One of the most fun
aspects (to me) of being in the world of software development is the focus on
continual learning.The systems on which
we work are constantly evolving.
For instance, when I
started way back in 1995, Windows 3.1 was the dominant OS.Smart phones did not exist, tablets were only
on Star Trek and so on.The challenge is
how to adapt to a constantly changing world.
The strategy I use
is one of constant learning.MOOCs have
made this much easier in the last few years - I tend to prefer a combination of
lectures and hands on to learn a new skill.To me, which new skill to learn is not as important as always learning something.Sometimes there is a skill I need to learn that is very relevant to some
project that is upcoming - for instance, learning Python because our automation
system here at Tableau uses Python is an obvious example.
But other times I
take on tasks that are more in a hobby space.To this end, for the past few months I have been enrolled in a Programming the Internet of
Things program at Coursera.It has been a blast!It made me brush up on electronics I learned
years ago in the navy as well as some programming in C and Python.I got to work with the Raspberry Pi and
Arduino, install some useful libraries and my final capstone was a device that
would email me if I left my garage door in my house was left open.This was a beginner level class so the
introduction was very gentle and definitely left me wanting more.
I received my final certificate
this last week and am thinking about going deeper into another class.Either that or finish the growing list of
project ideas I developed while taking this class.Either way, it should be fun!
concerns and criticisms always welcome,