I’m currently reading Dr. Carol S. Dweck’s bestseller Mindset: Changing the way you think to fulfill your potential. Full of fascinating insights into success and achievement, Dweck lays bare what differentiates those with a growth mindset who attain their goals versus those, with a fixed mindset, who aspire to but never quite reach their objectives. While the book contains loads of lessons and ideas to take away and apply in your personal and professional lives, perhaps what struck me most was the ongoing and relentless drive towards lifelong learning that those with a growth mindset exhibit.
The idea of lifelong learning got me thinking. What am I doing to check that box? Working in tech means there is always something new to learn. Technology by its very nature is always changing, evolving. It’s one of the perks of the industry and why so many are drawn to the field, and staying informed is critical.
The problem is deciding what to focus on. I want to dabble in it all, but I’m not sure that’s the best approach. Then I thought why not look at what my colleagues and other IT professionals are investing their time in. So I did and here’s what I found.
These lists are from the first six months of 2018. They are rankings of the most popular books in Skillsoft’s ITPro collection. I decided the certification books needed a separate list as they serve a particular function versus the other books.
Top 5 Certification Titles
- Become ITIL® Foundation Certified in 7 Days: Learning ITIL® Made Simple with Real-life Examples, Apress 2017
- CCNA Routing and Switching Complete Study Guide, Second Edition, Sybex 2017
- CompTIA Security+ Study Guide: Exam SY0-501, Seventh Edition, Sybex 2018
- CompTIA CySA+ Cybersecurity Analyst Certification All-In-One Exam Guide (Exam CS0-001), McGraw-Hill/Osbourne 2018
- RHCSA/RHCE Red Hat Linux Certification Study Guide, Seventh Edition (Exams EX200 & EX300), McGraw-Hill/Osborne 2016
Many of the top certification selections such as ITIL®, CCNA, Security+, are ones you expect to see year over year. They are certification staples that test valuable skill sets. Some might find the inclusion of the Red Hat Linux Certification title a surprise as it does not usually feature on top certifications lists, but Red Hat Linux books historically perform well in our solution.
For the other certifications in our list, their popularity is due to the surge in interest we typically see with a new certification or exam updates. In the case of Security+, its latest SY0-501 exam released in October 2017. For CompTIA’s CySA+ Cybersecurity Analyst Certification, there is tremendous excitement surrounding the entirely new exam; it was published in June 2017 and approved by the US Depart of Defence (DoD) late last year.
Top 6 Non-Certification Titles
- Blockchain Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction in 25 Steps, Apress 2017
- The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, & Security in Technology Organizations, IT Revolution 2016
- Beginning Python: From Novice to Professional, Third Edition, Apress 2017
- Pro Angular, Second Edition, Apress 2017
- EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): An Implementation and Compliance Guide, Second Edition, IT Governance 2017
- Introducing Ethereum and Solidity: Foundations of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Programming for Beginners, Apress 2017
Our top non-certification titles reflect many of today’s industry trends. Blockchain is BIG. The hype surrounding its potential to exploit Internet of Things (IoT) applications, marketplace transactions, and bank functions is huge, making blockchain and Ethereum titles popular.
DevOps was another top read. The current focus on diminishing the siloes between software development and IT operations means the interest in DevOps is growing and, according to GitLab’s 2018 Global Developer Report, implementing DevOps is the second highest priority for software professionals in 2018.
Finally, it was no surprise to see that subscribers educated themselves with our General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) title. GDPR, which came into effect on May 25, was a tremendous undertaking requiring organizations around the world to implement and modify their systems to accommodate new data privacy regulations.
I’ve already decided my next book will be the one about blockchain because it is only going to get bigger and should cryptocurrency become the only currency it will pay (pun intended) to be in the know.
All of these titles and many more are available via Skillport and Percipio, our award-winning intelligent learning experience platform. See how many books you can read during our 14-day free trial of Percipio.
Kimberly Lin is an IT Product Manager at Skillsoft.