With everyone staying at home and signing up for online courses more often, the volume of online educational content has skyrocketed.
To help you stay on track, we researched how digital content trends are likely to develop in 2021. We’ve come up with some advice on how to properly navigate and choose the best learning resources in the upcoming year.
1. Smart speakers. Can they help you study coding?
Smart speakers will become a lot more popular in 2021. This means that next year, online content is going to be better optimized for voice search. Why not use this to your advantage? For example:
- Ask your smart speaker to read a code-related article or a subreddit thread to you
- Use a smart speaker as New Year’s resolution tracker. Set a time and date and ask the speaker to remind you that there’s a coding podcast you want to listen to, or a tutorial you intended to tackle. Having a clear schedule will give you additional motivation to achieve your goal
2. Online streams. How do you find the ones worth watching?
We all crave human connection. What better way to feel it than to watch people do something on camera, especially in the COVID era? Coding streams immerse you in the coding process and show you how other developers approach problems, and they serve as a reminder that even senior devs sometimes come across things that confuse them. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when watching your stream of the day:
- Watching people at work is addictive and it’s easy to slip into mindlessly watching videos instead of gaining useful information. To stay focused, choose a particular language you want to study or a set of problems you want to explore, then keyword-search streams specifically about these
- If you’re a newbie, look for streamers whose content covers the very basics. Also, make sure they upload recordings of their streams; this way, you can go back and double check their code
3. Podcasts. Choose them wisely
As more people discover the beauty of podcasts, the number of podcasts is growing every day, too. They’re occupying new niches, among them coding, and the sphere of tech in general, so there’s more than enough to choose from. But singling out the most useful ones isn’t easy if you’re new to coding (or podcasts), so here are a few tips to help you make your choice:
- Try to find a podcast that goes over the topic you’re interested in right now. Don’t binge-listen to 10 episodes because you’re likely to get overwhelmed by an unending stream of terms and topics. Instead, use a keyword search for podcast descriptions to find the one that covers a specific question you need answered, however small it may be
- Too many new terms are bound to confuse you if you’re a newbie, so at first, you might want to stick to podcasts that cover broader topics like career switching, or which language is best for that or the other task
- Keep in mind that verbal descriptions of code aren’t as exhaustive as videos. To make lessen this issue, look for podcasts that are followed by transcripts — this will help you take notes or quiz yourself afterwards
4. Reviews and feedback on the resource. Verify with real people
72% of consumers have more trust in companies they hear about from an influencer they follow. Sometimes, however, you might want to verify this information with someone who already has experience with this particular educational resource. To do this:
- Settle on one particular online course or skill you want to learn. Don’t bulk download 50 tutorials on different programming languages in hopes of sorting them out later. You risk getting disoriented and demotivated very quickly
- Once you’ve made your pick, check out some information about the course. A solid, professional coding school isn’t afraid of feedback. They have reviews written by real people and don’t hide anything or delete comments. Also, check out their tutors. Are they actual IT experts working for established IT companies? Has anyone in your circle heard of them or enrolled in their course?
- Contact your friends or acquaintances who studied at this school and ask about their experiences. If no one you know has any experience with them, try to find their current or past students on social media. Send them a quick message and ask for their impressions. Have they found a better job or gotten a pay rise at their current workplace? Are they satisfied with what they’ve learned?
5. Newsletters. How to filter them?
In the USA alone, 20% of people get news and updates from weekly newsletters. Online resources are embracing this trend and developing their own email and mobile alerts to stay in touch with their audience. You can use this to your advantage to receive personalized content updates and save time on website browsing:
- Curate your personal shortlist of coding and tech resources that are tailored to your content plan
- Find specific newsletters on the topic you’re interested at the moment. You want different content when you’re only just starting your tech journey and when you’re looking for a job in tech. For example, we’ve recently launched a newsletter with select articles and career advice from employers, as well as entry-level vacancies to help you land your first job in tech
By following this guide, we’re certain that you’ll start off 2021 on a good note. Even so, we suggest you create a detailed content plan and stick to it. This will make sure you don’t get overwhelmed and ensure smooth sailing so you’ll stick to your resolution. In any case, coding is best learned by rolling up your sleeves and getting some practical experience — even if you don’t have a clue how to finish the project you’ve started. If you want to try your hand at it, start coding right away with a free Practicum intro course.