In the world of web development, we’re often told to — and want to — specialize in one language, web framework or program. Many companies value developers who have intensely learned a single tool. However, this often means that developers have a difficult time getting out of their comfort zones.
The world is progressing, and if we don’t keep up with the newest and most modern technologies, our knowledge will become obsolete.
“Our future success is directly proportional to our ability to understand, adopt, integrate new technology into our work.”
Sukant Ratnakar, Author
Developers will often become experts in one web technology and are then less and less likely to pursue what’s new and modern and what’s needed in the market. This means that many individuals will do the same thing for a decade.
Because technology is changing so rapidly, tools and platforms become outdated. The skill you’ve used for years is no longer what’s in demand. If you’re in a position where you need or want a new job, you’ve fallen behind in the industry.
Before coming to Integrity, I specialized in PHP. I always wanted to learn new things, but I was unable to because of the work environment.
As a consulting company, Integrity is unique in that we are technology agnostic. We want to help our clients move forward in the direction of modern and useful technology. The company is also supportive of employees learning new skills outside our area of expertise (i.e. UX designers learning how to code or content strategists learning project management).
Last fall, I chose to learn a new web framework: React (also known as ReactJS).
A coworker pointed me in the direction of Udemy, which not only taught me the technology but also gave me the opportunity to execute the lessons I learned. I took a one-month course and followed a diligent study plan to learn the new web framework.
Once I finished the course, I began my own small, personal project using React. This allowed me to measure whether or not I was able to handle larger client projects that would benefit from this technology.
Once I completed my personal project and felt confident in the framework, I was given the opportunity to use my new skills for a client’s website that required React.
I was confident working on this new project because I had gone through the training and tested my abilities. It also gave our company the chance to utilize a new tool and recommend it to additional clients.
If you’re a developer who wants to gain new skills and understand new technologies, there are many ways to get started depending on what interests you and where you’d like to take your knowledge. Here are two technologies that I’m now actively using in my day-to-day development work.
For anyone who wants to utilize modern web technologies, I’d recommend learning React. It’s widely used and has reusable components which are key to having an organized site on the backend. Plus, React is easy to debug.
Docker is an excellent software tool for developers to get to know and utilize, and it’s only going to become more popular in the years to come. A Docker container image is a lightweight, standalone package of software that gives developers everything they need to run an application from virtually anywhere, including code, system tools, settings and more.
Currently, I’m working on two very different projects and am able to have a Magento project running on one container while a ReactJS project runs on another.
By isolating a project in its own environment, you can easily switch from one task to another — and switch between versions of programs — without causing issues.
It can be uncomfortable learning to do something new, but after completing the challenge, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. And you’ll know that you’re that much more attractive of a candidate for future job opportunities.
Are you looking to partner with a web development company with software engineers who utilize modern technology? Contact Integrity today.
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