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Tips for keeping up to date with new technology

05 Jan 2022

Stacy Keogh

Stacy Keogh is a Technology Recruitment Manager with Brightwater Technology and focuses on the recruitment of software engineering professionals.

SK: Hi all, my name is Stacy Keogh and I am a Manager with the Technology Recruitment team here at Brightwater. I thought I would come on today to speak a little bit about staying up to date with technology. Technology is a very fast moving. It’s constantly evolving and it can be difficult to stay up to date with new technologies and new versions. There’s always new tools and there’s just always something new. It can be almost quite daunting and quite difficult to try and find ways of staying ahead of technology. So I wanted to give you some tips today. I’ve been speaking with clients and candidates quite a lot over the past few weeks and just trying to gather some information from people in this industry and senior individuals within this industry that could shed some light on what they think is important and what they do and what they would like to see on CVs as well. 


SK: So the first tip that I would give in terms of staying ahead and being able to prove that you’re doing that is using your GitHub. It is something that clients more and more, and hiring managers, want to see on a CV.  It’s a great way of being able to show your style, it’s a great way of being able to show projects that you’re working on outside of work. You could be a backend engineer, you could be a Java Developer but in your GitHub, you’re showing that you’re using React quite a lot, it could be an online course that you’ve done. You’re showing this is what I know, this is what I’ve learned and this is how I use it.  So it’s a really great way of staying up to date. You can obviously follow other people. There are so many other ways that you can use GitHub and I think it’s a fantastic channel. It’s really great for software engineering, it’s great for developers and it’s really fantastic to show what you’re passionate about, what you can do and your style. So that would be my number one.

It’s essential that you have it on your CV.  It’s also essential that you’re staying up to date, that you’ve got up to date projects there for hiring managers and clients, especially if you’re planning on making a move over the next six months, that you have projects there. You’re showing that you’re staying up to date, you’re showing that this is what I’m doing, this is what I can do. It may not be something that I’m using commercially but it’s something that I’m doing on the side. A lot of companies in interview processes that I’m finding especially with remote interviewing, it is a tool that’s being used within an interview process now for hiring managers to be able to look at the GitHub before the interview. Sometimes even during the interview, they’ll ask for that and they’ll jump on straight away and they’ll be able to see what have you done, “oh you’re using this tool or this language” or “I didn’t see that you’re using that in your current role, why are you using it?” It opens up a fantastic conversation. It’s a great way for you to be able to sell yourself and show that you’re passionate and that you want to explore new technologies and that you’re passionate about continuous learning. So that would be my number one tip. 


SK: Number 2 and it’s something as well that I think is essential as an engineer and a developer in a world that’s always changing and there’s something new always there, is online courses. We all have more time now with less travel. To be able to use that time accordingly and add it to your career is do online courses. LinkedIn alone does some fantastic courses. There are so many different universities, different courses, online courses, that will offer different options for you. You might want to learn a little bit more about mobile engineering, you might want to learn a little bit more about React. There are so many different tools, so many different languages, there’s so many ways that you can do some extra courses. It could be data science, it could be machine learning, big data, AI, there is so many different courses. It’s ever evolving and I think anybody who’s in technology is well aware of this but online courses, and showing those online courses on your CV. You could be in the middle of a course and not completed it yet – add that to your CV. Just because you’re only halfway through and haven’t completed it yet, put it on your CV and show that it’s something that you’re doing right now. Any previous courses, put that on your CV as well. 


SK: Thirdly and again a really good one, join communities and different sort of meet ups. Obviously a  lot of meetups are being done remotely now. Again, it’s a lot easier to do these meetups remotely. You don’t really have to plan around it. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be doing these things. Joining different tech communities, whether online or LinkedIn or Facebook, whatever it may be, going to these online meetups are fantastic ways of being able to find out what other people are doing, what is popular, why is it popular? I’m hearing this quite a lot so you’ll be able to go do your research on it. It’s  a really great way of not only being able to meet people but being able to add to your CV and broaden your skillset by finding out where to start and how to do this. You’ll get great tips from people who are there because they are people who are like you. They are probably there for the same reason so you can both share your different tips, your advice and your experience. 


SK: That brings me into the last tip, number 4. You could combine the both of them (meet-ups). But podcasts and following tech influencers. This is one that I may not have naturally said myself but it was a conversation that I had with a few engineers last week as to why it’s a really good way because they’re basically doing the work for you. They’re finding out what is the next popular programme or language, why is it popular, why are people using it, why are people using this framework, this tool. They’re basically following consistently month on month, year on year, what’s popular, why is it popular and what are we going to see more and more of over the next six months. You can sign up for these blogs to be sent to you, you can sign up for when the new podcasts come on and all you have to do is read or listen to the podcast. A lot of the time if they’re speaking about a particular tool, they will give you the information as to where to learn this. There could be links in there. It’s a fantastic way of being able to quickly find out what’s popular, basically how to learn it and why you should. 


Stacy Keogh is a Technology Recruitment Manager with Brightwater Technology and focuses on the recruitment of software engineering professionals. Connect with her on LinkedIn or contact her on [email protected]