This question already has an answer here:

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?

marked as duplicate by Kate Gregory, Monica Cellio Nov 19 '14 at 15:35

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 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. – Joel Etherton Nov 19 '14 at 15:10
  • Relevant link. – enderland Nov 19 '14 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 Nov 19 '14 at 18:07

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.

  • Great inputs :) thumbs up! – Amrita S Nov 19 '14 at 16:11

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.

  • plus it prevents bad wonders, like depressions (esp. for introvert ppl), muscle lost and the like. – phresnel Nov 19 '14 at 14:23

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.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.