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I have more than 3 years of experience in IT.

Sometimes I personally feel that I lack proper guidance as my surroundings are not providing me that much exposure and most of the professional people around me are not tech enthusiasts.

I always keep on learning and investing in things on my own over the internet. I love to follow the stack sites and do some coding stuff at various sites like codeacademy/learn street etc. for more technologies like ROR/JS/PYTHON etc.

These sites provide only basic implementation of these technologies. However to meet the industry requirement we need to work and implement the concepts in real life problems. This is the area where I find myself totally helpless.

I discussed this with my seniors on the team, but they are not ready to try the latest technologies or to implement the things in other technology apart from thr basic work structure.

I checked over the internet that there are a lot sites for Freelancing work. This is not what I am looking for, as there we have to provide them a solution in a particular constraint and there is a risk of failure.

What I am looking for are some types of forums/sites/groups etc where these kinds of applications can be built just for enhancing skills. Whether money is involved or not doesn't matter a lot. It's just the learning that is important to me at this stage.

Kindly suggest how can I prove myself in the most dynamic industry.

And yes I am not a ninja in coding but a constant learner with a +ve approach.

Let me know your thought and suggestion as my geographic conditions is not providing me that much exposure.

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New isn't always better; Lisp is 50+ years old, but it is currently experiencing a resurgence in interest (as is functional programming in general). Lisp's foundational principles have influenced dozens of modern programming languages. –  Robert Harvey Dec 19 '12 at 20:22
    
@RobertHarvey Thanks for the comment, but its not about the technology I am asking for, its the productivity enhancement i am looking for with my current conditions that i believe I described in a simple and clear format –  swapnesh Dec 19 '12 at 20:35
    
I mentioned Lisp only because you noted that your current employer has no interest in the "latest technologies." Fudamental programming principles are eternal; new technologies are often the "flavor of the week." –  Robert Harvey Dec 19 '12 at 20:38
    
@RobertHarvey very true If I am engaged with C or C++ or any core programming language then i will definitely not looking for a change..but the market of scripting is volatile and my future concerns are always thr with the money the technology yield and the stability..may be i am wrong as im still new to the field.but yes suggestions are always appreciable and thats why i posted the Question too –  swapnesh Dec 19 '12 at 20:44
    
Hmm, scripting... I once worked on an Access/VBA project for six years. Not exactly a career-lifting occupation, but it was enough for me to land a position programming in C#. –  Robert Harvey Dec 19 '12 at 20:46
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closed as off topic by squeemish, Jim, GuyM, gnat, Jim G. Dec 22 '12 at 18:21

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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Since your current job is not providing much scope to learn new things, I would suggest the below which you can try:

  1. Find another job where there is scope for learning new things. You should seriously think about this option as you have mentioned that the team around you are not tech enthusiasts and are working in their own comfort zones.
  2. If you are currently in a situation where you cannot move out of your current job, then as suggested by RobertHarvey, find an open source project which interests you and contribute to it. In case you are not ready now to contribute to an open source project, you can always read the code, understand it and improve your knowledge on the best practices used, observe the design patterns and try to use them in your work related projects if it is applicable. Gradually you will be able to contribute.
  3. Since learning is important to you, please watch out for new technologies which are gaining ground and could be potential game changers. For e.g. now-a-days there is a lot of focus on cloud technologies, application development for mobile platforms like Android, Apple and game development for mobile devices. Check if these interest you and experiment by writing small apps.
  4. If you cannot find people with similar interests as you in your current surroundings, try to join groups with similar interests in your geographical area. Check Meetup for groups nearby. Expand your network, attend meetings, conferences, learn from Internet. You can do a lot, if you have the passion and willing to work hard.
  5. Find a good mentor who can guide you technically and can answer your questions.
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thx for the info :) –  swapnesh Dec 20 '12 at 9:17
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Find an open-source project that interests you and contribute to it, or create your own open source project using the technologies that you would like greater exposure to.

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