Creative IT Learning

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Creative IT Learning

    Best wishes,
    Phil Factor

  • Not only do learning styles vary from individual to individual, but an individual may prefer different styles depending on the material to be covered, and the ultimate goal of the learning process. I like the Stairways, for example, to get a good overview of a subject I know I'll need from a practical perspective, whereas I'd rather learn theory from a well-written book. When it comes to learning the data models of a new employer, there's no substitute for diving in and flailing about until you can learn to ride the currents :).

    Roland Alexander 
    The Monday Morning DBA 
    There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats. ~ Albert Schweitzer

  • Hahaha... who knew there were so many SQL T-Shirts.  :w00t:  That's cool. I might have to get some of those.

  • One of the messages I am getting from many under 30s is their preferred way of learning anything is video on YouTube or whatever site is cool today.  Reading is for the old folk.

    I am one of the old folk, who often finds video learning mind-numbingly boring.  I desperately want to skip the bit I already know and move on, but video dictates my content and timing.

    However, the only constant in our industry is change.  Therefore I know that if we want to attract the people who will replace us, then my learning will become more based around video.

    Original author: 1-click install and best practice configuration of SQL Server 2019, 2017 2016, 2014, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008 and 2005.

    When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor they call me a communist - Archbishop Hélder Câmara

  • or the DatasSQLDatasSQL mug

    "...£10.90 per mug..." Who knew trainee DBAs were on such a good wicket.

    ...One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that ones work is terribly important.... Bertrand Russell

  • Heh... ok.... first of all... people who wear shirts that say "SQL is Cool", aren't. 😉

    If you must wear a shirt on the subject, step it up a couple of notches...

    As for learning, I found that I need either good material with good examples written by a thoughtful author or same thing but with a good instructor, both of whom understand the arts of thoughtful repetition (here's what we're going to do, here's how to do it, here's what we just did) and appropriate revelation.  If I can't find much on a given subject that I need to learn, then I try to learn it in the same fashion that I'd like someone to teach it.

    "Sub lessons" are important, as well.  In other words, instead of trying to eat the elephant all at once, it's important to eat it one bite of a time and know where each bite is coming from.  After all, there are some parts of the elephant you should be taught not to eat... at least not raw 😉

    --Jeff Moden

    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.

    Change is inevitable... Change for the better is not.

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Phil, I definitely agree with your statement that learning new skills and technologies insure a successful career in IT.

    Recently, Steve Jones had a discussion around programming languages.
    What was interesting to me was that so many of those languages mentioned are not used anymore in mainstream development today.
    And we are probably talking about a time span of 10-15 years (or even less)!

    T-SQL and SQL Server has shown a lot more longevity, but you still need to be up to speed with version-specific differences, new features, management interfaces, cloud technologies, industry trends etc.

    For full-time employees, Internet courses and tutorials are the logical choice.
    I enjoy the self-paced courses that start off easy but gets progressively more difficult as you advance.

    But my biggest concern about learning via the Internet is that you do not always 'own' a copy (digital or physical) of the reference and study material.
    Will you still be able to lookup something 5 years down the line?
    Will your logon, student number or subscription still be valid?

    I tend to hoard most of the information in Word, PDF or text format for future reference!
    Videos are nice to show the initial concept, but it is easier to search for a keyword or phrase in saved code snippets.

    Finally, some practical advise:
    Consider joining (or starting) a local Meetup - they are great places to learn something new and see what your peers are doing.
    Maintain a library of 'Tech Notes' at work where employees can contribute new things learned or check previously known issues.
    Or have 'crit-sessions' on Fridays where employees can provide positive criticism on each other's work.

  • This is a deep question, one of my favorite subjects. I started in the IT industry in 1989. The tool my account used back then was a CASE tool, computer aided software engineering. This discipline doesn't even exist today.

    So you know something about IT technology. In five years, what you know is invalid. Is what you know today even knowledge? I say that it is not. We know things, but what we know is not knowledge. If what you know is invalid in five years, it is not knowledge. It is something else.

    So, over the years I have met these awesome programmers, people who could make a computer sit up on hind legs and beg for supper. I have met people who could write routines to cook off time so that hard disk spins were synchronized. I have to salute the programmer who wrote an app that played a song on an AM radio, an app that Bill Gates said that he could not understand--

    Programmers who are successful in this industry learn how to cope with changes. Unlike most people, we do not fear changes, in fact we delight in them. We embrace changes, that is our strength. We stay up to speed on current technology because we love it. We eat it for dinner. Videos, pah. Too dang slow. Give us an IDE and a workstation with a network connection and we are good. We will learn new stuff because that is what we do. It is not knowledge at all. But it sure is fun.

  • Learning styles differ between, not only people, but also the material to learn. Practical knowledge is not best learnt solely via written material and theoretical knowledge cannot be attained without written material in my opinion.

    Everyone is right in saying that it is down to both the individual and the knowledge/skill being picked up.


    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • GeorgeCopeland - Monday, March 6, 2017 9:54 AM

    I have to salute the programmer who wrote an app that played a song on an AM radio, an app that Bill Gates said that he could not understand
    ... ...  ...   ...
    We will learn new stuff because that is what we do. It is not knowledge at all. But it sure is fun.

    Song on AM radio sounds as if it should be easy.  I remember playing tunes on paper tape readers, and that actually was easy provided one had a fast enough optical reader.

    I learnt to play the paper tape reader when it was new stuff, about 50years ago.  I would be very surprised if I could get a CTL Modula One computer with a 2000 cps optical paper tape reader to play a tune now - without a lot of head-scratching and trying to remember stuff I've now forgotten, 

    Not knowledge at all, is probably a fair description.  But learning it sure was fun.


  • Almost everything I know is obsolete after five years. I hesitate to call it knowledge at all.

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