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Professional Development Expand / Collapse
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Posted Saturday, July 8, 2006 9:00 PM
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Comments posted to this topic are about the content posted at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/columnists/awarren/professionaldevelopment.asp

Andy
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Post #292996
Posted Tuesday, July 11, 2006 3:19 AM
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Thanks for the well written, straight to the point article. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a huge area in itself. The British Computer Society (BCS) recently changed their program of CPD to the SFIAplus framework:
http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=conWebDoc.1118
Does anyone have experience of this, because it leaves me completely nonplussed?
Post #293369
Posted Tuesday, July 11, 2006 6:43 AM
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I think this is an excellent article that hits home in most IT shops. I've been doing web/windows/sql development on my own for about 8 years, but have only been working professionally in my chosen field for about 2 yrs. One of my biggest gripes is the lack of conscious, assertive endorsement of professional development offered by my company. As you state in your article, the only training (paid for by the company) received has been when we are looking to adopt a new technology or software package. I don't know if I can add more substance to your topic...your article covered most of the things that I would like to see implemented or addressed. But, I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment and look forward to reading your next two articles on this topic.

 

Post #293426
Posted Tuesday, July 11, 2006 7:59 AM
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This is an excellent article. In IT world if you don't keep up your knowledge, you will be out especially right now companies are outsourcing, competing with low pay H1 visa people.
Post #293478
Posted Tuesday, July 11, 2006 8:45 AM


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We get lots of lip service about employee development, career training, etc.  But as soon as you request funding for something, the story changes.

Scott

Post #293503
Posted Tuesday, July 11, 2006 9:02 AM


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Good article, Andy. I agree with most of what you've said expecially the fact that employers could, generally speaking, do a lot more to keep their employees up-to-date. The reason that most don't, I think, has less to do with immediate cost in time and/or money but more on ROI (Return On Investment)

The last company I was with would send employees for training if management thought it benefited the department to have someone, or multiple someones, with that training under their belt. They were pretty liberal about it and would send as many people as money and time would allow without asking for a commitment from the employees (more on that in a moment). However, they stopped short of sending employees to professional conferences and the like, and even buying books not directly related to a current project, because they didn't see the ROI.

Other places I have been have gone the carrot-and-stick route of "Sure, we can send you to that class. All you need to do is sign this paper that says you will keep working here at your current job and salary for 18 months afterward. Oh, you want to go to two classes and a conference? Make that 48 months."

The third case is people like me currently: Contractors. My agency told me, flat out, on day 1: "If you are asked to do something you don't know how to do, research it but don't charge the customer hours"

In a perfect world employers and employees would have a great amount of respect and loyalty to each other and that would make the realm of professional development easier. Nowadays there is almost always someone with a better offer for an employee to go to and there is always another employee for a company to hire. It just doesn't make sense for companies to pay for professional development as much as they could. Need an Oracle expert? It may be cheaper and faster to hire one than train your SQL expert in Oracle as well.

Sad, really.

Professional development is something I take personal responsibility for but I also have to eat and can't afford to pay for classes on my own and don't have the time after work to really focus on books or CBT's. I do most of my learning OJT-style and just don't let anyone know I didn't know how to do it yesterday.




-- J.T.

"I may not always know what I'm talking about, and you may not either."

Post #293518
Posted Tuesday, July 11, 2006 9:31 AM


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Great article.  I have been fortunate with the companies I have worked for and have had a lot of training and opportunities to attend conferences/seminars.  My challenge in my development has been the lack of interaction with fellow DBAs.  I have always worked in a company where I am the only DBA and have not had the pleasure of having a group to interact with and bounce ideas off of.  I am a visual, hands on kind of person.  I learn by doing and I find myself struggling to keep moving ahead and getting to that 10% spot working by myself.  I spend alot of time on forums and posting questions, but I would love to find a DBA mentor that I could interact with and be able to work out problems with or just plain talk about things.  The forums are great (I learn so much from everybody!!) but it doesn't replace the need for some one on one interaction.  So for me, the training and seminars are great, but I would really enjoy some DBA co-workers to work with and unfortunately the company I am currently with only has me.  I have primarily been an operational DBA over the years and I'm trying to transition into the development side and could really use a mentor to help me understand how to write good Transact SQL code and stored procedures.  In the meantime.....I press on!

Isabelle 



Thanks!
Bea Isabelle
Post #293534
Posted Tuesday, July 11, 2006 12:46 PM
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Places I have been have been more than willing to fund a 'library' of recent books, 1 or 2 a month.  Training to acquire new skills is the responsibility of the individual and should not depend upon whether or not an employer pays for it.  I let myself get caught once with a skill set that was less than what it should have beenand that was the last time even if it meant me paying for it. 




Post #293599
Posted Tuesday, July 11, 2006 2:11 PM
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You have to update your skills daily. Reading article of the day or answering QOD, going to the free seminars and user groups etc. And don't forget "Soft Skills" like project management, effective reading/writing, people skills, communication skills. 




Regards,
Yelena Varshal

Post #293624
Posted Tuesday, July 11, 2006 2:52 PM
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Yelena

I totally agreed with you.  You just can't wait for company to send you to training.  Out of 10 companies I worked for, maybe 2 sent me to training.  I learnt everything by myself. 

Post #293630
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