I just started a new job as software developer for the clinical market. I will be coding and supporting Sales and customers, and I am trying to organise my time as efficiently as possible. I realised that I need to:

  • absorb as much information as possible about my new company
  • stay up to date with the company in the news (some things reach media before we are told internally)
  • stay up to date with competitors and the market itself: news and articles
  • stay up to date with technological developments and new opportunities: news, articles, scientific papers
  • keep learning new things on the coding side

I can see two problems with this: first, I am not sure how much time I should allocate for this, as I will always be too busy to free time in general. Second, I think that absorbing and keeping track of all this information would exhaust my energy, and I need to find an efficient way to do this. Is there any best practice for this?

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  • why are the first 4 so important you need to specially allocate time for them? Your job is coding and supporting Sales and customers, why not just focus on your job? – Kilisi Apr 22 '16 at 9:34
  • customers WILL ask me if our software integrates/supports the latest technological improvements and methods. – TA_Bamboo Apr 22 '16 at 10:18
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    Are you supporting Sales, or you ARE Sales? If you are Sales, you should be getting sales training. If you're not you just pass those sorts of questions on. – Kilisi Apr 22 '16 at 10:26
  • I recommend this O'Reilly book. It is directed at system administrators, but I find it could help just about anybody, even those outside computing disciplines. I'm sure it will help out a software developer. – kirkpatt Apr 22 '16 at 20:24

Build a list of what you need. Prioritize it. When you don't have something more important to do, pick the highest-priority item of the list and work on it (or the most important one that fits in the a available time slot). Continue to add to the list, and adjust priorities, as needed.

If you can carve out a specific chunk of time each week for this, great. If not, the list will help you use what time you can find more productively.

Frankly, if be doing a lot better at that if I wasn't spending time on Stack Exchange...

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    Nice... upvoting just for blaming us... answer is good as well – Kilisi Apr 22 '16 at 9:47

My take on your question is that you're asking how to keep up with trends. Honestly I wouldn't stress it too much as it entirely depends on the area you're at.

What I would do is subscribe to a magazine of sort and occasionally glance over it and see what is going on. The idea isn't to buy into what they're selling but seeing what they're talking about. For example, "Foo is helping Bar a lot these days." Then you know Foo is just an advertisement for some product, but Bar might be getting hot.

Or you can simply read over job descriptions and update your resume accordingly. Always a good idea to keep your resume updated. By looking at current jobs you know what employers are looking for and as such can concentrate that way.

Just glancing is enough. I mean no more than 15 minutes if that should tell you what is going on.

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