Continuing Education for Developers – Back To School
Why continuing education for developers is essential and why we do it the right way.
In my experience, at every stop along my career path, there has been some sort of continuing education to try and engage employees in learning new things to further develop their skill set. This was almost always boring as hell and a complete waste of time. The shortcomings of these programs normally dealt with a subject that in no way pertained to what my job duties were or it was taught in mass with a large classroom setting and there was absolutely nothing to reinforce the learning or anyone to follow up to see if the lesson stuck with you.
At Revelry we have a different approach to continuing education for developers. Each employee is assigned someone to be in charge of their education. We are assigned new topics based on a couple of different methods, if someone has a subject they want to learn or if another person has a recommendation on what they could improve upon, a ticket is assigned and materials are provided. At that point it’s up to you to go through your materials and keep whoever your assigned person happens to be updated on your progress. Once you complete your current assignment, the ticket is closed out and you move on to something new. There is no hard timeline for this, it’s totally at your leisure to decide when and how to complete “assignment” or whatever you want to call it. We just ask that everyone engages and attempts to learn something new in a reasonable amount of time. I find this method works 100% better than any other type of continuing education I’ve ever been through.
First of all, as somewhat of a noob in this industry, it’s awesome to have someone not only invest in your betterment but also give you the resources you need to improve. We have an extensive and continuously growing set of resources to learn from, including books, tutorials and maybe most importantly people. Having someone point you at what they believe is the best way to learn something is really beneficial and stress relieving. There is a ton of information out there, so much so that it’s overwhelming just to decide what to look at first. It really reduces the pain of figuring out where you should start your efforts and makes you more likely to not only enjoy your experience, but follow through with it as well.
Implementing this plan shows that Revelry really invests in their employees and the development of its staff. We’re a small group and we make sure to use each other to get better and continue to grow our skills across all facets of this industry. As we improve as developers, salespeople, and project/product managers, the company itself continues to improve. That’s a pretty awesome feeling to have someone invest in you as much as you invest in them. Our team is strong because everyone has the desire to get better and do cooler things and we hold each other accountable.
I would suggest more companies take this approach. It gets everyone involved and interested in learning new things all the time. It’s a fairly new process for us, but I’m willing to bet the results pay off greatly in our work and company culture. We use our collective strengths to improve upon our individual weaknesses. This is how a continuing workplace education should be done.