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Patterns of Excellence: Building a Learning Organization

Ways to bring learning into your software development

Java Developer Magazine on Ulitzer

I’ve been working in the software development industry for coming up on 20 years now. In fact in 2011 will officially mark my 20 year anniversary since graduating from college and entering industry. Over that time I have worked in a wide variety of roles, some of which include junior developer, senior developer, systems architect, chief architect, team lead, and security consultant. I’ve worked for both very large and very small companies in which I’ve had to play many roles and wear many hats. I’ve also written a couple of programming related books. As I have transitioned across projects, I have worked in all sorts of environments and followed all sorts of methodologies, ranging from very heavy weight CMMI-driven methodologies to lightweight Agile methodologies including Extreme Programming and SCRUM. Throughout my career I have strived to always learn and keep up with new and emerging technologies. This is something that I believe I have done pretty well with. My passion for learning and education also drove me to obtain a graduate degree in Education a few years ago.

Over my career I feel that I have accumulated a significant amount of knowledge and experience that I could make even more valuable by sharing it with the software development community. To that end, I have started to write a series of articles in which I explore topics that I think are important to the field of software development. As I publish these, I will introduce each of them with a new blog post and a link to the full article. I intend these articles to be living documents that can and most likely will evolve over time and with feedback from readers.  You can think of these as a series of patterns that can help your team move from an average or good development team to a great development team.

The first article that I am introducing today is an article about a bunch of ways in which you can bring learning into your software development organization. This is something that I am pretty passionate about.  I believe that nurturing a learning environment within your development teams is critical to long-term success for both your company and the individuals within your teams. I’m eager to hear your feedback also. If your team has some unique styles of learning, I’d love to hear about those. What styles of learning do you find work best in your teams and organizations? Here is a short excerpt of the article along with a link to the full article.

Building a Learning Organization
A learning organization is one that strives to continue to learn as a company and also values the intellectual growth of its employees. A company is only as strong as its employees make it. If your employees are not continuously learning, your company will quickly fall behind as your competitors pass you by. In the software industry making sure that your development team is engaged in continuous learning is even more critical. Software technologies evolve and emerge at a rapid pace. Today’s experts will become tomorrow’s fossils if they do not actively seek to keep their knowledge current. In this article I want to suggest some ways you can embed learning into your software development teams…  (Read More)

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Timothy Fisher

Timothy Fisher has recognized expertise in the areas of Java, Ruby, Rails, Social Media, Web 2.0, and Enterprise 2.o. He has served in technical leadership and senior architecture roles with companies such as Motorola, Cyclone Commerce, and Compuware. He is the author of the Java Phrasebook, and the Ruby on Rails Bible. Currently he is employed as a senior web architect with Compuware in Detroit, Michigan.

Follow Timothy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tfisher

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