With the Swedish Summer, we have quite a bit of downtime at work. I have also just come back from a 4 week long vacation from the Philippines so I’m feeling quite refreshed.
I’ve planned out my summer to learn about a few things that will hopefully make myself a more well rounded software developer:
- User Experience
- Scrum and Agile Methodologies
- Test Driven Development
The most effective way to learn for me is applying what I learn in order to make it resonate more. As such, I’m aiming for the following (possibly ambitious) goal to help me determine that I have learned enough on these topics:
“Apply the agile requirements process to create an MVP for a small application”
Progress So Far
The first phase is learning as much as I can so I looked for a few resources that were in line with my objectives.
Interaction Design Foundation
I have signed up for a year to the Interaction Design Foundation. I realized there is a LOT to learn on the UX front. The only downside, I feel, is that they release 1 lesson a week at a time so even if you have consecutive days to power through some courses, you end up having to wait a while and not really getting into the momentum.
I’ve ended up being signed up to many (too many in my opinion) courses because i want to at least be enrolled in the course since once they close, you’ll need to wait for it to open up again. and I don’t wan to run out of content to learn. I feel I may be shooting myself in the foot because it looks like I’m spreading myself too thin. There’s a lot of concepts being introduced and I think it’s quite difficult to digest unless you are working with this day in and day out.
There is certainly a lot of good content available, it’s just the way they are being released seems a bit too limiting. It’s not like when you buy a course on Udemy or Coursera where you can actually pace yourself and power through the courses as and when you want.
I haven’t gone too far yet as i had just recently signed up and they time-bind the lessons. So far, a lot of the content has been theories and concepts which are nice to know and keep at the back of your mind but it’s not really something that I can apply right away. Maybe things will pick up in a few weeks.
Another resource we had at work is Pluralsight which I really appreciate. We have a huge amount of technical content that is available for us to learn as and when we please. Below are a few courses I have gone through that I thought was pretty insightful.
I really like this course because it takes you through each phase of the process. It’s presented in a manner where can actually apply if you are currently working on a product or have an idea in mind that you want to implement. It’s provided me with a good understanding of the process to a point where I feel confident that I can sit down and go through the phases, I just need a good idea to implement
This is a tool being used in interaction and user interface design. The course does a good job of going into detail about the tools available within the application. It’s a great resource to get an overview of what the software is capable of.
Books are another resource that i enjoy as it’s something I can easily pick up and start reading on the commute to work or while winding down at home at night.
This is a great book explaining User Stories, what it is, what it’s not and how best to come up with good stories. Using user stories to describe system requirements forces you to think about your software from the view point of the users as opposed to simply making a laundry list of features that you want to stuff in your product. It’s a great way to come up with a justifiable prioritized list of features to implement because of your user oriented mind set. I haven’t finished reading the book but so far it has been a great primer on user stories.