Starting out on a journey to learn something new can be both daunting and challenging.
Where do you begin? How do you recognize the good materials from the bad? How do you know you’re on the right path?
These are all questions we’ve asked ourselves along the way when trying to learn or understand something new. We often find ourselves using our favourite search engine to begin the learning journey, but what if we didn’t have to go in blindly, and could have reference to a host of learning materials, experience and best practices in one central place.
That is precisely how the engineering collective was born. As engineers, we are always looking for consistent approaches when building things, and we always strive to follow best practice when doing so.
We don’t reinvent the wheel when building software, so why do it when creating a learning path?
The Engineering Collective
The engineering collective was born out of a need to collate shared experiences and knowledge from engineers who’ve been there and got the t-shirt so to speak. It’s a collection of Roadmaps, put together to help guide people on their learning journeys.
I’ve always found learning about new technologies or engineering practices and principles really interesting. You’re not just adding more skills to your CV or profile, you’re learning new and interesting skills to help make you a better, more rounded engineer. Sometimes however, it can be tricky to know where to start; which resources are best, which courses are most worthwhile, who are the subject matter experts in the team, the list goes on. I’ve always believed strongly in knowledge sharing and helping to up-skill more junior developers within the teams I’ve worked in. We all had to start somewhere, and I’ve been lucky throughout my career so far to work with some really awesome people, all of whom have been more than happy to share their knowledge along the way.
The engineering collective was designed and built in an attempt to answer some of those questions and become the place to start when learning something new. It doesn’t have to be technical, the idea is to collate a collection of resources and roadmaps, that could be anything from a Java quest, to speaking at a conference.
The idea of using roadmaps was to give a visual journey through the learning path, trying to put together a list of skills and experience in a logical order, to help showcase the best approach to learning something new. Sometimes there may be pre-requisites to a learning path, in other cases there won’t be.
Roadmaps alone aren’t the answer however. It’s great seeing a visual path through a particular learning journey, for example learning Java, to see that learning the fundamentals about the JVM or the syntax and language features comes before learning about Design Patterns. Where this collective stands out, is in the accompanying notes and resources that have been put together by those who’ve contributed. Each Quest has several key, core sections which accompany the visual roadmap;
- Resources - links to blog posts, courses, videos, tutorials
- Certificates / Badges - links to certifications or badges to showcase learning progress
- Engineering Suggestions - notes from engineers who’ve been on this learning journey, things they found helpful or not so helpful
Together, the roadmap and the accompanying notes, really help shape the collective and give it an edge over other similar frameworks and guides.
Even though it’s still in its infancy, I believe this collective can be a really useful tool for us as a group of engineers with a huge variety of skills and experience, to help up-skill the engineers of the future. Through our skills and experiences, we can help shape the way other engineers learn and progress through their own learning journeys, and in turn create a truly collective, open source, community driven set of learning paths. I feel we have a responsibility as engineers to share our knowledge as much as possible and to help pave the way for future generations.
The collective was inspired by the shared knowledge and experiences between engineers, as a result we’d love for you to contribute to the collective, whether it’s an update to existing content, a new piece of content in the form of a new Quest, or just new ideas on how the collective could be improved further.
Please see contributing section of the project for more details.
You can see more at the engineering collective