7 Tips for Leveling Up Your Tech Skills

Written by Mauricio Lopez

When it comes to working in the tech industry, it’s essential to upskill—learn new things and improve your existing skills.

Maybe you've joined a new team and you want to prove your worth. Or maybe you've been with your company for a while and want to maintain your great reputation. Your skills need to be kept sharp!

Or maybe you're on the job market, trying to equip yourself for new opportunities. Hiring for tech jobs can move quickly, so if you see a job you want, you should apply for it as soon as you can. But you can’t apply for jobs where you don’t meet the requirements. In order to broaden your horizons, you might want to gain more skills.

Maybe you're concerned about the growing skills gap—the distance between what skills hiring managers are looking for and the skills job candidates have. You want to seek out and learn skills that are in demand.

New software, scripting languages, and apps are constantly being created and advanced. No matter what situation you’re in, you need to stay on top of your game. And that means being able to learn, and learn in a way that sticks. Here are seven tips to help you level up your tech skills.

The Right Mindset

Learning a new skill can be a very vulnerable process, so it's important to stay positive, even in the face of difficulty. Getting in the right mindset is the first step in learning how to do anything.

Let’s remember that learning isn’t as intimidating as it might seem. We spend years learning how to do essential things like walking, reading, and socializing with others. Learning is part of being human. Upskilling is a process. Keeping this in mind can help us feel more comfortable with mastering something new for our career.

Now that we have the right mindset to begin learning, what comes next?

Establish Your Goal

Before we officially begin learning something new, we need to establish a goal. After all, if you want to go somewhere, you need to choose where you’re headed before you start walking. If you don’t, you probably won’t arrive where you intended to. Likewise, if you don't have a goal, your learning habits probably won’t yield the results you hoped for.

Plus, it will be hard to assess if your learning process has actually been successful—did you succeed at learning? You can’t know unless you set a goal ahead of time. This will help you choose what "direction" to work toward, and it'll also help you recognize your progress.

Move Beyond Books

Once you have a specific goal in mind—to learn a new programming language, navigate an unfamiliar software system, or build an app for a new OS, etc.—you need to seek out information on how to do it. For this step, you're going to want to move beyond books.

While print materials can be helpful to a certain extent, guides like Python for Dummies are geared towards beginners, and you might not be a beginner. Plus, tech evolves at such a fast rate that print books (which take a lot of time to publish) might not be very useful by the time you get your hands on them.

So instead of reading physical books, pursue digital resources. This can include online communities where you learn alongside and chat with other software developers about the same topic. You can also enroll in a targeted boot camp or certification course focused on your desired skill. Consider following relevant social media tags or joining groups, as well.

Digital resources can also give you access to experts in the field and a group of peers to learn with. This is great for when you have questions or need encouragement, and you can help other people in the community, too.

Put It into Practice

In addition to reading about what you want to learn, you need to practice.

If you were learning how to make enchiladas, you wouldn't just read a recipe and then say you know how to make enchiladas. You would actually need to practice cooking them to see what challenges you run into, what resources your kitchen might be lacking, and if the final product tastes good.

Likewise, when you get hands-on experience with a new skill, you'll learn a few things, like:

  • What roadblocks exist when you try to actually complete the task.
  • If there's a prerequisite you're also missing—something foundational you need to go back and learn, first.
  • If the new skill isn't as useful as you hoped it would be.

You can only discover these things if you actually put new information into practice.

Tap Back into Work You Enjoy

A lot of software engineering and tech work can involve debugging and fixing other people’s mistakes. It can be tiring, frustrating, and demoralizing. To help you stay engaged and creative at work, try to tap back into projects you enjoy.

While your company might expect you to debug programs on a regular basis, try to set aside time for creating new, exciting projects. This can help keep you inspired and prevent burnout.

Embrace Teamwork

Getting your new skill to stick doesn't happen in isolation. In order to master something, it's important to both (1) ask questions and (2) share your own knowledge.

What mentors on your team can you reach out to? Likewise, who can you help mentor? Sometimes a real person who knows us can answer a question better than a stranger in a group forum. And sometimes the best way to cement the things we learn is to teach them to other people.

Take Breaks

Lastly, make sure you schedule breaks. Each time you make progress, do something small to celebrate. This will help keep you motivated to reach the final finish line!


If you want to stay up to date with all the new content we publish on our blog, share your email and hit the subscribe button.

Also, feel free to browse through the other sections of the blog where you can find many other amazing articles on: Programming, IT, Outsourcing, and even Management.

linkedIn icon
Written by Mauricio Lopez

Mauricio has been at the forefront of technology for +15 years. He is constantly integrating new technologies including frameworks, CMS, and standard industry models. He is a pragmatic problem-solver and customizes solutions based on the best schema/language/application for each project. As the CTO at Jobsity, he ensures that his team is always up to date with the latest advances in software development by researching the software ecosystem, implementing professional development initiatives, and coordinating with new and existing clients about their needs.