Last week I was at PASS Summit and it was an incredible time. I went in feeling deflated about my career and came out excited and energized. It was wonderful seeing the potential of the Microsoft Data Platform and where things are going. It was also great to meet a lot of people and hang out with my SQL Saturday friends.
Overall, there was one theme I saw over and over again. You could call it technological diversity. You could call it fragmentation. You could call it accelerating growth. What it really comes down to is more technologies, more platforms and more things to learn.
You could see it in the keynotes multiple times. SQL Server is now on Linux. Polybase connects to Mongo. NoSQL support is available via DocumentDB. PASS is rebranding and focusing on the Microsoft Data Platform, not just SQL Server. Clearly the surface area of a data professional is expanding.
I like that term a lot, Data Professional. At first, it sounds meaningless and generic. But it’s one of the few things that aptly describes what I do. Because being able to be just a DBA or a database developer is going to get rarer. Now you need to know a bit about Azure. Now you need to know a bit about Excel and PowerPivot. Now you need know the difference between Pokemon and Big Data.
All of this has inspired me to work on my first professional development session; Drinking From the Firehose: a Guide to Keeping Up With Technology. I’ve submitted it to SQL Saturday Cleveland. I also might get to present it for the Professional Development VC. I’m hoping if I can put some of these concepts into words, I can get a better handle on them myself.