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Learning multiple skill sets at one time

  • # February 24, 2013 at 10:53 am

    I am curious when others are learning a new skill set do you maintain or attempt to maintain pace with existing skill sets you already have. Or do you take a gamble, let them fall by the waist side and attempt to catch up later down the line.

    For example my day job relies heavily on SEO so I am always trying to keep up with SEO trends. But in my free time I am teaching myself to program. I find I flip between the two but nothing solid ever comes from either…

    # February 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Do you want to be a jack of all trades or a master of one?

    Personally I have HTML/CSS nailed down tight and my current learning revolves around JavaScript. I have a handle on PHP as much as I need for front end development, but I don’t want to get into the more complex parts of PHP.

    Basically once I have JS down, I’ll just be spending all my time with HTML/CSS/JS and a little dash of PHP. I can’t learn everything, so anything beyond those, I get someone else to do!

    I’d rather be an expert in those 3 than forget parts or struggle to balance my knowledge of more languages like Ruby or whatever.

    # February 24, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Pretty much the same as @AndyHowells but with a little more PHP, enough PHP for the front-end and being able to at least understand what’s going on in the backend.

    I think it’s hilarious when you see job adverts like:

    2 years experience in HTML/CSS/Ruby/ASP.net/C#/MySQL/SEO/PHP/JavaScript/jQuery/Mootools
    design experience would be a bonus

    # February 24, 2013 at 11:54 am

    @notfilc @AndyHowells am sailing in the same boat. HTML CSS nailed down. But a total newbie in JS. Any resources you’d like to share?

    @theplastickid I’d recommend you go one after the other…Take baby steps and become a master.

    # February 24, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    The jQuery manual is a great way to learn jQuery. JavaScript: The Good Parts is a well regarded book for learning JavaScript.

    # February 24, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    I’ve been learning quite a bit of javascript on codecademy.com and codeschool. I too am guilty of jumping around front end, back end, design. Having actual projects really helps me curtail this tendency because I only have so many hours in a day. Stuff on the back burner is always calling my name but as long as I’m occupied with what’s in front of me and my next deadline I can USUALLY keep my roll in check.

    # February 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    i find that working on a side-project that incorporates everything you’re currently studying really pays off.

    # February 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Hi hsaker i tend to find this helps me too however I find the projects I am working on of course are skill sets I am currently pretty good at. The ones I want to develop I don’t get projects doing because my skills aren’t good enough. Catch 22 lol

    # February 24, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Fake it till you make it. Seriously. The best thing I did when I started Unleash was to literally just say yes to everything.

    It meant I was constantly challenged and having to learn by doing, nothing motivates more than a deadline!

    Also, if you want to code, get a designer. Whether it’s a graphic freelancer or in house, it means you’re not designing to your skill set, or restricting your designs based on what you think you can do. That way when the design comes in you’ve got no choice but to stretch yourself and scramble to get it sorted!

    # February 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Yes easily said when building small web sites and scripts but i don’t think I can fake object oriented programming applications lol

    # February 25, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    I’m still trying to figure out if I want to develop in JavaScript, jQuery, php, WordPress, Magento, Zend Framework or… go back to game programming in ActionScript, Unity3D, C#, XNA or learn iOS and android game development… so many choices it makes my head spin and I can’t figure out what to do!

    So yeah, I understand your problem :)

    /not being helpful

    # February 25, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    > [SEO & Coding]… I find I flip between the two but nothing solid ever comes from either…

    The two are different genres of work.

    If you know programming, it’s easier to apply those skills sets to another language because most programming languages are alike.

    I started with HTML & CSS. Then moved on to PHP/MySQL. Picked up JavaScript & jQuery. And now learning Ruby on Rails.

    You can allocate some (15 min) daily to stay up to date on previous stuff you know. And dedicate more time to new skills. I think hardest thing is to learn how to manage your time. Especially, if you have two kids like me…. :)

    # February 25, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Well I have no kids and still no time! lol

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