Have you ever felt like a commodity or an underutilized “resource” in your job? Sometimes we can get comfortable on autopilot and become stagnant, which is painful if you have a growth mindset. Crawling out of a rut into a more positive workplace may be something that feels like a pipedream. Reframing your career to explore new emerging tech is an option. divider 600

Where to start

I propose that if you still smile while you read and write awesome code, maybe it’s time to explore some new tech. Turning your side-project or hobby into a full-time job can be a reality.

For starters, think about your core strengths, what you are good at and what you find interesting. Charlie Fairchild, CTO of WillowTree, suggests a few things you could explore that we think will have a huge impact in the foreseeable future.

AR

Apple and Google released their AR kits recently and both of them work in Unity. Grab a free copy of Unity and start throwing some models around in real life. Check out our blog posts when you’re comfortable there and want some new areas to play in: How to Make a Successful AR App Google I/O 2017: VR, AR and Immersive Computing

Assistants

Amazon, Apple and Google all have voice assistants and Facebook has promoted messenger assistants as well. These days it’s not hard to get involved as these companies are trying to promote them as much as possible. Check out some of our blogs on the topics or some of these other free resources: How voice will completely change mobile in 2018 Amazon Echo’s latest play for voice dominance

IoT

Feeling like a break from software and want to tinker with some hardware? The maker’s scene has never been better with amazing offerings from Raspberry pi. If you have some Android background stay on the lookout for “Android Things” as it entails an Android familiar interface to embedded programming. Check out some of our guides and things we’ve build below: Driving an LCD display: a look into Android Things How to make it in the Internet of Things

VR

Google, Oculus(Facebook), and Vive are just some of the players in this field and it’s pretty simple to get involved. While the Oculus and Vive rigs will set you back a pretty penny they’re worth every cent. If you want to penny pinch then snag a “cardboard” VR headset for less than $10 online. After you’ve gotten your hardware it’s easiest to get setup in Unity to play around. Check out our blogs below for more resources: How VR can impact the healthcare industry

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How to turn your interests into a career trajectory

Here are a few pro-tips for shifting your career into a role in emerging technologies.

Read, read, read

Whether it’s Reddit, blogs or podcasts etc. set aside time to learn. Ashley Joost, Principal Software Engineer, has this suggestion: “My experience at my last job when we were using not the newest stuff was to learn about it by reading and then try it on projects at work as I got a chance. You’ve probably done enough research and learned enough to find a place that will appreciate your willingness to learn and exposure to new cool stuff.”

Find a mentor

It can even be someone you know thru family or friends. In fact, some of your current current or previous team members might be acting as your mentor already. An effective mentor will challenge your growth mindset, help you come up with creative solutions, and should offer career advice.

Build something

You get experience by building things! It can be small in terms of features but has real users, even consider some pro-bono work. Matt Dawson, Principal Software Engineer, suggests “This will force you to think about deployment and maintenance, which is something that will expose you to tools used in those aspects of development. The maintenance part especially - which should include keeping software dependencies up to date - will keep you fresh on where tools and patterns are moving.

Update your resume

A real live app is the absolute best resume builder, especially if you did it for the love of the trade. Also include any recent classes that you’ve taken as well as highlight your technical skills summary with your new tech.

Apply for your dream job

Try to connect and network with people who work in the companies you want to work for. Building relationships with people can lead to an interview. Getting to know people helps to present your skill set in ways that a 2 dimensional resume can’t convey. divider 600 If you are ready to take this step in your career and be at the forefront of emerging technologies everyday at work, talk to us!