Passionately curious about Data, Databases and Systems Complexity. Data is ubiquitous, the database universe is dichotomous (structured and unstructured), expanding and complex. Find my Database Research at SQLToolkit.co.uk . Microsoft Data Platform MVP

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing" Einstein

Wednesday 1 February 2017

Keeping Data Skills Up To Date in a Rapidly Changing World

Keeping up to date with rapid technological advances has become a real issue, especially with the adoption of cloud technologies. Gone are the days when traditional learning methods can be applied. It is possible that, if a group of people need to skill up on cloud data technology, and the training of people is staggered over several months that the first people are already out of date by the time the last person is trained.  Another issue is the prolific number of cloud technologies, tools, services and products that are changing at speed, so much so, that some products may only be around for one year before the consumer has to face a rapid migration process to a new solution.

To address these rapid changes it is necessary to adopt an adaptive learning style that is not only updated by exam every 3 years. It is necessary to have your own individual learning plan which has daily options, weekly options, monthly options and certification tracks. The key is to remain agile and build learning into your everyday routine.

My routine for keeping my specialism up to date involves

  • Daily twitter reading and posting
  • Blog post reading and writing
  • Watching webcasts
  • Free online courses
  • Reading free ebooks 
  • Reading Communications of the ACM 
  • Reading of SIGMOD Record
  • Attending conferences
  • Attending free vendor days
  • Practical practice using existing skills
  • Practical practice of new skills
  • Documenting things I learn
  • Keeping certifications up to date

As part of that learning plan there has to be three elements: research, theory and practice.

There are always changes to vendor certifications to keep them relevant. The newer MSCE exam, Data Management and Analytics certification are to be taken each calendar year and you have the opportunity to earn the certification to receive an additional entry on your transcript. The Microsoft solution expert exams demonstrate your broad skill sets in SQL administration, building enterprise-scale data solutions, and leveraging business intelligence data—both on-premises and in cloud environments. Amazon do not have the same breadth of data certifications yet with the AWS certification being for Big Data only.

Two new Microsoft data exams:
70-473: Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions
70-475: Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions
Amazon exams:
AWS Certified Big Data Certification – Specialty Beta Exams
Requires a current Associate level AWS Certified Solution Architect Certification

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