The Benefits of Continuous Learning
One thing I’ve appreciated about my Digital Services Georgia team is that they’re passionate about continuing their education. From attending conferences and meet-ups to sharing articles and watching webinars, everyone on the team is regularly engaging themselves in one form or another of outside learning, and constantly looking for ways to stay well informed and updated on all things web.
Although it’s not always easy taking a day or two away from our desks to go to a conference, the benefits of continuing your education outweigh any small amount of time from work that would be sacrificed.
- Personal and career growth.
This is the biggest and most obvious reason to continuously seek information about new changes in technology. The Web is always changing, and along with it, so are best practices and standards. With new technologies regularly being created (smartphones, natural-language search, accessibility tools, etc.), websites are constantly forced to adapt to keep up with users and their preferences. It’s important, as web developers, designers, and managers, that we keep up with the needs and trends of our industry, so we can stay ahead (if not at pace) with technology and the advancements around us.
- Networking opportunities.
Conferences, meet-ups, and any other outlet to meet with other industry professionals provides a great opportunity to network and make connections. Take advantage of meeting vendors, find out what services they offer, and discover how they can benefit you. Talk with other professionals and experts, especially conference speakers, asking questions and picking their brain about your website. These people are considered experts in their specified areas — take advantage of learning from them to expand your knowledge and improve your website. When you take the time to learn outside of your office in new environments with new people, you’re most likely to gain new perspectives and plans.
- Sharing and/or implementing new ideas.
The best way to see the benefits of continuous learning is actually taking what you’ve learned and implementing it. Some of the best attributes of Georgia.gov have come from what we’ve heard and gained from conferences and other experts. When you start implementing the changes taught to stay updated and user friendly, you’ll start to see a large return on your investment.
Next month we’ll be hosting our fourth semi-annual GOVTalks event with GOVTalks: Accessibility. If you are a beginner looking to learn more or a Priority 3 expert in the field of accessibility, I highly encourage you to attend the conference. We will have subject matter experts from AMAC Accessibility Solutions speaking at the event, and provide a hands-on workshop that will have everyone creating accessible websites and documents for all users.