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Finding Motivation to Learn

Monica Rathbun wrote a piece on investing in yourself, which I think is a good way to think about spending time and resources on learning. Every time that you spend some brain power on building or improving your skills, you are investing in your career, and giving yourself another way to drive your career in the direction you want to move.

There are no shortage of excuses that Monica lists, and I've heard most of them. These are certainly hardships for your career, but these are things that many other people face, both in this industry and others. While these could be a short term reason to just grind out work, none is not a good long term excuse. I can accept you not progressing for a few quarters, but I'd hope you learned something new and helpful to put on your resume or CV every year.

Doctors are constantly reading and learning to keep up in their careers. Lawyers and CPAs often give up weekends on their own to continue learning. Even mechanics, carpenters, electricians, and more are often working through continuing education. Some of it provided or funded by their jobs, some not, but plenty of it takes place outside of work hours. It's just accepted that growing with your career is the norm.

Most IT people expect they need to keep learning, but I find so many people are unmotivated to do anything their boss won't provide, whether that's time or funds. That's a mistake, in my opinion, as you are one unexpected event from scrambling to find a new job. Plenty of people in that situation find themselves taking a pay cut, getting a longer commute, or finding more stress in their new position.

Continued learning won't necessarily prevent that, but it does increase the chance that you'll be a more attractive candidate and perhaps have you pick of positions rather than settling for just some job you don't want. The more you know, the more you can show, the more you document with a project, a blog, or elsewhere, the more likely someone is to want to hire you. Hopefully that means you find opportunities that suit you, rather than are just available.

Steve Jones - SSC Editor

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  Featured Contents

Exporting Data with PowerShell

Steve Jones - SSC Editor from SQLServerCentral

Recently I had the need to help someone download some data from SQL Server as a part of an automated process. In this case, the person wanted to use PowerShell (PoSh), since they were performing a few other actions with PoSh as well. This article is a short tutorial on exporting data from SQL Server […]

Using SQL Change Automation in SSMS to Track Static Data Changes

Additional Articles from Redgate

SQL Change Automation 4.1 now allows users to develop static data changes from SQL Server Management Studio.

Building a Countdown Timer with PowerShell

Additional Articles from SimpleTalk

Every DBA should have basic PowerShell skills. In this article, Greg Moore explains how to write a PowerShell script that can create a window for a countdown timer.

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Ad Hoc Queries Disabled


This article takes a look at an error that may occur depending on your use of linked servers and the use of openrowset.
Related Posts:

Linked Servers and Stats October 17,...

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Prompt in ADS

Steve Jones - SSC Editor from The Voice of the DBA

Ever since VS Code and Azure Data Studio came out, people have been asking for SQL Prompt to port over. I’ve been right there with you, though unsure of...


  Question of the Day

Today's question (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor):


Delaying the code

If I have this code, what is the amount of time that passes between two output times?

Think you know the answer? Click here, and find out if you are right.



  Yesterday's Question of the Day (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor)

Getting a Dictionary

I have run this code:

import numpy as np
import pandas as pd

I have also created this dataframe:

>>> df
  BillMonth  InvoiceAmount
0       May            300
1      June            450
2      July            600
3    August            900

I want to convert this to a dictionary and store it in a new variable, called SampleBills. In here, I want the key to be the BillMonth, and the value to be the InvoiceAmount. What code will do this?

Answer: SampleBills = df.set_index('BillMonth')['InvoiceAmount'].to_dict()

Explanation: The to_dict() method for a dataframe will do this, but we need to set the indexes with the set_index. Otherwise, the default dataframe is not what we want. If we run this code, we see these results:

>>> SampleBills = df.set_index('BillMonth')['InvoiceAmount'].to_dict()
>>> SampleBills
{'June': 450, 'August': 900, 'July': 600, 'May': 300}

Ref: pandas.DataFrame.to_dict() -

Discuss this question and answer on the forums




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