Monday, 7 December 2015

It's that time of year again...time to cross train!

No, I don't mean the post Xmas gym binge to burn off all those extra calories! I'm talking about skill set development and specifically those skills that fall outside of our primary area. Personally speaking, I haven't done too much outside of SQL for a couple of years now having been very focused on the internals of MSSQL, that is changing this year!

Just to head something up first. I won't be dropping any learning/development in SQL Server. SQL 2016 is coming after all, CTP 3.1 is out now and there are plenty of things to be getting stuck into in the new release - new data capabilities, analytics, data warehousing improvements and of course core SQL changes too (I know I keep mentioning it but the In-Memory OLTP functionality is getting more and more practical; it deserves more focus!!). 

The cloud too. Make no mistake, the cloud is the future. It might just be me but I haven't witnessed a big embrace of this technology by the leading SQL experts, not socially anyway. That is clearly changing now and lets be honest, even if your organisation isn't using it at the moment they're sure as hell thinking about it and you should be clued up.

So what else should we be focusing on, we are talking cross training here?! My opening paragraph mentioned being outside of SQL Server and I haven't really mentioned anything particularly out there yet!

Well, this is where it comes down to what interests you. The web is inundated with articles explaining what skills we should be focused on next year. What skills will be commanding the biggest salaries and of course, what skills are just plain trendy but I don't believe following for those reasons works out well in the long term, or the medium...maybe even the short!

So what about me? Well I used to be a developer and it might surprise a few that know me when I say I quite fancy at least getting my hands a little bit dirty in the development game again. The .NET framework has evolved somewhat, JavaScript is right up there of course, JSON too...which leads rather nicely to NoSQL...I know, databases again!

Like the cloud more and more organisations are using non relational databases (just look at the big players that are using MongoDB presently!) and its an area that I really want to know more about.

So, I've kind of hit the surface of my training plans for next year but I would like to know other peoples views on this. Is cross training beneficial or should we stay focused on our main area of expertise? Can we stray too far from our core skill set and if you are training in new or different area's, what are they?

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