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Time for Learning Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 9:07 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Time for Learning






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Post #1514137
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 2:28 AM


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It depends if you have to use it at the time. Then the hours are split (unevenly) between learning as a task in of itself and learning whilst utilising to perform another task. Not all the time for the latter is learning then. Also if you can do solely, or at least primarily, just what you are learning for a reasonable amount of time (days or weeks not hours) then you will find it easier to retain the knowledge without all the context switching.

Gaz

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Post #1514180
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:35 AM
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The key to learning - regardless of subject - is really repetition and association. Time is mostly incidental. Everybody has different learning styles, but it all essentially boils down to either repeating something over and over - which could be just reading and re-reading, saying it out loud, or simple practice - or linking the new knowledge to existing knowledge. This doesn't even get into the difference between learning and retrieval.

Phrases like "some level of competence" or "an acceptable level" are pretty abstract to begin with, so I always chuckle a bit when hearing statements including them.


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Post #1514230
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 6:13 AM
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"Do you think you could learn something like Powershell in 20 hours?"

Yes! And I also got the book "Be a SQL Server DBA in 24 Hours" and now make six figures in salary after a week of experience...
Post #1514239
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 6:16 AM


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I suppose if I sat down and started learning how to become a brain surgeon (being a software developer), 20 or 30 hours of studying would get me as far as 2+2 is in math. Hardly competent enough to do anything as a surgeon. But, going through some new technology built on an existing one that I am very familiar with already (ie: familiar with .NET and C# and MVC and now attempting to learn WebAPI, or knowing MSTest unit testing framework and now attempting learn TSQLT) then 20 or 30 hours can really be productive.

Same would go for the PowerShell Challenge you speak of. If you've programmed in several different languages already then 20 or 30 hours of PowerShell studying can get you going on a pretty high scale. If you have never heard of "command line" and never seen a single line of code before in your life, 20/30 hours of studying PowerShell will definitely not qualify you as an expert.
Post #1514242
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 6:36 AM
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It is claimed that it takes a dog 500 tries to learn a trick ... at 5 tries /hour that works out to 100 hours. Seems about right. ;)


On a related note, I would love to see 'truth in advertising' standards applied to those 'learn X in 8 days' (or for that matter 'lose X pounds in 2 weeks') type of claim. Generally a title like that will immediately make me question the quality of the book.


...

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Post #1514249
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 6:42 AM
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I would not be able to learn anything in 2 hours a week. I would forget what I learned the prior week if I didn't use it. I have to spend considerable time using what I'm learning to be productive. I think 100 hours for a new skill is fine as long as that is pretty much continuous and split between the learning and the doing.

Tom
Post #1514251
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 7:38 AM
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I'm currently teaching myself MDX for a BI project at work. I spent about 20 hours reading through the Practical MDX Queries book (which is very good by the way) and applying the lessons against my cube (not Adventure Works). At that point I felt I could do the basics but still had to reference the book frequently for some specifics.

I've probably spent 50 hours writing MDX queries now and am starting to feel comfortable with the language.

Based on my experience you can pick up enough to be minimally functional in 20 hours but definitely need more time to become competent.
Post #1514287
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 8:20 AM
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I learn things by not being constrained by what I know. At the moment, I have never used Powershell. If I needed something done and I thought Powershell was the right answer, I'd just build it and learn as I go. You don't need to be an expert, you just need to build good (not perfect, but not clunky ) solutions.

When SQL 2005 came out, we had a project to convert a 2000 db to 2005. There were a bunch of DTS packages and I estimated 40 hours to convert them to SSIS, then I just figured it out on the fly. I didn't use configurations for dev, test, and prod connections, which is a standard that has been introduced since then. Our SSIS development has changed a bit since then, but they worked.



Post #1514307
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 9:04 AM


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Over the past few months, I've been prepping for SQL Server 2012 Administration exam 70-462. I have experience performing admin tasks in the development and QA environment, and even a short stint as a production DBA many years back. Indexing, performance optimization, and role based security are just as much a part of what I do as a database developer as writing T-SQL. However, there was a lot of new material, things like installation options, change data capture and various disaster recovery features, that was new to me. It really helps to have something like a certification to use as a target for study and a good study guide that lays out the material in a comprehensive and structured way.

As a side, I was reading an article once that most medical operations (not brain or heart surgery but more routine out-patient procedures) could actually be performed by someone wihout only a few hundred hours training. Understand that they would only know the step-by-step technicals of performing that *one* specific procedure, and they would need a real medical doctor, anesthesiologist, and fully equipped facility on hand to back them up. This would basically be Henry Ford meets healthcare.
Post #1514337
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