Moving on to other technologies, languages, etc.....

DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Member Posts: 2,747 ■■■■■■■■■■
edited May 2019 in Education & Development
Just curious how you manage what you desire to learn and what you are already into.  For example:  Let's say employee A works with C# everyday, it's essentially what gets them paid 100,000+.  However......  They want to learn more but they know they still have a ways to go to become an expert in .Net.  

What's your approach?  

Do you stick with what got you were you are and continue to make bank, increasing as your skills increase or do you feel adding additional skills is a better play?   I can see both lines of thinking and believe there isn't a right or wrong answer.  Maybe one is better than another for certain people......

I personally leaning on the skill that got me where I am, even if I feel I'm 80-90% maxed out I can still learn more variants of that skill and continue to hone challenging concepts.  



  • Azt7Azt7 Member Posts: 121 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I  have a similar approach to yours.

    I use : Functional knowledge -> beginner -> intermediate -> advanced -> Expert. My thinking assumes that you max out your income with at least advanced level.   

    Cloud Solutions Architecture / Services : AWS / Azure / O365 - Advanced 
    Governance & Cyber Risk - Intermediate
    Compliance - Beginner
    Technical Security : Endpoint Security / Application Security / Data Security - Intermediate
    Scripting / Automation - Beginner
    Big Data / ERP / CRM - Functional knowledge 

    I have to reach at least intermediate to be comfortable. So while I'm going after expert level on the first skills, I'll will continue strengthening the lowest level skills.

    When I get to 4 intermediate and 1 expert, I feel pretty good. After that, time to pick a new skill to raise to intermediate. 

    Certifications : ITIL, MCSA Office 365, MCSE Productivity, AWS CSAA, Azure Architect, CCSK, TOGAF
    Studying for :  TBD
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Member Posts: 2,747 ■■■■■■■■■■
    That's a great approach!  I may break mine down into 5 categories and assess from there.  Thanks for responding.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 12,905 Admin
    Many people have built their entire software engineering careers around Windows and the .NET platform and little else. Now that Microsoft appears to be moving away from Windows as a new and exciting technology, I would stay focused on what platforms .NET runs on that I don't yet code for, such as the Universal Windows Platform for IoT. You can even market yourself using the Microsoft MVP program, which will allow you to command a higher price for your work.
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■

    What's your approach? 
    We've had topics on TE before about being a joat or specialist. I personally like working with tech and computers and I am fortunate to enjoy what I do for a living. So I tend to favor a joat approach. I explore what I find interesting and curious about...

    I think of it more of a stochastic approach than anything well thought out or planned.

  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Member Posts: 2,747 ■■■■■■■■■■
    edited May 2019
    I can see where randomness would come into play, of course not all of us get the same opportunities or outcomes....   However, being tactical in your approach can most certainly help move you along into the space where you want to end up..... (I think)    This doesn't always correlate with what we want to do, in fact that path can derail people.  Azt for an example. He created 6 distinct buckets for his development while rating out on each one.....   (BTW I like that, if you can't measure you can't succeed).

    While he isn't "laser" focused on one area, he has a tight enough scope to set obtainable goals which allows his efforts to stay aligned in the right direction (at least by his standards).  

    Personally for me I was making terrible money while maintaining a JOAT strategy, dabbling here and there....   Until I committed to one specific skills set I was floundering around.  

    Not debating, just stating my experiences.....

    BTW the intent of the post wasn't to debate JOAT vs SME, you are right that has been discussed before.  It was really more around your role and what's your strategy of improving in that particular role.  
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    @DatabaseHead - Your point about "role" is actually an important distinction. When I think of SME - I think less about technology and more about business problems that I want to solve and the business role that I want to play.  I've always had a bit of an entrepreneurial streak. So dabbling in whatever tech happens to catch my fancy at the time is how I expand my knowledge versatility and stay relevant. And in the role that I play today, it's very advantageous to my career and business.

    I should probably point out that that when I started my career, most tech in businesses ran on mid-range systems and mainframes. If I had focused on being an expert in writing apps on DEC VMS instead of dabbling in other random tech that popped up, I probably would have a very different career today. I suspect that probably is why I don't ever like to just stick to a particular tech stack.

