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Unprofessional Employers

By Steve Jones,

Is your employer unprofessional?

It's Friday, and that's the poll question based on this blog post. In the post, Mark Rendle talks about the fact that  we are all responsible for our professional development and career, but a professional employer understands they should also be making an investment in their developers. He disagrees with Uncle Bob Martin who says that we are solely and completely responsible for our own learning and education.

My view is similar to Mark's in that I think we are ultimately responsible, but that employers should bear some burden of investment in their staff, especially as they evolve and change their technology platforms. If you are hired to be a SQL Server 2008 DBA, the company can't expect you to be skilled in SQL Server 2012 and handle deployments as soon as the product is released. A company can expect you to put some effort into learning the new platform, and perhaps over time understand how it differs from previous versions, but if the company wants you to gain that knowledge quicker, they need to invest in your knowledge themselves.

A professional employer understands that, and is willing to put some investment into you, usually if you show some initiative and effort to learn on your own, or make your own investment (time and/or money) into improving your skills.

I've been fairly lucky in that most of my employers in the past were willing to invest in me. Even the ones with very limited training budgets would provide some supplemental help if I showed them my own plan for increasing my skills. It might have been reimbursement for a book, a spare computer, or even just some time at work to spend learning something new. My current employer is one of the best, offering lots of training. Now if I could just find the time to take advantage of it ....

Let us know this week if you have a professional employer.

Steve Jones


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