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What We Can All Learn From Techies


Last year, I received a text from a friend. It said, “I spent some time today figuring out a new video software.” And, it had a link to a fun short video.

This friend doesn’t use video at work, but he and two other IT guys are creating a YouTube channel. This is the second project for the team, who also recently started a podcast, to learn about podcasting.

This occurrence isn’t an uncommon one in the technology world. Techies are creating new social work groups on every day. They gather together and learn how to use software like WordPress, Python, Java, Oracle and PHP. They bounce ideas off of one another about how to start a podcast, how to build video games or how to make mobile apps.

They organize breakfasts, lunches and weekend-long coding sessions called hackathons. They host events for younger generations to teach them about programming.

The thing that’s interesting is, technology professionals do all of these activities in their free time. Their companies don’t sponsor these events. They aren’t compensated for participating.

But, the time they devote helps to keep their skill set up to date. Technology is a field that’s constantly evolving. In IT, if you want to keep up, you must keep learning. It creates job security.

In addition to beefing up their resume, this time builds their network. If there’s a job opening, you can bet someone will look inside these groups for candidates.

Lastly, it allows these professionals to cross-pollinate ideas with those outside their company’s four walls. They aren’t confined to the traditional thoughts on how to do things and can compare notes with others.

Although your industry may not change as often as technology, there are a number of great lessons to be learned from this group. First, don’t wait for your company to keep your skills up to date. It’s your responsibility. Be sure not to neglect your continuing education.

This may mean you may have to use some personal time, or even some of your own money. Think of it as an investment in yourself and your future value.

Once you’ve decided to give this strategy a try, you may wonder where to begin. is a natural place to look for special interest groups. You may also check the colleges in your area for continuing education courses. They often offer abbreviated courses at reasonable prices. Professional organizations can also be a great place to look.

Don’t have time to get out? Or can’t find anyone near you to network with? Search online. May universities such as Harvard and MIT are placing some of their course materials online – for free. And, there are many other online resources such as LinkedIn and website forums where you can network with others in your field.

At the end of the day, one of the best keys to being competitive is to always be learning.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland


109 | Association of IT Professionals – Interview with Bill Schankel, Executive Director of AITP, in Mt. Laurel, NJ

Episode 109 is live! This week, we talk with Bill Schankel in Mt. Laurel, NJ. Bill is the Executive Director of the Association of Information Technology Professionals where he is responsible for strategy, governance support, and financial oversight. AITP seeks to advance the IT Profession through professional development, support of IT education, and national policies on IT that improve society as a whole.

On today’s episode, Bill shares his tips on the challenges IT professionals face today, skills professionals need beyond tech, and how to stand out during a job search.


Listen and learn more!

To learn more about the Association of Information Technology Professionals, visit the AITP website at AITP can also be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Thank you to those who sent me questions! You can send your questions to Angela(at) You can also send me questions via Twitter. I’m at @CopelandCoach. And, on Facebook, I’m Copeland Coaching. Don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave me a review.