Gentlest of Reminders, Don't Stop Learning

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Gentlest of Reminders, Don't Stop Learning

    "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood"
    - Theodore Roosevelt

    Author of:
    SQL Server Execution Plans
    SQL Server Query Performance Tuning

  • Grant, thank you for the gentle reminder, but I fear that my response is not what I would have hoped and expected of myself.  I have become acutely aware the past couple years that I'm not nearly as motived to learn as I have been all my life.  I have been very active in IT since my start in 1969 as a Mark IV/Cobol/Assembler programmer, and I do still keep myself involved in my personal uses of tech daily, but only in my own projects.

    When I got the break that started me in IT, I was the one who fell asleep at night holding the old original black and white text-only IBM manuals which were one of the basic sources of learning.  Then I moved on to buying books about new technology and software as I kept learning and trying things first on an Apple II+ and then the very first IBM PC's, along with working in a large manufacturing company IT department.  Along the way I used to go take various evening classes at community colleges both in Indiana and Iowa to gain some perspective on developiing tech.  My days as a DBA ended at a large company where our DBA group was responsible for something in excess of 50 instances of SQL Server systems.  While there I actually mentored a new hire who soon became my last boss and good friend.

    I still hope that now with another northern Indiana winter moving in soon and outdoor activities ( wine on the patio with my sweet wife of 44 years ) taper off I can at least get back some of my enthusiasm for my home-office projects working with my personal data,  for whatever that is worth.  I don't mean to be maudlin about it, but I realize that it will make absolutely no difference to anyone but me.

    Now to my disappointment as I become more physically limited at 80 years old,  I find myself just plain worn out and not so motivated to take on the learning effort.  Especially this sumer 2023 I have not really put any effort into anything other that trying to keep our home technology functioning, and last month even called on my fallback tech company guys to come and handle several accumulated issues with our home office devices.

     

    Rick
    Disaster Recovery = Backup ( Backup ( Your Backup ) )

  • I don't mind changes to software etc. that actually improve the product, but so many changes these days seem to occur just to give the developers something to do.  For example, in WIN 10 I clicked on the start menu to shut the machine down; in 11 I right click it.  Cutting and pasting in WIN10 (and previous versions) took merely a couple clicks.  In WIN 11 I need to select 'more options' to get to the 'cut' and 'paste' portions.  And please don't tell me I can change this or that to restore this functionality; I don't see why it changed in the first place.

  • If you want to have a life, find a new career outside of IT.  Find a role that uses the technology skills you have in a privately held company where you will be appreciated.

    Every Tom, Dick, and Harry on planet Earth has hung out their shingle as a third-party recruiter.  If you study all the time, you are working to support them as well as yourself and your family.

    Otherwise, you will get to the end of your life and wonder was it all worth it.  You may have accumulated physical wealth here on Earth but not the important things like family and loved ones.

    Do not waste your life chasing the wind and live while you can.

    Retired IT Veteran

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  Chandler Miller. Reason: Minor correction
  • gregg_dn wrote:

    I don't mind changes to software etc. that actually improve the product, but so many changes these days seem to occur just to give the developers something to do. 

    I agree.  Fortunately I'm at the place where I am not under pressure to remain 'current' in versions.   I don't use ANY subscription-based software and nothing that requires regular updates.  When I have some certain need, I can usually find a freebie version online to accomplish my needs, and I usually support the developer aaccordingly.  My main applications meet my needs and desires.  And after I have downloaded and used a freebie application, often even on a secondary aged machine such as my old XP desktop, I normally do an uninstall and delete so my machine doesn't get cluttered.   if it is something I might use again, the install gets moved to the R/W CD.  I think I actuallly still have a Win 286 install I moved off an aging floppy.  My 'antique' software resides in a 300-capacity cd/dvd case in my office closet

    Rick
    Disaster Recovery = Backup ( Backup ( Your Backup ) )

  • Chandler Miller wrote:

    If you want to have a life, find a new career outside of IT.  Find a role that uses the technology skills you have in a privately held company where you will be appreciated.

