Hands up who’s thought about their learning budget lately? No, me neither. But with only three months left of 2022, it’s about time you did. Use it or lose it and all that.
In this article, we’re focusing in on the software engineers who’re stuck for ideas. Maybe you’ve spent most of your budget and are looking for ways to use up the rest, or perhaps you have a larger sum burning a hole in your pocket. We’ve got ideas to suit all budgets.
And if you’ve already used up your training budget, you needn’t feel left out — we’ve included our favourite software engineering resources that are totally free too.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get spending 💸
Ways to spend your engineering learning budget
It might nearly be Christmas 🤯 but there’s still time to attend a conference or two before the year’s out.
If you’re based in the UK, take a trip to the seaside for ffconf. Taking place on Friday 11 November, you’ll be treated to eight inspiring talks including Design for Developers, Programming with Yarn and CSS from the Future, Polyfills and You. Plus, you’ll get to spend the day in achingly cool Brighton. Tickets cost £229 (+VAT).
Meanwhile, if you’re over on the other side of the pond, check out LeadDev San Francisco – the conference for engineering managers. Connect with leaders from Google, Stripe, Netflix and… Progression! That’s right, we’re sponsoring the conference for the first time, and our founders Jonny and Neil will be jetting out for it, and holding some meetups in SF and London to celebrate. The conference takes place on 26-27 October, and tickets start at $1,599. Grab your spot at our London meetup on Wednesday 19th October here, or at our San Francisco meetup on Monday 24th October here.
The people of San Francisco are being truly spoilt this autumn as Lesbians Who Tech hold their next summit in the city from 10-14 October. This really cool and super inclusive conference features some awesome tech content and is a must for anyone looking to deepen their experience and understanding of marginalised communities in tech. Tickets start at $799, or you can attend virtually for free.
For a full list of the developer conferences coming up in 2022 (and beyond) around the world check out dev.events.
Here’s a snapshot of the Progression engineering team’s bookshelf, with a slight bias towards Ruby as that’s what we use.
The Pragmatic Programmer by David Thomas and Andrew Hunt
A best selling software development guide
Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert Martin
A handbook for architecture and agile software creation
Practical Object Oriented Design in Ruby by Sandi Metz
A set of Ruby-focused practices for crafting manageable, pleasing code
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Joseph Grenny
While not related to engineering specifically, effective communication skills are a must have for any development roles
The Staff Engineer's Path: A Guide For Individual Contributors Navigating Growth and Change by Tanya Reilly
A new release that’s already a best seller in software development
The Manager’s Path by Camille Fournier
A guide for tech leaders navigating growth and change (I have it on good authority that this one’s useful even if you’re not looking to become a manager)
Online courses and subscriptions
Pluralsight is one of the best known subscription services for developers. And for good reason. You’ll find a wealth of courses on a ton of different techy subjects. It costs £245 to access the Core course library, paths and skill assessments, but you can start with a free trial.
Alternatively, give Frontend Masters a try. They specialise in frontend engineering courses and offer over 100 online courses. It costs $39 a month, or $390 for an annual subscription.
And if you’re after something with more of a Ruby focus, check out graceful.dev. Not only does it have a great name, but it describes itself as ‘a tended garden of living courses’ — which just sounds lovely. Subscribe for a month ($25) or a year ($250).
For something a little different, check out Future Learn’s courses. While not really tech focussed, they do offer short courses to improve your more human skill set (the one’s not associated directly with your craft). Engineers spend as much time talking, communicating and collaborating as they do developing, and it’s important to foster these skills just as much as the technical ones. Limited access to courses is free, or you can subscribe to unlimited access.
Ways to develop your software engineering skills that don’t cost a thing
Our team recommends following Adam Wathan on Twitter. Adam created Tailwind CSS, a tool we use here at Progression. And on a similar note, keep an eye on the #BuildInTheOpen hashtag, where people share the products and tools they’re working on as they go.
Get the latest engineering news straight to your inbox with our team’s newsletter top six:
Cassidoo (for web development)
Ui.dev (for frontend developers)
Early on in your career? The CodeNewbie Podcast interviews a great range of people on their developer journey. It’s an inspiring listen.
Next up, the Stack Overflow podcast. A literal treasure trove of insights into code and working in software that’s been running for more than a decade.
Want more? Dev.to has an extensive list of great podcasts for engineers to explore, plus a range of interesting articles, stories and questions — it’s well worth a look.
If you’re into Ruby, check out this free tutorial. And for frontend developers, the entirely free Patterns is well worth a look. Finally, check out She Can Code for the very latest in tech, diversity and inclusion.
Do you have any suggestions to add to our list? Tweet us @ProgressionHQ — we’d love to hear from you 💚