Non-Stop Learning

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Non-Stop Learning

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

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • Hi Grant

    I do agree with your thoughts ... looks like the Sisyphus Myth .. though ... tough enough  😉

    I have almost exactly the same age as you have. It’s  becoming harder and harder to catch up, but, maybe what makes our strengh is - simply put - our whole experience and innate  sense of methodology and logic ?

    Eric - from Paris

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • I truly resonate with your thoughts you have put forward. I am 40 and  lately got a wake-up call due to the downsizing that is happening in recent times, so I ventured out to see where I stand with respect to knowledge.

    Honestly, the tech world has changed so much...that too it's so fast that keeping in pace with the change seems to be a challenge for the old school like me.

    Again it's a good discussion and I want to see a path that one can follow to stay on course with the fast-paced change in technology.

  • Hi there !

    40 ? Forti —> Fortitude !  🙂

    Please, don’t anticipate EVERYTHING

    You’ll loose you sanity …

    Just have a  « manager » view of all thatnew stuff coming on - ever and ever : Getting current ? Yeah ! But just superficially aware of everything new (Oh, my !…  is that modest goal ever possible ? LOL)

    Please : Mind your … mind !

    To be able to dive quickly when some opportunity on a new tech is coming on 😉

    Cheers,Eric

  • I really like your article, @Grant. It succinctly states the dichotomy between needing to keep learning and the subject one's learning constantly changing. It's tough, but I understand your desire to keep up. And I love to learn. I'm in the process of filling in gaps in my own understanding of the technologies I use.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • Hi Grant,

    I have two central mottos (motti?) 'Always be learning' & 'Know something about everything and everything about something'. The problem for me is the direction: broaden the base or deepen the knowledge. There are still many features of SQL Server I only know about in theory (clustering, merge replication, master data services, tabular models to name but a few) and there are many features I'd love to become an expert in (cubes & MDX, Python, statistics, learning  in depth what all of the performance counters & query plan operators mean and so on).

    What is hard is choosing. Normally I alternate between learning a new field and deepening a field I'm already familiar with. What is hard is knowing which of the new fields to do next. I was very excited when In-Memory OLTP was anounced in 2014. A new paradigm. It seemed like one of the truly groundbreaking developments in SQL Server. I convinced my boss to let me do a 6 week project on it, I was assigned a server with 300GB RAM but it was disappointing. The technology turned out to be half-baked (too many things that weren't supported then). The end-report didn't live up to my initial belief that this was the future of SQL Server.

    And then finally there is the aspect that I have to choose between the company and the technology. I like where I work but the scope to try new technology is limited. Yes, I may undertake projects on technology new to the company and that is great. However, the company is too small for large-scale architectural experiments (say, trying to separate as much as possible the reading and writing of data with Always On or replication, keeping hot tables as small as possible by means of an integrated archival system with every table storing either hot data (say, data from the last year or two) or cold data (data older than that).

    And there is Azure looming ever constantly, like a dark cloud on the horizon. I should master it, as it is here to stay, as you have suggested. I just wish I could go back to me aged 18 and lay out a roadmap. I wanted to go into medicine as a youth...

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  sean redmond.
  • I like your point of view, Sean. I adopted the same, "know something about everything and everything about something", although I didn't put it so succinctly. For me, though, a big question is how to accomplish the "know something about everything" part. For example, in my current job I've asked, more than once, to do something different. Instead, I'm only given only those job assignments I was initially given in 2016.

    So, I'm wondering how do I get experience at Azure, for instance? At this point in my life, I don't think I can afford a MSDN subscription (for myself), so I could get so many minutes a month. And I don't know of any other way of paying for Azure usage, other than shelling out the money each month, which doesn't fit into my budget. In the past I took advantage of Microsoft's BizSpark (is that still around?) However, as it turns out instead of being able to work on a side business as I had hoped to do, I was laid off of the position I'd been in, so I used BizSpark to get Visual Studio Enterprise onto the PC I was using at the time, installed SQL Server and did what I could in odd jobs while looking for the next job. I was out of work for almost 9 months - using up BizSpark.  BizSpark is a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing. There was no way I could have known I'd be one of those let go in a desperate effort to save the agency I was working for. (As it turned out, the RIF I was a part of didn't save the agency, as 18 months later the agency folded and laid off everyone else still there.) Anyway, my point is I've done all I know of to do. There's no Microsoft representational support in the state where I live, so I can't talk to someone to see what options might be available to me. I think it would be great to have the opportunity to experiment with some Azure resources.

    Any ideas?

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • MSDN is the only way I know to have a renewable set of time in Azure for less cost. You can get a free trial, but it runs out and doesn't renew monthly.

