Professional Development and learning

See how IT specialists develop professionally. Check what are their professional aspirations and what future specializations are most desired.

Polish IT Community Report 2024 Hero Image

Learning and Development

What is your favorite learning mode?
Video mode
58.1%
Text mode
39.5%
Audio mode
2.4%
Where do you get knowledge for your daily work?
Documentation
76.2%
Online courses / YouTube
74.9%
Colleagues / Friends
64.5%
Blogs and specialized services
63.5%
Online forums
49.5%
Paid courses and training
43.3%
Books
38.8%
Conferences / Meetups
24.9%
Studies
4.8%
Other
1.2%
ChatGPT
0.4%

Comment

Deciding to work in IT, one must be prepared for the need for continuous improvement, expanding knowledge, and ongoing learning. The galloping technological progress forces this need more than ever.

The form in which we acquire knowledge is very individual. The faster the acquired knowledge is used in practice, the more it will be consolidated. This especially applies to specialist and expert positions. In this case, support from team colleagues proves to be the most effective. However, this model has lost some of its value in the face of widespread online work, as nothing can replace a direct conversation, writing a "piece" of code together, or solving an architectural problem. However, to deepen this knowledge, one should use all available sources. The "hybrid model" works best, especially when the amount of available online training, podcasts, specialized portals, and webinars is really huge.

However, all of this requires proper focus on the material we are assimilating, regardless of its source and form. If we participate in online training while at the same time replying to emails or performing other tasks - they will not bring the expected effect (confirmed based on autopsy). Therefore - although it may sound "old school", I personally am a proponent of "stationary" training, which to some extent forces the appropriate level of engagement. Unfortunately, many training companies are moving away from this form.

Complementing all this are conferences, which besides the substantive knowledge presented by the speakers, are a great opportunity to meet practices and exchange knowledge with people from other industries.

IT managers should not be forgotten either. They too must constantly learn and develop. Here, in my opinion, nothing replaces practice, working under the supervision of a more experienced manager, conversation, support, and engagement. This especially applies to novice managers who previously played an expert role. In such a case, additional support is needed for such a person to "shed their expert robes" and become a manager.

Marcin Tyrański
Director of IT Strategy and Data Platform Department - IT Tribe Leader
Uniqa
How much time do you devote to your personal development each week?
1-3 hours
38.6%
10-15 hours
3.6%
3-5 hours
21.3%
5-10 hours
11.3%
Less than an hour
24.8%
more than 15 hours
3.5%

Comment

In 2004, Google popularized the 80-20 rule, according to which technical employees should spend 20% of their time on development. With a 40-hour working week, this means at least 8 hours dedicated to learning or personal projects. This rule allowed employees of the giant to create products such as the translator and Gmail!

Unfortunately, only 11.3% of respondents achieve this level, and only 7.1% exceed it. Meanwhile, as many as 38.6% of people dedicate only up to 3 hours to development per week, and nearly 25% less than an hour! This may raise some concerns. Professional development is our daily duty towards ourselves and the largest investment in future, better earnings, and more interesting projects. It seems that for many people development is an ad-hoc event and usually comes down to defining developmental goals such as one conference or one training a year. Meanwhile, the approach to education should be more agile, and acquiring knowledge should take place in smaller doses, over a longer time.

For example, at testerzy.pl we build content and tools that enable treating development as a series of small knowledge-acquiring activities every day. Online courses, listening to an interesting industry podcast, watching presentations, reading valuable studies, or following industry news create the potential for learning and continuous development.

Confronting this data with the fact that the average Pole spends over 50 hours a week on the Internet, one can boldly say that these proportions are severely disturbed. Even if an employer does not support employees in self-education and does not allocate their working time for development, by reducing the number of hours spent surfing the net, we can gain additional time for self-education and acquiring new skills.

