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5 expert tips to help you become more tech savvy

By Jenny Leung 15 February 2019

From general know-hows and navigating conversations to bolstering your resume with certifications, innovative tech education platform Xccelerate shares some quick and easy tips to help you become more tech savvy, both in and out of the workplace.

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Did you know that by 2030, the Asia Pacific region will experience a labour skills shortage of 47 million people, while 800 million jobs will be lost globally to automation? A quick Google search will lead you down a rabbit hole speculating whether or not your job will be replaced by a computer, and the chances are, some aspects of it can – it’s just a matter of how many. So, if you have the slightest hunch that a large portion of your day-to-day can be automated, then you should probably be looking for ways to become more “indispensable”. Here are some ways you can help make that happen.

Keep Up with Tech Trends

This one is a no-brainer. Outside of your LinkedIn feed, consider subscribing to some leading sources for tech information like TechCrunch, Engadget, Hacker Noon, or Medium. Many of these will happily take your email in exchange for frequent updates, but you can also consider adding an RSS feed to your Chrome browser, to curate new articles as soon as they are published without your inbox overloading. Another trick is to use Google Alerts to receive notifications whenever any keywords that you previously selected – long or short – have been published on credible websites on the internet. Think “Blockchain”, “Artificial Intelligence”, or any other word that catches your interest. Make it a point to read one or two blog posts before work or during lunch, and you’ll be ready to lead riveting conversations over a tipple or two in no time.

Play with Gadgets

Get in touch with your inner child and play around with some cutting-edge toys. Don’t think the latest tech kits geared towards kids is beneath you. Companies like Makeblock have kits that are fun for all ages and might be just the hook you need to break into the world of tech. If you’d rather not be caught tinkering around with robots or plug-and-play sets, then consider picking up a Raspberry Pi or Arduino. These super accessible kits can be used to create useful tools such as light sensors or digital media hubs for your living room. Think of them as digital lego sets if it helps to make a connection.

Learn the Fundamentals of Coding

Some of the gadgets above will lead you down both hardware and software routes, but if you want to kickstart your journey straight from your computer, then learn how to code. There are loads of ways you can get started, both online and offline, depending on your learning style. Many of these provide certificates you can share on your LinkedIn profile. If you're not sure which coding language to start with, both Python and Javascript are versatile languages that you can do a lot with in a matter of hours after getting started. Javascript is more for those interested in building websites or apps, while Python is great for manipulating data (and even automating some of your work). You can check out a surface level overview of both in this e-book. Another thing to remember is that coding is not out of your realm. Just like how you manage in a foreign country with survival words and phrases, you can make some pretty cool tools just using “survival” code alone.

Be Prepared to Fail

Failure is the key to learning. By now you may have realised that it takes courage to step outside of your comfort zone in order to promote change. Many, if not all, who make a living in the tech world abide by an unwritten but well-known rule when facing a new problem – Google it. With technologies advancing by the day, it is impossible to have a comprehensive mastery of any given realm or coding language, so it's important to ask questions. A combination of Google queries, Quora, Stackoverflow, or even working with professional instructors will help deliver solutions to any problem you encounter as you crash, burn, and rise like a phoenix from the ashes.

Write Something

So you’ve been reading tech blogs, coded your own personal website, and built a Netflix streaming device with your Raspberry Pi – now what? Write about it. Demonstrate your newfound knowledge and skills by writing it down on your own blog or as LinkedIn articles. Not only will this help demonstrate your grasp of technology, but figuring out how to articulate your perspective so that others can comprehend it will cement these skills in your brain. It’s all possible, you just need to follow the most essential tip of them all – stop thinking, and get started. Good luck!

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Jenny Leung

Senior editor

Born in Hong Kong and raised in the UK, Jenny grew up with the best of both worlds. She loves just about anything to do with music and doesn’t shy away from belting out a tune or two when it comes to karaoke. If she’s not out and about exploring the city and practising her photography skills, she’s probably tucked up in bed with a book or glued to her laptop doing her online shopping.