Pathways to Progress

One of the most significant and hardest challenges we face as data professionals (or generally anyone in IT) is how to keep up with learning. Most of us are good with ambitious goals – ‘I want to do data science’, ‘I want to learn Linux for SQL’, ‘I want to be an AI expert’..this and that. But when it comes to real learning, we realize we don’t have enough time. Or that what we read needs some effort to practice and we don’t have the environments for that. Or that it sounds cool on paper but we hardly know how to make it work in real life…on and on. Learning is sort of like medication – you need to know how much of it you can ingest to make a difference. The quantity and the method are important. I like to learn in stages…a lot of people do. I also like to learn with focus, not just turning something on while I work or do other things. I like to walk away with something I feel like I can apply to real life. There are few trainings that meet all these criteria.

One of the most common issues I have had and heard people say also, at the PASS summit, is that they feel pulled in too many directions with the variety of sessions. One hour of security, one hour of something in BI, one hour of analytics, this and that..and at the end of the day you are like someone who has had 3 buffet lunches at Vegas..you don’t know what you ate, you liked some of it and you’re not sure how it has gone down 🙂

This year, we have what is called ‘Learning Paths’. These are guided pathways through sessions that target specific learning needs. Each ‘pathway’ is multiple sessions taught by multiple people. You have no obligation to follow a pathway to attend them but you would probably gain more if you did. For example, a ‘pathway’ on SQL Performance for the developer has 3 sessions as below.

Another pathway on Becoming an Azure Data Engineer is as below.

The complete list of pathways is as below and you can find the content on PASS summit website.

  • AI for Everyone
  • Cloud Migration
  • Data Visualization & Storytelling
  • Linux for SQL Server Professionals
  • Communication for Technical Professionals
  • Data Security Pathway
  • SQL Performance for the Developer
  • Technical Leadership
  • Modernizing with SQL  Server 2019
  • Becoming an Azure Data Engineer

I hope you will find this method useful to enhance your learning. And do stop by at the bloggers table to say hello to me while you’re there!!

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