Finding the time to stay relevant

5/6/2014

I was asked recently by a fellow developer how I stay relevant with what’s out there. As someone with two small kids, finding any time to catch up on what’s current is a continuing difficulty. I have RSS subscriptions, follow dozens of developers on social networks, and subscribe to several .NET and other development magazines.

The unfortunate thing is, they get stale quickly, as I have less and less time to read them. I have a 1.5′-high stack of MSDN magazines from years past. Even a year-old magazine is still a good read – most tech these days is evolutionary, and not so much revolutionary. Still, I feel guilt.

My answer to his question was simple: audio and video podcasts.

The audio podcasts I sync to my phone and listen to them to and from work. The video podcasts I sync with my Plex Media Server and stream to my Roku boxes, usually at night when the kids are asleep. Luckily my wife doesn’t mind (she even has a bit of an interest in it).

I don’t have too much of a variety, as I find that only a handful are all that I need, as their archives are usually extensive and cover a wide range of material. My two favorites are Hanselminutes and .NET Rocks. The Pluralsight account through work is also good for in-bed learning. I have a couple others covering other web-related topics, such as Craig Shoemaker, but I’ll have to check back and post their names.

So, while I would love to sit down in a quiet room and read cover-to-cover, my home life simple doesn’t allow it. I look forward to the boys taking up an interest in coding, as it’ll give me an excuse to totally geek out.

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