An IT career demands that we include learning new tech skills as part of our regular routine.  This requirement often leads to a lot of time spent on career development.  However, there are ways to make progress on this goal in our daily work.  Thus, allowing us to kill two birds with one stone as the saying goes.

Learning New Tech Skills – Startups

The best situation for drinking from the firehose is a startup.  You will have more to do than you can handle and that equates to learning.  Yes, it is not the easiest way to advance your career.  On the other hand, it may be the fastest way to get ahead.  There is a reason so many Internet millionaires come out of areas that are full of start-ups.

You are not guaranteed to be learning new tech skills in these environments.  Nevertheless, it is highly likely and you will be adding to your resume at a torrid pace.  In these situations, you will want to take some time every so often to absorb your gains.  These jobs can be a blur of activity if you are not intentional in driving home the learning that goes with them.

Stay Mobile

No, this is not mobile in the sense of a small device.  You can learn a lot by moving around within your company or area of focus.  This approach is one that often utilizes complementary and similar skills.  For example, you can shift from front to middle tier or change to build management from development.  These roles may not all appeal to you but they will be valuable in the long run.  As in most careers, doing the hard work no one likes can help you stay ahead of the competition as you progress.


There are all sorts of opportunities that arise in our day jobs.  There may be a one-off project or something we can script.  We might even be presented with the chance to build a product for our company that can become a side hustle.  These opportunities are not always obvious so keep a close eye out for them in case they cross your path.  When in doubt, ask around.  You never know what opportunities exist in the department next to you.

Learn more in the book written for Develpreneurs at any stage in their progress:


Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a longtime student of technology as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is a founder and principle of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although a few have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax.

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