Today while spending a little time looking for some professional development opportunities; I realized that I have been good at seeking out knowledge, best practices and all the things I need be familiar with to ensure that my skills are up-to-date and improving. Of course, if you believe that you don’t need to do this as part of your regular routine… Well, good luck I will see you when you call for a reference if you know me and if not maybe I will be fortunate to meet you when you are seeking a new engagement and I am introduced to you via a recruiter or peer.
That being said, I came across an interesting initiative. Have you heard about “Hour of Code”? If not, it is an interesting way to not only learn a few things but also maybe assist with ensuring that your kids (and others) have an excellent source for age appropriate technology tutorials. Yes, I know you all get to spend as much time with your kids tutoring and helping them learn the skills and technology we all have passion for, but there are others who really need your knowledge, passion and experience. So, take a look at Hour of Code.(code.org).
Of course, if that is not your cup of tea, coffee or beverage of choice; there are many ways you can contribute AND improve your skills. I find you really do have to become the expert to teach a topic and there are many opportunities to give back. Volunteer to Judge TSA, Odyssey of the Mind, volunteer to assist with a programming competition or even become a merit badge counselor. Of course, if helping the future is not your thing, you can always check out the local Code Camps, SQL Saturdays, or technology user groups for opportunities to share your unique experiences. I promise you won’t be disappointed in the results and although you can’t spend them the rewards you receive in return are amazing!