Ways to Use Up Your Professional Development Budget
December 3rd, 2020
It's almost the end of 2020 (yay!), which means it's time to make sure you've used up all of your professional development (PD) budget for the year!
Out of ideas? Here's a list of some resources I've either used or added to my own wishlist. It's mostly geared toward my own interests: web development, accessibility, and education.
Reach out on Twitter and share your favorite places to splurge on learning resources!
- Smashing Magazine Online Workshops: Live online workshops about frontend web development and UX.
- Being Antiracist by Kim Crayton: A series of online workshops for white people who want to learn how to be antiracist and to minimize the harm they have on others. The series is broken into three parts: Introduction to Being Antiracist, Being Antiracist at Home, and Being Antiracist at Work.
- University Extension courses. Many universities will let you enroll in one-off courses without being a full-time student. For example, UC Berkeley Extension offers courses in web development, technical communication, and data science (among other things).
- Career Journal For Women by Latesha Byrd: Writing prompts to help women "discover clarity, build confidence, and take control of their careers."
- Smashing Magazine Books: Print or eBooks on a variety of frontend and UX topics. (I especially like Inclusive Components by Heydon Pickering.)
- The Bootcamper's Guide to Web Accessibility by Lindsey Kopacz: A thorough introduction to accessibility, intended for self-guided learners and bootcamp graduates. (But essential knowledge for web developers of all backgrounds!)
- The Developer's Guide to Content Creation by Stephanie Morillo: This book guides you through the entire process of creating content, from coming up with ideas through writing and promoting your content. A must-read for anyone posting on DEV!
- Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design by Kat Holmes: This book explores a variety of case studies that showcase how design can lead to exclusion. It also proposes strategies for inclusive design.
- Getting Started in Data Science by Ayodele Odubela: Interested in data science but not sure where to start? This book introduces the basics of statistics and machine learning. It also provides career tips and interview advice.
- Just Fucking Ship by Amy Hoy with Alex Hillman. A quick but game-changing read about how to actually finish your side projects.
- Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel: This book explains how your brain works and what study habits will lead to successful knowledge retention.
- Practice Perfect: 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better by Doug Lemov, Erica Woolway, and Katie Yezzi: A collection of tips for how to improve skills through intentional practice. A great read for educators and for folks who want to maximize their learning.
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo: This book helps readers navigate difficult conversations about race and racism.
- Learning GraphQL by Eve Porcello and Alex Banks. An introduction to graph theory, GraphQL, and Apollo. Includes hands-on projects.
- Frontend Masters: Full-length video courses about a wide variety of web development topics. Good if you're looking for in-depth instruction.
- egghead.io: Bite-sized videos with very practical steps. Good if you're looking for quick, example-driven explanations.
- Deque University: A learning platform focused entirely on web accessibility and digital equality. They also have an entire course dedicated to preparing for the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) certification.
- Ness Labs: Neuroscience-based content about how your brain works and ways to maximize learning. A yearly membership gives you access to workshops, virtual meetups, and an online community.