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I am a software developer and most of the times when I find free time I read few news or technical websites like Techcrunch, Gizmodo, etc or read Twitter. How do I utilize this time to the maximum, instead of wasting on browsing unnecessary things so that it will help me grow professionally?

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  • We learn by doing, not be reading. Find a project that has relevance and do it. The most common project people seem to take on that has meaning in just about every endeavor is the building a content management system. Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 15:10
  • Relevant link.
    – enderland
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 15:13
  • Could you point me to where I can get some of this "free time" of which you speak? It seems that my company does not have that item in the supply closet.
    – cdkMoose
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 18:07

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What I do is identify a technology that I'm interested in and then research it in my brief (and rare) moments of free time. For instance, there may be a new technology or framework that I've been hearing about and I think it'll become useful to me in the future. What I do is get a book (an ebook usually) and then read up on it.

For me, a key is to stick with one subject until I'm ready to move on. I'm rather ADD and keeping things to a single subject helps me maximize the time I spend as well as my typically limited attention span.

I try to keep the subject matter limited to technologies that I can pick up and put down at a moment's notice without having to get myself into a mode of deep thought. For example, some hot new javascript framework versus quantum physics. :)

I do try to keep my searching for new topics off of work machines because I don't want to be perceived as "that guy" who is always browsing, even if the searching is technology related and worthy of my time.

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  • Great inputs :) thumbs up!
    – Amrita S
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 16:11
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You also might want to take one of those breaks and walk outside or even around the office for a few minutes. Giving your mind and eyes a rest from a computer can do wonders and allow you to focus better on your work. Doing focused research like @ChristopherEstep suggested is also a great idea.

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  • plus it prevents bad wonders, like depressions (esp. for introvert ppl), muscle lost and the like.
    – phresnel
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 14:23
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I will usually read books. In my down time I am reading "Effective Java" to improve my Java skills and "Code Complete 2nd Edition" to become a better engineer.

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