Jumping Ahead

While on vacation recently, I went to see Spider-Man Homecoming with my family. It was an enjoyable movie on a rainy afternoon, and a nice addition to the Marvel lineup. I think this actually might be my favorite Spider-man movie, and I’d recommend you watch it if you enjoy this genre. It was humorous, well written, and some nice special effects. As with any of these Marvel movies, you definitely need some suspension of disbelief, especially with the technology.

In the movie, Peter Parker is anxious to join the Avengers and become a full time super hero, going on missions that have a large impact in the world. He chafes as the idea that he needs to stay in school and let his life progress at a more normal pace, which Tony Stark seems intent on pushing. Many of us have felt the same chafing in our own youth, wanting to get out of school, go to work, and move on in life.

However, even in our careers, I find people wanting to jump forward, moving to new technologies and platforms as quick as possible. I certainly see this in the SQL Server world, often from developers, that want to find the holy grail of database storage in CouchDB, CosmosDB, Neo4J, etc. I’ve often seen this in the development world with different types of technologies, such as web frameworks. Maybe we in the data space are more conservative? Or we like sticking to what we know works well?

We data professionals are not immune from the desire to jump ahead. I see plenty of data people wanting to jump into some new area to grow their careers. Data Science ( and AI, Machine Learning, etc.) is the newest craze, with quite a few people learning some R, some model training, and wanting to find a use for their skills. Or maybe an employer, preferably one that pays more than they make now. Good luck to you, but I’d encourage you to remember that good data science takes lots of skill, knowledge, and practice. I wouldn’t expect a quick jump into this new area.

There are certainly other changes in the data world, such as the graph capabilities coming to SQL Server 2017 and the explosion of cloud database implementations. However, don’t get caught up in expecting quick changes in your job or your income. Continue to learn, experiment, build a POC and practice your skills. Change usually comes for most of us at measured paces. This pace is hard to accept if you don’t have the habit of regularly learning something and applying it in small doses, understanding that not everything you learn will be useful (or used) in your current situation.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcast

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