It's a good idea to learn more about different technologies. I've been amazed throughout my career, and even now as someone working for a software vendor, how many different technologies I run into. I'm also amazed at how little bits of knowledge comes in handy, either to help me understand a problem or to help guide others with a recommendation of how to proceed.
Many of us have experience with relational databases and tabular data. We are comfortable with it, even if we might struggle with a packing problem or using a tally table. However, do you understand how a NoSQL database might be different? Can you even name a few types of NoSQL databases?
I find it valuable to know a bit and experiment a bit, as your devs may ask you if it's suitable, or even how to work with one of these databases. They might even start using one and expect you can take responsibility for managing it, backing it up, securing it, and more.
I wonder how many of you know MongoDB? What type of database it is or how it stores data? What about Cassandra? Neo-4J? CosmosDB? I haven't done much work with any of these, but I've learned a bit about them. I even spent six months digging into graph databases and learning how they work, how to model data, and how to query them. Part of this was SQL Server's inclusion of graph structures, but part of this was a customer looking to add graph capabilities to their application. I learned a lot, and even delivered a few presentations on how they work.
I'm not an expert, but I can have a rational, reasonable, informed debate about the good and bad things with graph databases. Enough to help provide an opinion on whether they might suit a problem. They solve some complex things well and I think they might be a good platform to add to some applications. I wouldn't get rid of the RDBMS, but supplement it.
This year I'm going to dig more into MongoDB and Cassandra. We have more customers asking about these platforms and we're working on Flyway support for both of them.
If you have any thoughts on NoSQL, or experiences, or even want to write a bit about them, let me know. I'm always looking to learn more, and I always need good authors.