Which new technology to learn next?

This post is part of a complete guide on writing CVs, dealing with recruiters and attending interviews. The complete guide can be found here: https://developercareers.wordpress.com/contents/

Apparently, developers only spend 3 hours of their day coding, what could there be to be stressed about?

This post with Oliver White at Zero Turnaround interviewing Martijn Verburg of TeamSparq is definitely worth reading. Following on from a recent survey to find out what stressed developers out, Oliver discusses the results on a survey of the stresses developers face. Martijn takes a light hearted look at the results of the survey and in his usual style, simplifies how to avoid becoming stressed with development. Covering aspects of how to scope work, write beautiful / clean code and a look at Martijns thoughts of the complications for Java Developers around performance tuning. Our highlight of the interview is when Martijn speaks about how to decide what to focus on when trying to learn something new:

“There’s always the fear of being left behind, can you as a developer guess what’s going to big next?  If your technology CV is out of date you might struggle to find that next job!

Take a deep breathe and relax.  Most new technologies are simply short lived fads and it’s impossible to keep up with everything!

There’s no way a developer can stay up to date with the latest Java libraries, learn Scala, pick up Clojure, hack some iOS, and then deploy that all to the cloud on a NoSQL distributed grid environment.  See what I mean?

The trick is to identify trends.  Cloud is a trend, so you should learn about the principles behind it, but don’t sweat if you haven’t learned to deploy to the 5+ different Java cloud providers out there today.  Functional programming is a trend, so learn _why_ (hint – Multi-core processors and concurrency) it is and see if it’s something that you need to learn about now or whether you can wait a few years. The same goes for any new craze you read about or hear at a conference.”

Lots of great advice in the interview. We would definitely recommend checking out this post.


This post is part of a complete guide on writing CVs, dealing with recruiters and attending interviews. The complete guide can be found here: https://developercareers.wordpress.com/contents/

Originally titled ‘the top 2%’ the copy has been researched, compiled and edited continually over the last five years by the team at RecWorks Ltd. An IT recruitment consultancy aimed at spotting and developing technical talent with a focus in Java and Graduate developers.

3 thoughts on “Which new technology to learn next?

  1. Jo Cranford says:

    I’m not sure that I agree that functional programming is a “trend”. Some functional languages are definitely becoming more popular, but they’re not new and the principles behind them have been around for decades.

    There’s a great article in “97 things a programmer should know”, which suggests that learning a functional language, or some of the principles, can help any developer to understand object oriented code better. As Martijn says, understanding why these things are relevant and important is a great place to start.

    Also, you don’t have to learn everything in depth. At least gain an appreciation for a range of things – don’t use the excuse that “I can’t possibly learn everything” to not bother learning anything 🙂 Books like “7 languages in 7 weeks” are great for getting an overview across a range of things.

  2. karianna01 says:

    Hi Jo,

    You’re absolutely right, it’s not a trend per say, I’ll think about how I present that wording in future! Interestingly most of the functional programmers I know are in their 50’s and think us kids should get off their lawn (joking – mostly). Definitely agree on learning lots of little things, I’ve picked up about a weeks worth of Groovy, Scala and performance tuning in the last few months and it’s totally altered the way I look at Java (again) and hopefully stops me from Golden hammering the daylights out of everything :-).

  3. Lucky Singh says:

    I beleive android and ios at this point and for next few years are good choice. If anyone wants to start with Android then Here is a nice tutorial for beginners i took. Its for absolute beginners. Its not free but still i found it totally worth as i would have wasted much more time in starting up without this tutorial. It gave me a nice start. http://www.udemy.com/beginning-with-android-development-first-app-and-beyond

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