Learning and Development in Engineering

UK | August

Creating a habit out of learning is one way to ensure you're constantly moving towards your goal. 

Here Principal Software Engineer, Mark, shares his tips for learning, how various tools Vanquis offer have helped him on his career path ad how spending just 30 minutes learning new skills helped him move into a new role.

Hi Mark, tell us about your role! 
I’m a Principal Software Engineer on Loans. I spend most of the day writing code which sometimes actually works. The rest of the time is spent architecting new solutions, assisting other engineers and attending Agile ceremonies or some technical meetings to talk about upcoming work. 

Why is continuous learning and development important in your line of work?  
Software Engineering, Azure Cloud Computing and DevOps tooling are some of the fields where there are huge advancements all the time. To deploy a website infrastructure used to take weeks, but now you can deploy something quicker than you can microwave your lunch! It now takes a single click. Microwaves seem so slow these days. 

During busy periods at work, how do you prioritise learning?  
It’s actually just is a habit that started a while back. When you find something you enjoy doing, you just do it. So, first thing is to find something about your job you like and that you want to learn more about. Second step is to set some personal targets for the year and take small steps to get there. Someone once said, “a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step and can only be taken one step at a time”. 

What has been the most useful resource or tool that's helped you in your role?  
I recently moved from Principal Infrastructure Engineer to Principal Software Engineer and I couldn’t have done it without Pluralsight. It has entire paths for C#, Terraform, PowerShell, SQL, Architecture and much more and can take you from complete newbie all the way to expert level. 

What do you like about Pluralsight?  
One thing I like is that it figures out what kind of course would be interesting for you and suggests it so you can add it to your path. It’s great! Of course, until you realise that you now have 180hrs of courses queuing in your Channel and now you have to prioritise. 

What are your tips for making courses work for you?  
Don’t worry about trying to finish an entire course in one sitting. You can do it in half hour blocks because the modules are broken down into clips between 1-10mins long. It’s great for the train or the underground if you get the app on your phone and download courses to watch offline. The app’s also available for some Smart-TVs and the Amazon Firestick so you can get away from a laptop. There’s also Channels so you can organize your courses and make a plan. 

Really helpful tips, thanks Mark!

You can check out some more of our Tech colleagues' learning stories here:

Vince, Software Engineer: https://www.vanquiscareers.co.uk/story/vince-learning-in-tech
Anita, Principal Software Engineer: https://www.vanquiscareers.co.uk/story/anita-learning-in-tech

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