For developers in Latin America keeping up with the latest demands on skills is vital to remain competitive, and more and more developers are turning to online learning to ensure they stay ahead of the curve.
Javier Ntaca has been a developer of systems for more than 35 years in Argentina. He is currently working on Blockchain technologies for fintechs and social impact projects. To improve competencies in his field, he prefers w3schools.com and StackOverflow.com.
Ntaca added that StackOverflow.com not only remains the main reference for developers around the world, but its merits system and scores guarantee quality not only of the answers but also of the questions that are published.
Developers generally joke and define a “good programmer” as someone who “knows how to search, copy and paste StackOverflow responses”.
Softtek Developer Diego Valenzuela agrees that StackOverflow is the bible of programmers. “We consult on this platform any error, or most of the errors we receive, on a daily basis. Sometimes someone has already solved it and, if not, I expect them to respond, usually very quickly. “
The price is usually a factor that determines the use in Latin America. Many times beginning programmers share subscriptions to learning sites to reduce costs, according to Valenzuela.
Kenny Pérez, a Venezuelan developer who has lived in Chile for the past three years, works for a leading IT services company, Globant, whose headquarters are in Argentina. Pérez agrees with the use of online resources such as StackOverflow and others for professional growth of developers.
Pérez explains: “Coursera is used a lot especially for topics related to Project Cycle Management or PCM, while Udemy is used for other specific topics, including the administration and management of the Red Hat platform, which is very popular in Chile.”
Pérez told that other platforms, such as Amazon’s AWS, have opted to organize events and face-to-face courses, in contrast to the most predominant online approach.
The use of online tools depends a lot on the country, according to Pérez. He notices a marked contrast between his country of origin, Venezuela, which has strong restrictions on access to foreign currencies, and Chile.
But other countries, such as Peru, also have important differences in the use of online education, in this case, due to the lower average speed of the network, says Pérez.
Online education is so important for Perez’s company that they even acquired acamica.com, a platform dedicated to training developers. Developers must take a minimum of three courses per quarter to increase their competitiveness.
The flip side
For Ysrael Cárdenas of Futurealba, a company that develops information systems in Peru, local developers do not use online courses as much for cultural reasons.
Cárdenas says that although much of Peru does not have high-speed Internet connections, cities like Lima do have a good connection speed and are places where most of the population is concentrated.
In Peru, having a certificate for a course is highly appreciated, says Cardenas, and companies tend to give more importance to certificates than to experience in hiring personnel.