Part of the reason that I love the work that I do is because it is always changing. Just when I think I’ve mastered a technology or a technique, something new comes out that changes everything I know.
Because of this, it is crucially important to refresh my skills from time to time and to learn about new technologies before they become the industry norm.
Now, I was one of those people who loved school. I mean loved it. I went back to school after being out in the workforce for four years because I loved it so much. I loved that so much that after only about three years out, I’m starting to think about going back for a Ph.D. so that I can teach and never leave school again.
How do I maintain this kind of schooling when I’m not formally enrolled in classes? Well, lucky for me there are a number of web-based tools that can help me refresh and expand my technical skills.
Codecademy is a great place to start. It’s also a fun place to go back to when you need a quick refresh on some coding skills. And it’s free.
Lynda.com is a low-cost way to continue to expand my knowledge. I particularly like their “updates” series, which covers just what’s new in updates of software like Adobe Photoshop. And the “Up and Running” series that gives you just enough knowledge of a technology or application to dig in on your own. Lynda now covers everything from Adobe software to strategies and philosophies of design, marketing and more.
Google Developer Tools has a number of high-quality, free tutorials that you can use to learn about web development, Google Analytics, and other products.
And finally, the applications themselves often have extremely good support, documentation, and even interactive tutorials of their own. This is especially true for open source applications like WordPress, but is also true of MailChimp and other proprietary software/web apps.