New facts - What would be the best computer skills to learn for the future? 10 points?

Hi ! I am a 27yr old MBA student with about 6-9 months of free time.So, I am thinking of learning a computer skill that I will enjoy and might be useful somewhere in future.

Although I have no background in computer science, I have dabbled a bit in javascript and CSS in the past (very superficially, just enough to have fun with greasemonkey and make internet easier to use). I am a software junkie and like to try many different softwares even if they serve the same purpose, Hell I could probably even start a review blog or something. And I surf the internet a lot for tweaks and hacks etc... to make life easier wherever possible.

With this background (probably no background by your standards !), what would you suggest that I should learn ? I am looking to learn something that would be easy to learn and fun. Preferably the skill you mention should not become redundant a few years down the line. It will be better if I can use it somewhere in daily life so that I stay in practise while using it. I want to ideally learn something that would help me in my job as a manager in the future.

I have surfed to internet to narrow down to a few skills and have taken some opinions from people who know stuff. This is the list of things I have ended up with(even I can see that some of the suggestions are pretty stupid) :

1.Java or C#

2.Dreamweaver, Web design (MySQL and PHP)



5.MS Access and MS Excel


7.Brute force software (have no idea what that is !)


9.Linux (emphatically recommended)

10.Something with security, privacy, anti-hacking, something along those lines

11. Cloud computing, Software As A Service, Platform As A Service, Cloud computing

12.Surveillance, Understanding Facial Recognition

Can you please analyse some of these for me from the point of view of Relevance to my work as a manager, Longevity, Ease to learn and Fun.

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I'll humbly disagree with Justin, although I do respect his point of view. It is perfectly reasonable (and I would encourage you) to continue a casual interest technology, beyond the level of an average consumer and not to that of a CS major. Here are a few suggestions off the top of my head:

    1) HTML5 / CSS3 / JS

    This is currently, and for the foreseeable future, the most portable and useful skill set to investigate. Standard web technologies are quickly being ported to native mobile and desktop platforms, and JavaScript now runs server side (node). You'll have fun, it's all free, and you don't even need to install any software to get started.

    2) Python

    As a general purpose scripting language for every day use, Python is extraordinary. It's easy to get up to speed in a short period of time, and as you'll realize soon thereafter, it is an extremely well connected and powerful language.

    3) Cloud Computing ...

    Get a free Amazon Web Services account (or any other cloud service provider) and at least become familiar with the terminology and capabilities. You don't need to be an expert - you just need to understand (so that when your VP comes asking about "the cloud," you're not caught ignorant). This exercise may also, likely, introduce you to Linux in a meaningful way.

    4) Databases ...

    Instead of learning a specific database system like MySQL, as a manager, I recommend learning about the variety of storage technologies available today and their individual merits. This would include the family of relational databases like the ones you have mentioned, but also NoSQL databases: document stores, key-value stores, object databases, etc. If you decided to take my (#2) suggestion to heart and learn Python, go get an account on Google App Engine and play with Google's NoSQL datastore, BigTable - free, one-click install, and you can run it (#3) on Google's cloud.

    The bottom line is, do whatever is most intrinsically interesting to you. Take advantage of free software and resources. Attend a local developer's user group. Continue to ask questions. Don't get discouraged.

    If you're not challenged in a way that you enjoy, do something else. All the best.

    Source(s): Life
  • ?
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    To me, it really feels like you are approaching learning a technical subject in the wrong way. Most of the things you listed are not simple or easy to learn (especially if it will be your first time programming or working on really technical stuff), and in fact may be impossible for you to learn. A good deal of the people who sit down to learn programming are actually incapable of learning how to do it. It may sound incredible, but that first CS class in college weeds out a great deal of people, like calculus does for engineers.

    In terms of general business stuff, you'll probably get the most use out of knowing MS Access and Excel. Those are used heavily in business and aren't terribly technical. Adobe is too general. Which Adobe product? In practice, you'll probably be hiring an expert in something like design who will use the product or products in question for you.

    There isn't anything wrong with knowing any of these things, but the only way knowing some of these would help you be a better manager is if you *really* understood them. For example, knowing C# or Java would help be a better manager for a team of programmers, but only if really understood the subject matter of programming well enough to understand the needs and challenges of those under you. Remember, there is a reason you hire programmers and pay them lots of money. It is a specialized task that not everyone can do, and few do well.

    A friend of mine who went into business in college was required to learn some C# to make him more well rounded. I don't know if it was helpful to him in the end or not.

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