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

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • Thank you, Grant. Guess I'll look again at an MSDN license. The Enterprise license, especially to establish the license, is exorbitant. At least for an individual. Perhaps the Professional level is reasonable.

    A very good friend of mine, used to talk about something with a name like "Dev Pack", or "Business Pack", or something like that. Unfortunately, he passed away, so I can't get the name of it correct. I've asked at my local .NET User group, but no one here knows what I'm talking about.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • Rod at work wrote:

    A very good friend of mine, used to talk about something with a name like "Dev Pack", or "Business Pack", or something like that. Unfortunately, he passed away, so I can't get the name of it correct. I've asked at my local .NET User group, but no one here knows what I'm talking about.

    Could you have been thinking about BizSpark? I think it's for startups but it gives you a lot of stuff if you qualify.

    https://guides.co/g/how-to-get-started-with-bizspark/20775

     

  • Hi all

    In France, we have a statement : « Qui trop embrasse, mal étreint ! »

    I don’t know if there’s an equivalent one in english … a clumsy, litteral translation would be « If  you seek to embrace too broadly, then you end up embracing badly » 😉

    Once more, I really think that going this way is not … optimal.

    Best Regards

    Eric - Short-arms boy … lol

  • Tom Uellner wrote:

    Rod at work wrote:

    A very good friend of mine, used to talk about something with a name like "Dev Pack", or "Business Pack", or something like that. Unfortunately, he passed away, so I can't get the name of it correct. I've asked at my local .NET User group, but no one here knows what I'm talking about.

    Could you have been thinking about BizSpark? I think it's for startups but it gives you a lot of stuff if you qualify.

    https://guides.co/g/how-to-get-started-with-bizspark/20775

    No. In this case my friend had used it to help him with his side business of doing system design and network administration. It gave him access to things a system administrator would use, not so much application development.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • eric.kero@orange.fr wrote:

    Hi all

    In France, we have a statement : « Qui trop embrasse, mal étreint ! »

    I don’t know if there’s an equivalent one in english … a clumsy, litteral translation would be « If  you seek to embrace too broadly, then you end up embracing badly » 😉

    Once more, I really think that going this way is not … optimal.

    Best Regards

    Eric - Short-arms boy … lol

    Clumsy translation or not, I quite agree.  What I've seen over time is that people continue to follow the proverbial bouncing ball to the next shiny object because they think "new" and "improved" actually is.  As a result, they never truly learn anything well because they simply don't spend enough time on any given object of study.  In many cases, they've spent so little time on the current object that they don't realize that it has more capabilities and is easier to use than the object they're jumping to and so frequently come to the seriously mistaken conclusion that change is always for the better.

    My personal experience is that change is usually more complicated or more difficult to use, frequently has fewer features or existing features have either been degraded or removed, and there's usually more bugs.

    So, while the rave is to never stop learning, I'd like to suggest that people stop on objects long enough to actually learn something about them.  And stop depending on what other people say about what is fact or not.  Learn to "test everything" because even supposed "experts" are frequently wrong.  A couple of great examples of where the whole world has been duped into drinking the proverbial Purple Kool-Aid is on the subjects of what the "Best Practices" for index maintenance actually are (the currently accepted ones are NOT and were NEVER MEANT TO BE) and people that believe that Random GUIDs have a fragmentation problem (they don't and I teach how they're actually the epitome of what people expect indexes to work as).  Another wild one is that XML splitters are better than "Tally Table/Functional" based splitters.  Almost all of these issues are because of incorrect test data, incorrect testing, incorrect interpretation of what the documentation states, or any combination of those.

     

    --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)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

  • It might sound paradoxal, but those who promote learning new stuff are the ones who failed to learn the old one.

    They are hoping for a "quick grip" on technology, and when it turns out to be more complex then they anticipated, they jump to any new feature which promises them no deadlocks, no IO bottlenecks, automatic maintenance, structural flexibility, no data type restrictions, etc.

    Their knowledge is so shallow that they don't even understand that all those promises may only come with severe limitations and significant performance compromises. This part is, of course, not advertised, so they have to discover it by themselves.

    And after disappointment they start learning a new thing which promises them - see above.

    Things which really worth learning would take long time to learn.

    And those ones which could be learn in weeks - are not really worth spending any time at all.

    _____________
    Code for TallyGenerator

  • Here is a little challenge.

    Look back at 10, 15 years of new feature in or around SQL Server you've learned or heard about.

    What share of those features did really make a difference? Something which would really justify upgrading a well designed system based on, say, SQL Server 2008?

    _____________
    Code for TallyGenerator

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