Self-education as a software developer
Software development and self-learning are linked. It is a fact that practically everyone on this career has had to train themselves occasionally. So, no matter if you have a degree in CS Studies or you’re just an enthusiastic who wants to work on it professionally, it is still possible to find a serious and competitive job. Furthermore, many of the visionaries and visible heads of this field do have learned by themselves. If you’re not convinced, think about Bill Gates who, back in 1957, dropped out Harvard University to boost his now super-powerful company Microsoft.
New times, new positions, new resources
Some time ago, during the first computers era, there was no software, so everybody had to know by force how to code. Original hackers —a mix of early programmers, coders, usually mere amateurs…, people who shared this enormous passion for computing and were learning about it most of the time as a hobby— started to create programs for everyone to see and customize. It was a kind of shared knowledge. Times were changing, home computers arrived, and ordinary users were able to do nice things without worrying about technical details. Certainly this progress meant a big step for society at large, but also a great chance for that bunch of early geeks that eventually were becoming more and more required. As communications technologies kept growing, new job opportunities arose, but even today it remains an educational gap waiting to be filled.
Computing is not included as a subject in most of the educational programs in colleges and universities, as Code.org, a non-profit organization which aims to promote the study of Computer Science at US schools, has reported on various occasions. However, although several countries, such as Israel, New Zealand and South Korea, have included it in their educational system, there still remains much to be done. In addition, the extreme speed in which new developments, apps, languages and environments appear, demands more and more highly specialized profiles at an ever increasing pace, so having to learn by one self isn’t just common, it is necessary. But here’s one piece of good news: the Internet exists!
The Internet and the real world
Today, the Internet has become the main source of information. No doubt about it. Practically all disciplines, specially all those which are closely related with computing, can be found, as is clear, online. Basically, the Internet is a replica of the early shared knowledge of first programmers, but in an even more powerful way. So, there’s no more isolation. Software development today is more a communal work than ever, as new opportunities to meeting in form of computing bootcamps, conventions and all kinds of events keep arising. And also, no more concentration since programming and developing from home become a reality.
In the current context it is increasingly important to take advantage of all the opportunities to get in touch with other developers and also the leading mentors in each specialty. And, yes, the Internet may be very powerful, for sure, but there are other remarkable ways to come into contact with the scene in the form of countless conferences, workshops and all kind of events around the world where other determined self-taught developers and programmers meet to share their knowledge. Without underestimating all the amazing stuff that can be learned in all the exhaustive literature poured out on the web, attending to one of these events is the best way to keep the finger on the business’ pulse.
Some awesome iOS conferences to attend
We have asked one of our software developers about the conferences he personally recommend to go to if you have the occasion. As you know, here in Commons we are working with iOs operative system at the time, so expect to find iOS events only. Here’s the top:
WWDC: It’s not a big surprise that we start this list with the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference which usually takes place every year around mid-June in San Francisco. Surely, it is the best opportunity to catch Apple engineers directly, as long as you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a ticket!
360iDev: Held in Denver around August, it has a very complete program which covers a wide range of relevant topics from highly technical talks down to design, business and marketing matters. Its attendants use to highlight an amazing sense of community that makes them want to return each year.
iOSDevUK: This conference takes place in the remote village of Aberystwyth, located on the west coast of UK. It is difficult to arrive at this event, so it is normal that attendants develop a close relationship between them. Sessions take place at the University of Aberyswyrth and are highly specialized. Apparently, the views and the ambience of the location are amazing too!
#Pragma Conference: A perfect excuse to visit Italy. #Pragma Conference runs for two days offering some wonderful workshops and a lot of interesting talks. The intention of the organizers is to cover as many as possible interesting and advanced topics, and they have certainly succeeded.
dotSwift: iOS and OS X developers gather in Paris to share their insights about the young and concise programming language Swift. It is a great opportunity to know the impressions and incipient opinions about the new ecosystem. Talks last only 18 minutes, so better stay on your toes!