can even stop for a little while, but then you have to run to catch up with it again!  

So if “change is the only thing that doesn’t change, in technology”. How do you keep up with it? That isn’t a light question. In fact, it’s kind of far-reaching and it has significant implications to your career, if you are a developer or technical person.

As a .NET architect and developer, here’s my strategy for keeping up with the technology train:

 

·         Daily (I scan these in the morning and usually in the afternoon – just looking for interesting articles; I literally take about 2 minutes to scan all of these):

o   All MS Blogs: http://blogs.msdn.com/ (updates dozens of times a day; every Microsoft blogger)

o   All MS Blogs via RSS: http://blogs..msdn.com/MainFeed.aspx?Type=AllBlogs

o   MSNBC technology RSS feeds: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5216556/?page=2#TechScience (I subscribe to Innovation, Internet, Science, Security, Wireless and top headlines)

·         Weekly/Monthly (You get these e-mails a couple of times a month I want to say?):

o   Request TechNet newletter: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/abouttn/subscriptions/flash_register.mspx (set preferences and which topics interest you)

o   Request MSDN Flash newsletter: http://msdn2..microsoft.com/en-us/flash/default.aspx (same deal, except developer oriented)

In the case of the blogs, I use Outlook 2007 at work which has a nice integrated RSS reader. At home, I use Windows Live Mail (along with Windows Live Writer). Anyhow, Live Mail has a pretty nice RSS reader as well. You can get those via one installer here: http://get.live.com/writer/overview  

Lastly, and this is probably the most important thing – is find a system for yourself. I support absolutely everything that can be done in .NET with the exception of Mobile. I remember when I first started in this crazy position a year and a half ago, I was overwhelmed that I needed to be a deep-dive specialist and a generalist for EVERYTHING in .NET! I remember I asked my predecessor how he kept up with all this technology. He had several things he used – like using newsgator.com and technorati.com. I tried them and didn’t click with them – and ended up developing my own system instead.

My thinking is that you need to set up an easy, fast, intuitive, natural way to get your information – without it having to be a chore. Staying on top of things isn’t an accident – it takes time to establish systems that work for you, this is my system for keeping up with the train.

Posted in Organization will set you free, Uncategorized

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