As the tech industry continues to rise, so does its expansion in the job market. Every day, more and more jobs require their employees to possess technical skills. But what happens if you are “not a technical person?” First, let’s dispel the myth that a person is not capable of being technical; because anybody can become so with the right mindset and resources. If you are curious or interested in learning more technical skills, here are 6 suggestions to help you:
1. Download Learning Apps
Many online training courses offer apps that you can download so you can learn on-the-go. Apps like Lynda offer a more personalized experience in learning various aspects of technology, such as software and web development. Additionally, the Khan Academy app offers tens of thousands of videos and interactive questions, which covers relevant topics like computer programming and computer science. Khan Academy is unique because it not only allows any viewer to learn at their own pace, but it’s also 100% free.
2. Read Books on Technology
Although it’s old-school, reading is a great way to gain an understanding about the theories and concepts behind the technologies you want to learn. There are some great books out there that I highly recommend. The first is The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross, which provides a guide on the upcoming changes in technology over the next ten years. If you prefer to read a book that’s more technical, The Art of Computer Programming by Donald E. Knuth is another solid source. It’s not cheap to purchase, but the four volumes cover the fundamental algorithms that today’s software developers use in computer programming. Alternatively, you can save your money by through websites like FreeTechBooks.com, which is an online database that contains free computer science, engineering, and programming books as well as other valuable resources.
3. Stay up to Date of the Latest Trends
With so many available news sources, it can be difficult to find the best way to stay updated on the latest trends in technology. News aggregation sites (such as Techmeme or Reddit), which compiles the top stories into one page, are an effective tool because they display the desired content. That way, you don’t have to browse through multiple sites. Moreover, attending meetups and conferences are other “life hacks” to stay current on new trends. Be sure to check out EventBrite.com or Meetup.com if you want to find local events going on in your area. Here, you will also have opportunities to network and meet potential mentors.4. Find a mentor
Speaking of mentors, there are many people in the tech industry who are willing to pass their knowledge onto someone who is willing and able to learn. Aside from meetups and conferences, Hack.pledge() offers mentorships for upcoming developers. Some mentors have even worked for leading tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Python.
5. Take a course
The right training courses are extremely successful in giving you the real-life experience you need to become more technical. In my opinion, this is one of the best ways in developing a specific skill because of the hands-on opportunities in learning the course material. For example, one rapidly growing industry is automation; which seeks to take the human touch out of mundane, repetitive tasks through automating specific tasks. By 2025, the automation market will be so lucrative, it is expected to support over 5 million jobs. One type of automation, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), has especially paved the way for standardizing workflows automating processes, which in turns helps employees focus on higher-value work that requires human decision-making. Our company, Integratz, offers both online instructor-led and in-person courses for those who want to learn Robotic Process Automation (RPA). We offer 3-day, 5-day, and 6-week RPA tech courses, which you can learn more about here.
6. Practice, Practice, Practice
For most people, learning does not fully sink in until the materials are applied and put into practice. That’s why it is so important to set aside time in order to develop these skills every day. After all, practice does not make perfect, it makes permanent. It is also crucial to work on materials that a) utilize hands-on activities and b) apply to real-life scenarios for both solo and group activities. Lastly, it helps to assess your progress through regular knowledge checks or “challenges.” For those who are practicing RPA, one great tool to use is the Automation Challenge, where the goal is to create a workflow that inserts data into the provided form fields. Coderbyte.com is another great resource if you want to improve on your coding skills.