As a developer I have started to realise, my spare time is important. It is a time when you can brush up on your knowledge and find new things to learn that look cool or like they help your current projects.
I like to spend my time wisely, so I decided to do a couple of things that I thought would increase my learning potential and thus increase my developer skills and nknowledge.
My journey to work is long, just over an hour and two trains. So I decided while i am on the train I will read hacker news for latest stuff. This means I now spend 2 hours a day doing, what I would call research on the latest technology and practises, and coming across some really good blogs that can be catalysts for ideas or thinking.
I, like a lot of people used to have the belief that it was all about the language, but it is not, its not that hard to learn a new syntax if you have the core fundamentals of programming nailed. This is crucial to my learning process, its like a brick wall that you will just keep hitting.
To cement what I have been learning into my brain, I set up little projects, that utilise what I have learnt. For me, this is the best way to learn a language or technique, by practise. You get used to writing it, reading it, and finding out why its going wrong through practising. The most harmful trait I have seen in a developer is the fear of new things and I think it would be impossible to learn effective if you think like that.
I like to learn, but I also like to learn effectively, and since I have been optimising my learning technique I have noticed a massive improvement, and learning itself is a skill that gets better with practise.