    Well, Chandler, I could have become very involved in a business one of my sons and his wife started and have made quite successful, but I decided that due to my age and waning motivation I could have been more of a risk and liability than an asset.

    My wife and I have been blessed in that during our active days ( she founded, operated, and sold three enterprises over the years, I worked in IT for something like 11 various large and small businessses), we planned for and have enjoyed the fruit of our labors and have not needed employment.  However, during the last three years of the current federal administration we have had to back off on some of our passtimes ( I've lost in excess of $150k from my investments over and above  my withdrawals to live on ).

    Rick
    Disaster Recovery = Backup ( Backup ( Your Backup ) )

  • gregg_dn wrote:

    I don't mind changes to software etc. that actually improve the product, but so many changes these days seem to occur just to give the developers something to do.  For example, in WIN 10 I clicked on the start menu to shut the machine down; in 11 I right click it.  Cutting and pasting in WIN10 (and previous versions) took merely a couple clicks.  In WIN 11 I need to select 'more options' to get to the 'cut' and 'paste' portions.  And please don't tell me I can change this or that to restore this functionality; I don't see why it changed in the first place.

    Heh... totally agreed.  It matches one of the mantra's that I carry in my signature line below...

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

    --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)

  • Jeff Moden wrote:

    Heh... totally agreed.  It matches one of the mantra's that I carry in my signature line below...

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

    And I'll add a couple more:

    "If it ain't broke, don't fix it'"

    "Do we really need to do this sh!t?"

     

    Rick
    Disaster Recovery = Backup ( Backup ( Your Backup ) )

  • skeleton567 wrote:

    Jeff Moden wrote:

    Heh... totally agreed.  It matches one of the mantra's that I carry in my signature line below...

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

    And I'll add a couple more:

    "If it ain't broke, don't fix it'"

    "Do we really need to do this sh!t?"

    And one of my favorites...

    "Veni, Vidi... ummmm.... WTF!!!???"  😀

    The other one is a play on words that you posted that seems to be becoming the truth...

    "If it ain't broke... update it and improve it until it is". 😀

     

    --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)

  • Jeff, thanks for the best laugh in quite a while.  Love it. Been there done that.

    Rick
    Disaster Recovery = Backup ( Backup ( Your Backup ) )

  • @Grant,

    I love this article but I'd like to add a nuance to it, especially after what Rick and I were just "talking" about in some of the sayings we listed.

    A lot of people spend a whole lot of time on new stuff.  What they don't realize is that there's a whole lot of things in old stuff that are quite new to them because they've never used a particular feature, didn't realize some better code than what they were using, or didn't realize that some supposed "Best Practices" established by a decades long, around the world "Band Wagon" is actually incorrect.

    Sometimes you (used figuratively and not pointed at anyone in particular) don't have to adopt new products to continue learning.  Sometimes it's even more advantageous to learn the stuff you never took the time to learn in what's already available because you because you were always try to learn the next "too cool for school" thing, which frequently doesn't make it past a year of being "cool" or "useful".

    A recent example of "why are you using <insert too-cool-for-school_product_name-here> to do this" can be found in a recent article on this very site.  If you examine the code they're using, MOST OF IT IS DYNAMIC T-SQL!  Replace the rest with a very simple trigger on a couple of tables and Bob's your uncle.  No need to learn a new language.  No need to do something outside of SQL Server.  No need on taking the chance of running out of memory, etc, etc.

    People will frequently say, "Well... just because you can do something in SQL, doesn't mean you should".  While I do agree with that, I'll also state that just because you can do something in PowerShell, Python, etc, etc, doesn't mean you should do it there just because you don't actually know how to do it in SQL.

    They'll retort with something like "Well... you should broaden your knowledge".  I laugh and remind them that they haven't tried to broaden theirs about SQL.

    To that, they'll frequently come back with "Well!  SQL Server is NOT the center of the universe"!

    Cool! If you believe in that, let's go turn your company's SQL/database Servers off and see if you're right. ;P

    To summarize, if you (again, used figuratively an not pointed at anyone in particular) really want to learn something new, learn what you've been missing in SQL for the last decade or two.

