6. Industry blogs
The Internet is full of people wanting to express their opinions about pretty much any topic you can imagine, so it's no surprise that there are plenty of blogs written by and for IT industry professionals. Blogs are a good way to stay current about specific topics, companies or segments of the industry. There are so many to choose from, we've listed a few popular blogs here to get you started.
- Microsoft Community Blogs -- Microsoft blogs written by their employees on various Microsoft technologies
- Google Blogs -- The official Google blog
- Oracle Blogs -- Oracle and industry-standard technologies
- Read Write Web -- Web product and trend analysis
- Adobe Blogs -- Adobe technologies such as Flash, Reader, Photoshop, etc.
- CIO Blogs -- Over 100 of the top IT leaders in the industry host blogs here
- Technology Review -- These blogs from M.I.T. cover everything from general computing to development
- Slashdot -- Geeks news from the self-professed geeks themselves
7. Social connections
Obviously, social networking comes into play when you are trying to stay current in the IT industry -- it's a huge part of online life, not just for end-users. With practically every market segment, company and technology represented on social sites like Facebook, Google+ and Yahoo!, along with professional social sites like LinkedIn, social networking can be useful for staying connected to the IT industry and your peers.
Aside from the industry connections to be made, social sites are good sources of industry insider news and hints of technology to come. LinkedIn, for instance, has a professional user groups directory, a jobs area (for prospective employers and employees) and the capability to receive and showcase recommendations from peers in the industry.
Related Story: 5 Hottest IT Jobs
8. Job boards tell a larger picture
Job boards are not just tools for those looking for work -- they also make excellent resources for finding out what skills, certifications, education and experience employers in your area of expertise are actively seeking. If there is an area you are lacking in, there is an opportunity for study, growth and development.
We live in interesting economic times -- but by staying current in your field, you can ensure longevity in your current job, or build your skillset, knowledge and experience for the future.
How do you stay current? We'd love to hear your feedback or article suggestions.