Radosław Smilgin
CEO at 21CN (testerzy.pl)
Testerzy.pl
Time for development and work mode
1-3 hours
39.2%
10-15 hours
3.4%
3-5 hours
21.6%
5-10 hours
13.4%
Less than an hour
22.6%
more than 15 hours
3.0%
1-3 hours
40.1%
10-15 hours
2.6%
3-5 hours
21.5%
5-10 hours
12.0%
Less than an hour
23.0%
more than 15 hours
3.8%
1-3 hours
38.9%
10-15 hours
4.0%
3-5 hours
20.7%
5-10 hours
10.3%
Less than an hour
25.9%
more than 15 hours
3.3%
1-3 hours
32.3%
10-15 hours
3.5%
3-5 hours
25.1%
5-10 hours
14.5%
Less than an hour
23.1%
more than 15 hours
5.0%
What are your career aspirations?
I want to stay in my specialization
66.6%
I want to change my specialization within IT.
23.6%
I don't know
6.0%
I do not want to pursue a career in IT in the future
3.9%
I want to stay in my specialization
63.5%
I want to change my specialization within IT.
23.7%
I don't know
7.9%
I do not want to pursue a career in IT in the future
4.9%
I want to stay in my specialization
75.4%
I want to change my specialization within IT.
15.4%
I don't know
6.2%
I do not want to pursue a career in IT in the future
3.1%
I want to stay in my specialization
78.1%
I want to change my specialization within IT.
12.4%
I don't know
5.7%
I do not want to pursue a career in IT in the future
3.8%
I want to stay in my specialization
63.9%
I want to change my specialization within IT.
24.7%
I don't know
9.0%
I do not want to pursue a career in IT in the future
2.4%
I want to stay in my specialization
65.6%
I want to change my specialization within IT.
20.3%
I don't know
10.0%
I do not want to pursue a career in IT in the future
4.1%
I want to stay in my specialization
67.4%
I want to change my specialization within IT.
20.5%
I don't know
7.6%
I do not want to pursue a career in IT in the future
4.4%
I want to change my specialization within IT.
71.5%
I want to stay in my specialization
24.5%
I don't know
2.0%
I do not want to pursue a career in IT in the future
2.0%
I want to stay in my specialization
55.5%
I want to change my specialization within IT.
31.7%
I don't know
9.1%
I do not want to pursue a career in IT in the future
3.8%
I want to stay in my specialization
72.7%
I don't know
10.1%
I want to change my specialization within IT.
9.1%
I do not want to pursue a career in IT in the future
8.1%
Representatives of all specializations mostly want to stay with their current ones. However, Testers/QA professionals are the least decided, as only 55.5% of them declare to do so.
Preferred future specializations
Applies only to individuals who have expressed a desire to change their specialization.
IT architect
10.6%
DevOps
10.6%
AI Engineer
8.1%
Fullstack
7.9%
Backend
7.1%
Data Science
5.1%
Automation Tester
4.7%
Security Engineer
3.4%
Project Manager
3.3%
Data Analyst
3.2%
Pentester
2.5%
System administrator
2.5%
Chief Technology Officer
2.5%
ML Engineer
2.4%
Frontend
2.4%
Engineering Manager
2.2%
Big Data
2.0%
Mobile
2.0%
Game development
1.8%
Product Manager
1.8%
Do you want to manage a team in the future?
I am indifferent to it
25.9%
I don't know
11.6%
No
34.5%
Yes
28.0%
I am indifferent to it
22.2%
I don't know
10.2%
No
31.6%
Yes
36.1%
I am indifferent to it
29.7%
I don't know
1.6%
No
26.6%
Yes
42.2%
I am indifferent to it
18.1%
I don't know
17.1%
No
21.9%
Yes
42.9%
I am indifferent to it
24.1%
I don't know
11.5%
No
28.5%
Yes
36.0%
I am indifferent to it
19.5%
I don't know
6.5%
No
9.2%
Yes
64.8%
I am indifferent to it
22.0%
I don't know
11.5%
No
28.2%
Yes
38.3%
I am indifferent to it
30.7%
I don't know
6.7%
No
28.0%
Yes
34.7%
I am indifferent to it
22.8%
I don't know
11.8%
No
33.7%
Yes
31.7%
I am indifferent to it
17.3%
I don't know
13.3%
No
21.4%
Yes
48.0%

Comment

Customarily, there is a belief that IT specialists are mainly focused on technologies and solving technical problems and that they are not interested in managing people. However, it turns out that this is not entirely true. Many programmers, as they progress in their careers, start to develop team and leadership skills. Among the representatives of 3 out of the 9 discussed categories (Data Science, Programmers, Architects), responses slightly favor "yes". Testers, representatives of other specializations, and IT Administrators tend to lean towards "no", although the distribution of responses is quite balanced. On the other hand, Analysts, UX/UI specialists, and Project Managers/Product Owners decidedly lean towards the leadership path (and this result is probably the least surprising). At Netcompany, we offer career paths for people who want to develop both their technical skills and so-called soft skills. Managers and Managing Architects can try their hand at leading teams while remaining close to technology.

Małgorzata Teofilak
Head of HR Netcompany Poland
Netcompany
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