    As a sad sidebar there, have a look at a lot of the conferences... almost none of the sessions are about SQL anymore.  The good part there is that people who DO know some of the depths of SQL are going to get more and more valuable as time goes on and it's not going to go away anytime soon. 😀

    --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)

  • It's another day when I think SQL Server Central must have been spying on us, producing such on-topic editorials, as here I am, old enough to claim my UK state pension but still working and apart from Power BI management which changes monthly, we're embarking this week on a full scale redevelopment of our on-prem SQL Server data warehouse in AWS involving learning Glue, S3, Python and all sorts of AWS security and suchlike that I currently know nothing about, but will by next month!

    It's all good stuff that keeps my brain active and that brain stimulation is something that I would miss and need to replace on retirement.

  • skeleton567 wrote:

    Grant, thank you for the gentle reminder, but I fear that my response is not what I would have hoped and expected of myself.  I have become acutely aware the past couple years that I'm not nearly as motived to learn as I have been all my life.  I have been very active in IT since my start in 1969 as a Mark IV/Cobol/Assembler programmer, and I do still keep myself involved in my personal uses of tech daily, but only in my own projects.

    When I got the break that started me in IT, I was the one who fell asleep at night holding the old original black and white text-only IBM manuals which were one of the basic sources of learning.  Then I moved on to buying books about new technology and software as I kept learning and trying things first on an Apple II+ and then the very first IBM PC's, along with working in a large manufacturing company IT department.  Along the way I used to go take various evening classes at community colleges both in Indiana and Iowa to gain some perspective on developiing tech.  My days as a DBA ended at a large company where our DBA group was responsible for something in excess of 50 instances of SQL Server systems.  While there I actually mentored a new hire who soon became my last boss and good friend.

    I still hope that now with another northern Indiana winter moving in soon and outdoor activities ( wine on the patio with my sweet wife of 44 years ) taper off I can at least get back some of my enthusiasm for my home-office projects working with my personal data,  for whatever that is worth.  I don't mean to be maudlin about it, but I realize that it will make absolutely no difference to anyone but me.

    Now to my disappointment as I become more physically limited at 80 years old,  I find myself just plain worn out and not so motivated to take on the learning effort.  Especially this sumer 2023 I have not really put any effort into anything other that trying to keep our home technology functioning, and last month even called on my fallback tech company guys to come and handle several accumulated issues with our home office devices.

    I hear you. I'm not ready to retire, but I can see it on the horizon. And yeah, I'll probably stop learning so much IT stuff. However, I think I'll go on learning. I've fallen pretty hard for this ham radio stuff, and it's constantly changing. Always another thing to pick up. I keep toying with the idea of learning CW, morse code. I just don't see stopping on the learning, but maybe that will change as I age.

    "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood"
    - Theodore Roosevelt

    Author of:
    SQL Server Execution Plans
    SQL Server Query Performance Tuning

  • Chandler Miller wrote:

    If you want to have a life, find a new career outside of IT.  Find a role that uses the technology skills you have in a privately held company where you will be appreciated.

    Every Tom, Dick, and Harry on planet Earth has hung out their shingle as a third-party recruiter.  If you study all the time, you are working to support them as well as yourself and your family.

    Otherwise, you will get to the end of your life and wonder was it all worth it.  You may have accumulated physical wealth here on Earth but not the important things like family and loved ones.

    Do not waste your life chasing the wind and live while you can.

    Retired IT Veteran

    It is all about balance. And someday, relatively soon, I'll be retiring. But not today.

    "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood"
    - Theodore Roosevelt

    Author of:
    SQL Server Execution Plans
    SQL Server Query Performance Tuning

  • Jeff Moden wrote:

    To summarize, if you (again, used figuratively an not pointed at anyone in particular) really want to learn something new, learn what you've been missing in SQL for the last decade or two.

    No arguments from me. Learning is learning. It doesn't have to be "new" stuff because, if you don't know it, it's new to you. As I said above, I may start learning a 160 year old technology. That's old, not new, but I don't know it, so it'll be an all new challenge.

    "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood"
    - Theodore Roosevelt

    Author of:
    SQL Server Execution Plans
    SQL Server Query Performance Tuning

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