The speed of technology change is increasing at an alarming rate. Startups can fund, build & deploy software in a shorter timeframes and consumers can install and adopt that quickly and easily. Gone are the days of years between major versions as software vendors roll out updates without relying on shipping out CDs.

 

So how do IT professionals keep up with it all? How do you find the time to do your job and upskill and understand the latest threat or IT trend being talked about in the news?

Of course, the Thwack community is a great place to discuss announcements and new trends amongst your peers. But how else do you keep pace with technology changes? Here are a few of my favourite tools and sources:

 

Cloud Business Blueprint podcast http://www.cloudbusinessblueprint.com/category/podcast/ - The latest announcements in Cloud computing and tips for running a successful IT services business.

 

Microsoft’s Channel 9 https://channel9.msdn.com/ - Microsoft event presentations including Build and Ignite. Don’t be put off by the msdn tag – there’s a ton on information on performance, security, migrations & upgrades too. They’ve also just released an iOS app http://t.co/VKZC6m1cMn

 

Microsoft Partner Network Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/b/auspartners/ - Subscribe via email so you don’t miss an announcement, but you can read & delete the ones that aren’t relevant to you.

 

Twitter heroes: Find the engaging, knowledgeable people in your field. My favorites include @Edbott @troyhunt @mkasanm @shanselman @WinObs @maryjofoley @cfiessinger @tomwarren

 

Pluralsight http://www.pluralsight.com/ - The content in the IT administrator track is outstanding & will leave you wondering when you're going to fit your real work in.

 

Pocket https://getpocket.com/ - I’ve heard people rave about this great ‘read later’ app. I have a great ‘read later’ folder in my Inbox but now it’s not so little. The app is on my to-do list to check out. Any fans of it out there?

 

OneNote https://www.onenote.com/ or EverNote https://evernote.com/ - Pick one of these ‘digital scrapbooks’ for saving handy URLs, webinar screenshots & course notes.

 

While it’s important to have an awareness of the changes in tech, you also need to have a filter. Watching the Microsoft Build keynote highlights, I got excited about Docker and the containerization of apps and I’m not a developer! But I can see the potential. I’ve also seen product announcements where I think “that’s great but I don’t have time for it right now”. Be aware of it, but don’t go deep diving into technologies that aren’t on your radar currently or in the near future or you’ll end up with Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.

 

Just as importantly though, how are you using the software and tools that you have in your hands right now? Have you taken the time to check out their latest features and apply then to how you work? How has the latest version of X made your more efficient/improved your day/helped you get a better result? Take time this week to investigate one software feature you didn’t know existed. Because if you’re still using Office like you did in 1997, what’s the point in upgrading?

 

Let me know your favorite blogs, podcasts and websites? How do you manage your information sources?