SQLServerCentral Editorial

Don't Learn, Do It

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I saw a quote in the upcoming dbatools in a Month of Lunches. It was from Jason Krause and said: "Don't try to learn PowerShell. Try to learn to do your current job using PowerShell."

To me, that's good advice for admins, but it's also the advice that I've seen for programmers and developers for most of my career. Don't read about a technology and try to memorize how things work. Actually, go use it to do something.

If you want to learn about SQL, you need to write queries, not just learn the commands. Actually take a problem, like calculating a running total, or aggregating data at certain times, and learn to solve it. If you want to learn how to build a timer, then don't read an article, but actually go build one. You can start with someone else's project, but modify it, practice creating your own, and test your skills.

Many developers know this, and they often end up creating their own projects. GitHub and other online repositories are full of code that they have used to further their own skills. Often when tackling a new issue, developers try to implement a basic version of the same problem to test themselves.

For administrators, especially Windows admins, I see them try to tackle problems with GUIs and wizards far too often. Even admins that know how to script things will fall back on the easy way to accomplish something. I know I've been guilty of that.

Digging into Powershell, or even bash, and using it in your actual work, is a way to start improving your skills and preparing for the future. A future where we will likely need to manage systems in code, store that, and prove that we've deployed systems that meet our requirements and specifications.

There will still be jobs if you can't manage systems with code, but there will be fewer of them. More employees will be picking the staff that do understand how to use code to manage Operations.

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