  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Member Posts: 2,747 ■■■■■■■■■■
    edited May 2019
    @paul78 As a strategist it makes sense to be up on new tech, it could effect your decision making when looking for new solutions. 

    I'm more at the tactical level, that makes a difference.  I'm expected to crank out solutions and not just from an SOW or  RFP and **** it.  I actually do the work, I'm the one delivering the solution so for me while dabbling is fun at the end of the day it rarely helps me deliver.  Don't get me wrong finding a new CRON script to manage backups or a new function that was released by MS will help me out optimizing a SP is excellent, heck even running through NOSQL training course is fun, but never has been helpful.  Ultimately I have to come back to the bread and butter or I run the risk of becoming obsolete or at least I have convinced myself of that......
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,772 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think in a very general sense I specialize in my current role and I am a JOAT with my study.

    What I mean by that is I make sure I pay my bills and do a great job but I like to keep exploring options. If you have a specific goal in mind it is much easier to reach it.
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    @Jon_Cisco - yeah - that's a good way to think about it.

    @DatabaseHead - It's really interesting to me that you mentioned "run the risk of becoming obsolete"... That's exactly the reason why I tend to look at different tech and techniques. I don't necessarily look for it to be relevant to what I'm doing - and generally I have always been able to extract some thing however small from whatever I happen to be playing with.

    My current distractions are PC modding (specifically improving hard-line tubing skills) and  improving on my golang skills.  I would like to figure out if I can blend both somehow.
  • MrNetTekMrNetTek Member Posts: 100 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited November 2019

    You can never know too much, no matter what anyone says. Diversifying your background is a sure way to stay employed, even during the worst of times. For the "experts" you mention, most people are not experts, even if they have been doing it 20 years. The fact is, tech is always changing. So much so, that outside of a 5 year range, new knowledge is required, simply because the underlining core tech has changed. Due to the dynamic nature of our field, it is just better to be a JOAT (which, in my opinion, is far more difficult).

    As for my work/study approach: At work, I focus on increasing my skill set during a project (I always ask myself, what can I learn here?); for study, I try to dig into things that will ultimately, or could possibly, be useful in my career. For example, I used to study quite a bit on reverse engineering; now I use it at work.

    -MrNetTek at your service-
  • DFTK13DFTK13 Member Posts: 176 ■■■■□□□□□□
    This is one of the many reasons why I’m trying to be proactive and build up a portfolio of python apps, I found this course on Udemy that has been invaluable for python. I’ve also made a few websites in bootstrap and am trying to work on React. I want to be able to script and program on top of having a diverse set of certs in different areas of IT, so my goal on top of that is CCNA, RHCSA and hopefully a VMWare cert. I study and code in python for an hour or so a day, then CCNA after that, and on some days RHCSA. Once I get my CCNA, I’ll dedicate even more time to the other things. I agree with MrNetTek, you can never know too much.  
    Certs: CCNA(200-301), Network+, A+, LPI Linux Essentials
    Goals: CCNP Enterprise(ENCOR + ENARSI), AWS CSA - Associate, Azure AZ-104, Become better at python, learn docker and kubernetes

    Degree: A.S. Network Administration
    Pursuing: B.S. in I.T. Web and Mobile Development Concentration
  • yoba222yoba222 Member Posts: 1,237 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Which Udemy Python course?
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
    Cisco CyberOps, GCIH, VHL,
    In progress: OSCP
  • DFTK13DFTK13 Member Posts: 176 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited November 2019

    This is a project based course, I felt it really helped me to learn python as a whole while actually creating workable apps. It may or may not work for you if you already know python and are looking for something more relevant to your work scenario. It's a really great foundational course in my opinion. 
    Certs: CCNA(200-301), Network+, A+, LPI Linux Essentials
    Goals: CCNP Enterprise(ENCOR + ENARSI), AWS CSA - Associate, Azure AZ-104, Become better at python, learn docker and kubernetes

    Degree: A.S. Network Administration
    Pursuing: B.S. in I.T. Web and Mobile Development Concentration
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