Near the end of every interview I always ask this question, there is some sort of a preamble to it…
“We work in a changing industry…”
“There are so many new technologies…”
How do you do it? How do you stay current and relevant?
Many think it is a trick question, i.e., I am waiting for you to say one specific blog and then I will go “aha Hire them!” – not the case. There is no one magazine, one blog or book that is going to make you stand out from the rest of the crowd. Conversely, I have had people tally off the Top 10 blogs du jour in the hope that it will make me go – “well if they are reading all of those, they must be on top of everything, there is nowhere else to go.”
Both are incorrect.
No, the question is a way for me to figure out what shapes your views and opinions. Many times, if it is a blog or book I have not heard, I will go look it up and take a quick gander of it. Perhaps I’ll add it to my own reading list or perhaps not, but me aside – it gives me insight into who you are and what you are and where you are trying to go.
I love when the answer to this question is not technology focussed and instead is about someone learning to build and create something outside of code and listening to their reasons for wanting to do this. Sometimes there are parallels, other times it is an escape from what they are currently doing so they can focus their attention elsewhere.
In both cases they are pushing themselves into something new and continually learning. With any profession in today’s age, continual learning is key to your own future success, if you aren’t learning something new, then you’re stagnating and on your way to becoming a relic. And this leads us to the worst possible answer which is for you to say “nothing” because it sends the message (albeit completely unintentionally from your side) that you are “too good” to learn anything new and you are an expert OR that you are too lazy to learn anything new.
Both are bad reads and if I have to choose between the person who reads a number of blogs on a weekly basis, maybe writes their own, subscribes to Beta updates, goes out and tries new concepts that are not a part of his daily work routine this shows the willingness to consistently poke holes in the status quo.
It’s not a tough choice who I’d hire.
Want more? Check out my book Code Your Way Up – available as an eBook or Paperback on Amazon (CAN and US). I’m also the co-host of the Remotely Prepared podcast.