Learn, Learn, Learn

It’s been about two years since I posted a blog, and during that time I have learned quite a bit – on the surface, anyway – most larger topics require two years to gain any real proficiency.

Some of these include:

Amazon AWS – Starting at zero, I had to learn terminology first.  Concepts were kind of foreign, but they make sense now and the potential blows my mind.  DynamoDB, Aurora, RedShift, RDS hosted Microsoft SQL Server, EC2 hosted SQL Server, CloudWatch, networking components including VPCs and VPNs and security groups… there’s a mountain of information to learn. Today I’ve set up an IoT Button and (through their tutorial) configured it to send me an email.  This may sound simple to you, but I have a button, that communicates directly to AWS servers through my home internet connection, and starts the process necessary to send me an email.  In 1983 I never imagined this would be possible – it simply never entered my mind. So now I’ve requested an API developer account with Wink to see if I can write something to control my own devices through Wink.  I don’t know how strict their application process is, but we’ll find out soon enough.

Cloudera – I’ve been trained as a Cloudera Administrator on 5.4.x, and have been managing the Cloudera instances at my company for about a year now.  The Hadoop infrastructure is incredibly complex as well – Hive, HBase, HDFS, Impala and so many others it makes my head spin.  I need to focus my time to even come close to the elusive state of ‘proficient’ while I keep systems running.

Devops / Automated deployments with Source Control using GitHub, TeamCity, Redgate Source Control and Database LifeCycle Management (DLM) to manage schema and code changes.

I even got into some Redis and RabbitMQ this year, but those aren’t real databases (they’re more of a cache and message queue) so I didn’t get deep into those.

So many other things – monitoring and alerting tools including PagerDuty, PRTG, DataDog, CloudWatch, etc.  Things you need if you’re going to monitor an enterprise with hundreds of servers and keep 99.999% uptime from the user perspective.

I’ve said for nearly a decade, you must keep your skills up to date to be relevant in the marketplace.  While my focus is on Microsoft SQL Server administration and development, I have to know what the team members are talking about when they need my help. I’ve attended SQL Saturdays and data analytics events, I’ve attended Cloudera training, a couple AWS events, online trainings and have watched videos and read (ok, skimmed) thousands of pages of documentation.  And from what I’ve seen with my current company, that’s par for the course – I’m not even shining among this crowd; they just burn bright all the time.  I kind of like no longer being the smartest person in a room.  It means I still have more to learn.



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