Why is keeping a close eye to tech trends useful?
Technology has infiltrated just about any office job there is. Whether you’re a developer or work as a marketer or have your own business, you should keep your fingers on the pulse of the most recent developments relevant to your field. There are three major reasons to stay in step with the latest in tech:
· Tech moves fast. It’s so easy to fall behind and then getting up to speed can be a hassle, so keeping up with tech trends can very well be a goal in itself.
· You remain competitive in your profession. You should never stop learning, because it will improve the quality of your work and lead to upward mobility such as promotions and in time perhaps a voice of authority. Maybe you want to aim higher and apply for new jobs in bigger companies. Showing your knowledge signals your potential as an employee.
· Business owners and leaders have the tools and know-to to surpass lower competitors and incite company growth. New technology leads to opportunities. Keep that competitive edge and add more to your services. The happier your clients are with what you offer the more stable your company becomes in the long run. The harder it is for competitors to poach your clients.
How to keep track of the latest tech trends?
Read research reports
Plunger into the deep with technology reports. That’s perhaps the most comprehensive way to get first wind about new tools and techniques making their way to the mainstream. You have a wide range of picks, but perhaps one of the best is the Thoughtworks Tech Radar.
It has a handy visual component, which positions new technologies across four fields – techniques, tools, platforms, and languages and frameworks. All of these are then presented on their journey towards their full adoption. They’re spread out in concentric circles – hold, assess, trial and adopt. This gives you an easier time navigating towards your particular interests and from then on do research at your own pace.
Consider this your launch pad into the rabbit role.
Follow reputable news websites
Obviously tech news has its own rich ecosystem of reporting. There are a lot of options to choose from whether you prefer TechCrunch or Recode, WIRED or The Verge. If you’re not quite as well versed in tech lingo and are looking for a perch into this world, any of these media outlets will do, because the tech writers put in effort to translate dense subjects into readable text. You get the gist of it without having to scratch your head at all.
Word of advice here, don’t try to follow everything. You can’t and that’s something to know while going into this process. Select the topics that interest you most and are directly relevant to your line of work. That’s how you remain motivated to keep on reading, learning and adopting tech.
Use an RSS feed reader
RSS feed readers are useful on two accounts. One, having a convenient way to organise sites and filter information. Two, additional content discovery.
RSS readers have perfected all the ways to maintain control over your online reading. Between the offline modes, real-time syncing and labelling to filtering and if-this-then-that capabilities, the RSS feed reader tailors your sources to best fit your needs. All the while removing the overwhelming feeling of not being able to catch up with everything. Curation is a powerful thing.
In addition, RSS feed readers make it so easy to discover new content. Inoreader has a dedicated technology hub with recommended feeds and you can even check out recommendations on specific topics found at the top of the page. Even adding new subscriptions is made easier thanks to its Chrome browser extension.
It’s one thing to read about tech innovations. It’s quite another to see them in application – this is certainly true for software products. Here is where the open-source community comes in. By their very nature they’re the first to adopt new technologies and test their limits to the fullest.
Look at what projects are trending currently. That’s a strong indicator of the technology du jour, general best practices and the spirit of competition. Usually the open-source community announces what’s going to be important in the near future – github is the best barometer for general attitudes.
You never know when some scrap of code or software will be applicable for your particular line of work and you’ll already have a well-documented journey to help you adopt said technology a lot easier.
Pay Attention to the Big Names
Perhaps casting your net wide is impossible without having a dedicated team to parse through all the new information coming your way. Another strategy is to consider following one or two voices in the world of technology. Look into lecturers and high-profile speakers that are frequent guests at reputable conferences. They will be your access point to what’s new.
Another option is to turn to LinkedIn to scout for VCs and incubator directors, staff engineers and startup founders. These people use their profiles strategically to inform and maintain an intense, healthy conversation with their community. You will have a good chance to see not just the news being shared, but also their personal take on them. This provides a much needed context.
Listen to podcasts
Staring at the screen can be exhausting all the time. Podcasts are a nice change of pace. Listen to them when you’re stuck in traffic, commuting, exercising or cooking – optimize your time during the day to get the most out of your research and monitoring. With so many options you don’t even have to spend so much time online reading tech news. You’ll only need to check in to make some additional research on specific tech trends.
Some of the best tech podcasts out there include In Machines We Trust, Accidental Tech Podcast, The Tech Talks Daily Podcast and Spark with Nora Young.
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