I almost work over 8 hours per day these days. Before I started freelancing fulltime, I had plenty of time to try new things and deepen my existing knowledge. I used to roam around in NPM world for new node packages, find something interesting, install it on my machine and there goes my whole day. But I loved it.
Nowadays I find myself writing the same Backbone and Django code again and again. I am getting a feeling that I am losing touch with latest tech and trends. Two things that I want to learn really well since last year November are ES6 and ReactJS. The recent announcements of React Native and tools like 6to5 make me want to stop all the work I am doing, learn those things and build something cool. I want to learn these two things well as they are the future and I believe mastering them will add a lot of value to my work. But there are tons of other stuff I want to try out. I keep scanning sites like Hacker News and see people doing super cool stuff with some exotic technologies.
But I can’t stop my work. I had made promises with people. I have to keep working. After all the skype calls, reviews and coding I dont have energy to work on a side project.
So how can I stay on top of these things still working and earning?
Since I am freelancing instead of working fulltime, I am lucky enough to choose people who I want to work with. I am trying to work with people who doesn’t care about which technology I am using as long as I am getting things done. This way I can learn new stuff and still get paid for that.
Its not that easy to find such a client. Most people who contacted me for work came with a preset mind about some technologies and demanded me to use them without knowing strength and weakness of those technologies. I had to turn down a number of offers like these in the past. And clients are the toughest things in the business of freelancing!
How do you keep learning new stuff these days? I would love to hear that!