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Soft Skills

By Adam Angelini,

Today we have a guest editorial from Adam Angelini

Working in technology is one of many fields that requires a person to continuously maintain knowledge and learn new technologies. Technology advances so fast that if you are not continuously learning, you will almost certainly be left behind. New technologies arise, new products are released, and as we know with SQL Server, new version of products are released regularly that require you to learn new features, new technologies, and sometimes unlearn old ways of doing things and adopting the latest and greatest.

What if you boss asked you to work on your "soft" skills. What if you are asked to work on your leadership, communication, negotiation skills, speaking skills, or teaching skills. Where do you turn? do you try to find a book and hope it has great information on what you are trying to learn? Do you take a college course? Are there seminars on soft skills? can you order training materials? I'm sure there are, but how do you know what is best for your situation?

We all know that there is a rather large expanse of training resources in today's age of technology. If you wanted to know more about SQL Server 2005, I think you could easily find all kinds of information on the internet such as SQLServerCentral.com, Microsoft.com, MSDN, TechNet, SSWUG, and many more. Books at the local book store are also an easy find, with many available in electronic form that you could purchase and download immediately. There are also courses you can order that may contain DVD's, books, audio, you name it. You can Also find many live seminars around, such as Pass Summit, Microsoft Live events, TechED, Etc. Many companies, like End to End training, specialize in IT training, mostly covering very specific products and skill sets.

Bottom Line: It's fairly easy to do a search for "SSIS training" and find a wealth of training resources.

What about the soft skills though. A search for "communication training" yields many results, but how do you know what one is suited for you. If you are asked to learn SharePoint, it's fairly easy to find resources that you are certain will give you the knowledge you need, but how can you tell if a communications training is right for your situation. I don't feel it's as cut and dry as learning a technology.

This makes sense as these soft skills lend themselves to just about any field you could work in. I think it makes it very difficult to find something that is geared towards your expectations. Furthermore, you may not be sure what those expectations are. If your boss asks you to work on communication skills, what are his expectations. This could very greatly.

For this Friday poll:

How do you improve your soft skills?

Do you actively seek out training resources? Do you let those skills build naturally with experience? Any thoughts?

Adam Angelini


The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

Wakamojo

The podcast feeds are now available at sqlservercentral.podshow.com to get better bandwidth and maybe a little more exposure :). Comments are definitely appreciated and wanted, and you can get feeds from there.

Overall RSS Feed: or now on iTunes!

Today's podcast features music by Wakamojo, featuring a member of the SQLServerCentral.com community, Adam Angelini. Support this great duo at http://www.myspace.com/wakamojo.

I really appreciate and value feedback on the podcasts. Let us know what you like, don't like, or even send in ideas for the show. If you'd like to comment, post something here. The boss will be sure to read it.

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