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Mudita: Joy in the success of others Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, July 10, 2014 9:02 PM
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Mudita: Joy in the success of others

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Post #1591414
Posted Friday, July 11, 2014 5:24 AM
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It's not a sad day to see better coders if you contributed to making them so. Mentoring is a benefit and pleasure of being the oldest and most experienced.
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Posted Friday, July 11, 2014 6:54 AM
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David, nicely done! Maybe the one thing I'd add is that seeing that there are people coming up that are on track to surpass you can be a good reminder to move out of the slow lane and get going again. Not to make it a race to exhaustion of course, but nothing wrong with making it a real race!

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Posted Friday, July 11, 2014 9:42 AM
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That is one way to distinguish between a good place to work and a bad one. In a well run shop, everybody's contribution is appreciated. In a bad shop, recognition is scant, and the suck-ups all try to grab it for themselves.

While we all strive to do our best, there are going to be super-stars, but they should be sharing their knowledge with others to bring everybody up. At the same time, companies should be doing their best to eliminate the low value work (thru automation, etc.) so everybody can develop their skills.
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Posted Friday, July 11, 2014 9:43 AM


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Good article, David. I want to jump off on one thing, and expound upon something you said early in the article about people attending conferences in order to learn.

I think I've mentioned in these forums in the last couple of months that my position was being downsized, so I've been applying for jobs like mad, interviewing as often as I can. I have a standard set of questions that I'll ask in interviews, to learn more about the position, the company and so on. One of the questions concerns things like training and attending conferences. What has surprised me is the fact that the vast majority of companies I've interviewed with won't send any of their employees to go anywhere, for anything. And it isn't just a case of the economy currently being bad; it's more that the company has never allowed anyone to attend any conference or training at all, so why should they start now? I don't remember how many interviews I've been to in the last couple of months, but of all of them only 1 company allowed its employees to attend a conference. I don't know if that's indicative of my area, or if that's pervasive throughout the US. I confess that I'd like to know if this is something wide spread or just something I encounter locally.



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Posted Friday, July 11, 2014 10:11 AM
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It's been many years since an employer sent me to a conference. That said, perhaps it's not as important as it formerly was. Online courses are far cheaper and convenient than classes, especially if you need to travel to another city. And there's also SQL Server users group meetings for both sharing/networking with other professionals and hearing about new topics. (plus the free pizza).
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Posted Friday, July 11, 2014 10:20 AM
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I've generally attended SQL Bits on my own efforts and various technology meet ups similarly.

In latter years I've been able to get funding for attending SQL Bits because I made it clear that I would give a full write up and brown-bag sessions for my colleagues and this would effectively give return on investment.

My previous boss and his boss were both forward thinkers and believed that external stimulus was vital to inspire their staff and so paid for a group of us to go to QCON in London. Again, we were expected to write up the experience and give brown-bags, coder DoJos etc.

If a company won't invest in their staff they can't really expect their staff to invest in them. Well......they can and seem disappointed by disengaged staff. The beatings will continue until morale improves.

I take the view of "Render unto caeser what is due unto ceaser...."


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Posted Friday, July 11, 2014 10:26 AM
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Rod:

I had the same experience for many years of the lack of company involvement in furthering your IT skills. One good solution is to take it upon yourself to get this training. The best way I found was to find classes in different facets of my interests and work at local community colleges that were within driving distance. Some of these even allowed me to consistently arrive late for evening classes due to a 60 mile plus commute. I was able to get enough from the classes and following lab sessions to base my own learning and gain the skills I needed. It's obviously not the best, but allows you to progress.

Long ago I did this when wanting to further my skills in IBM's CICS because I had not worked on IBM platforms for years and wanted to know the software. Also when Apple Computer brought the early versions of their Applesoft Basic, my wife and I both attended evening classes at Ivy Tech (Indiana Vocational and Technical College) to learn it together on our early Apple 2 Plus microcomputer. And when the IBM System 3 Model 15 came out, ( I had worked the Model 10 for several yeas ) I again did the evening commute to learn this platform and increase my skills.

Another time I applied for a position that required Fortran development and support which I had never learned. I told the prospective employer that by the time I started the job I would know Fortran. Got the old Microsoft Fortran compiler, and the 'Learn Fortran Now' book, and two weeks later could write passable Fortran code well enough to take on supporting and debugging code created by a very highly skilled consultant to the point I was giving him bug fixes to his code.

Again, when applying for a position that required use of the Ingres database system, I had never seen the software, but took on the challenge and became the one of five developers who did the most development using it.

Even when past 65 years old and still working as a contract DBA, I took a couple community college online classes in HTML and PHP just because I wanted to know what it was all about. It was lots of fun.

You could do it also if you just decide to do it. Otherwise, you can just keep hoping that someone will take you on and train you. But these days that is going to more and more unlikely. If you're lucky, at best you might get a beginner's position - and salary -and still be expected to do it yourself anyway.

Benefit - you get the joy of success for YOURSELF in the deal.
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Posted Friday, July 11, 2014 10:42 AM


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Very true, skeleton567, and I don't deny that one has to take responsibility for their own betterment. I'm just saying I'm very surprised that so many companies aren't interested in bettering their own employees. I could see it for some companies (various government agencies, for example), but for others in the private sector its just surprising that it's been my experience that they're not that willing to invest in their staff. At least not to that extent. Now many will get you a subscription to Safari, the online technical book reference people. I've used them, and they're good, don't get me wrong, I like Safari. However, I'm the type of person that learns best when I'm with my colleagues, together struggling to understand the new concepts, able to talk to the presenter after the presentation, etc.


Rod
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Posted Friday, July 11, 2014 2:37 PM
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Well, don't be surprised too much. What you younger folks are facing is the fact that a company can discover a need for a skill, and instead of training you for a specific project they can get a contract employee for a short period of time. And it is most likely far easier for a manager to get approval for a contractor for a defined period of time than to get a budget for training you for that same project. And of course, they run the risk that if they train you and make you more valuable to someone else you may decide to go to work for them. That's 'management' these days. Short term commitment instead of long term thinking.

So you develop your own skills, get them 'discovered' when the need arises and you show what you can do, and as I have narrated here before, write up your skills and contributions and ask for a meeting with your manager to discuss a raise. You don't have to wait until annual review time. Do it when they remember what you accomplished and you have a list to review.

You may not get the raise immediately like I did, but when review time comes around, you are fresh in their mind and they know you are expecting results.
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