Some time ago I was to learn iOS development at my work. I didn't manage to learn it because I was moved to more important task with another technology already familiar to me. But the short time I spent on iOS, I felt that I could do better if I spent a few hours at the workplace during which I could discuss some matters concerning iOS with my colleagues who know it, and the rest of the time working at home.

I think many developers would share my opinion and prefer to learn the new technology at home.

Is there any accepted practice? Has any developer had an experience when the company encouraged the developers to choose where they feel more comfortable to learn new technologies?

  • 3
    I think many employers would indeed encourage you to learn new technology at home: but in addition to a full work day at the office, not instead of one. :-) Aug 4, 2012 at 23:55

2 Answers 2


Why do you feel that you could do better at home rather than at the office?

I'm guessing that it's due to interruptions and distractions. Since you mention being moved between tasks, I assume your work involves multiple simultaneous projects with developers moving between them. In this line of work, interruptions and distractions are always a problem. I know the feeling well, having spent many years as the most senior developer in an agency - there are always issues with require your involvement, you can never sit down to some guaranteed uninterrupted time to work on a thorny problem or learn a new technology.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that perhaps your situation doesn't really have anything to do with learning a new technology, but is more an issue of general workplace organization? If it was possible to spread the knowledge around, avoid having a single person be the only one who could handle issues with a given project, and thus allow people to focus uninterrupted on a problem, do you think that would help with this situation and also improve your work environment overall?

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    I didn't get interrupted so often, but other developers often had discussions. And since we all work in the same room, it bothers sometimes. I often listen to music at work, but when learning a new and non-trivial thing I need to be absolutely focused, so music doesn't help either. Thanks for your answer, it made me think I could use our conference room, which is often empty
    – superM
    Aug 5, 2012 at 11:22

We adopted so called FedEx days. Any team member is allowed to spend all working day for learning. Once per several weeks. Then he has to make some little project/presentation and share his knowledge with colleagues.

Learning at home is natural I believe to most of the professionals. But I feel lerning under some preassure of responsibility is more efficient.

  • 1
    Oh I like that, a good way to bring new ideas to the team as a whole
    – Zachary K
    Nov 8, 2012 at 13:20

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