Get out of the office, learn something new.
Since I started working at iBec, I have tried to attend at least 1 conference per year. This year, I attended An Event Apart 2013 in Boston last and it was amazing.
During each conference I attend I try to focus on 2 things:
1. What are we doing right?
Before I went in 2012 I felt pretty good about the way our department was heading in terms of development, we had adopted Responsive Web Design (RWD) as a standard practice the previous November and after attending the conference I felt even more than I did before that moving in that direction was the right decision. Even a year later I still find that to be true, but RWD alone isnt enough anymore.
Performance was a big topic this year, and performance in relationship to mobile even more-so. Since our move to RWD performance has been on the top of our minds and we continue to improve in this area.
2. What can we be doing better?
Though we are focused on performance, we could always be doing a better job. There were a few sessions this year that talked about performance budgets, and setting goals for your page load times, and page sizes.
We have since internalized these ideas, future projects will be getting performance budgets. This will help every developer at iBec optimize the sites they create, without at goal its a moving target.
Dont forget to meet people.
Im particularly bad at this, but meeting people at conferences is always great. You learn about what people do, how they do things, and that there are other people in this industry that are as excited as you are to be doing what you do.
So if you can, go out and attend a conference. Its worth it.