I came cross this Q/A from Quora. I was wondering the same thing and wanted to find out what’s my focus should be in addition to the 9-5 work. For my own reference, I copied the contents from Quora site and placed it below. This answer was the top which received 102 points. Bottom line is that focus should be good foundation of concepts rather than jumping on the latest technology band wagon. The original link is here.
Web development client-side techniques:
- New HTML5 markup and CSS3 declarations
- Responsive design, being able to write the same site for multiple devices
Web development server-side techniques:
- WebSockets, in conjunction with the new client-side specifications
- NoSQL databases, and their different types, such as key/value stores, document-oriented, and graph databases (too many to name now).
- Scalable SQL-based options (MemSQL and others)
- Distributed storage (Hadoop’s HDFS, Amazon S3)
- Languages for high-concurrency applications (Node.js, Go, Erlang)
- High performance distributed computing (AWS, Azure, Compute Engine)
(Distributed) machine learning:
- New programming models for analyzing data (MapReduce)
- Domain-specific languages for analyzing large amounts of distributed data (Pig)
Technologies are changing so fast and many startup opportunities arise. Being an IT consultant, it is very important for me to keep track what’s happening out there. At the same time, it is equally important to be “generalist and specialist“.