A great way to discover new technologies is to keep up with the technologies themselves. Reading blogs, research, and simply keeping up with the languages is a start. Most of the languages are open source so there is a large community that revolves around them, which informs people of different updates and changes. New technologies are constantly changing and coming into being.
This is much easier said than done. With many different technologies out there, it can be hard to stay on top of each thing. Keeping a close eye on developing open source code is no small job.
Luckily for us developers out there, there is a plethora of different blogs and news feeds that will pick up our slack. Many of these blog give good information that can be backed up with some form of truth. No to take everything you read on the internet as winning lottery numbers, but it will give a good direction in how the technologies are changing.
A few of my favorite blogs to keep up on these changes are, of course, Nettuts, Web Appers, thinkVitamin, and many more. These blogs will keep you up to date on a variety of different languages.
Many times we wonder to ourselves what will it be like when we enter a work environment? What technologies will we have to keep up with then and where should I start?
To be honest, the same ones, just on a different scale of course. As an intern at a web firm now and also working for a small firm, the things that I do are parallel to what I have learned in school. Is till work with PHP and backend technologies that I thought I would never see again. Being on a different scale, you start to use frameworks more and more. If you are looking to start your career as a PHP developer, I HIGHLY can’t stress enough that you learn the zend framework AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
There are many, many, many things that the Zend Framework offers over other frameworks. It integrates with everything and has a library for everything else. Seriously, This thing could solve world piece if enough people knew the framework!
These are the technologies that the pros use. There are many different frameworks out there for various things. My first and personal favorite would be CodeIgniter. I think this is a great all around framework with a very light footprint. Doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles as Zend, but it is a great way to get your feet wet with the MVC pattern.
All these things that I mentioned are going to be out of date before I publish this post, that’s just how the web works. But never underestimate your own abilities. Many times you will surprise yourself with how much you know when you get that first job.