March 5, 2020

Being a Knowledge Worker: Learning and Training

Originally here

In the book DevOps for the Modern Enterprise, Mirko talks about being a Knowledge worker:

How do you manage yourself in the world of knowledge workers, where your job changes every couple of years and new tools and technologies get introduced at an ever-faster pace? Working in a modern IT organization can be scary; so many things are changing, and traditional-role definitions become less and less applicable. Agile in particular has been a real challenge for many project managers who were used to managing project plans that have been defined well in advance. All of this requires us to spend more time staying up to date than ever before. And new techniques and tools continue to appear on the collective radar faster and faster.

He goes on recommend these main sources of learning:

  • Conferences
  • Local meetups
  • MOOCs
  • Blogs and Podcasts - especially while exercising

Check out what books I have been reading.

Coming off the same theme of Relevance, as I look back, I realise I should have studied more. Here is a quick look at what I have done so far:

2020

2019

  • Azure AZ-103: Self Study using Udemy
  • ScrumStudy Agile training: 3 days
  • DevOps Foundation: 2 days
  • Architecting on AWS - 3 days training and exams
  • Merge: Offerzen conference, about tech, culture, hiring and more.
  • Spring One - Spring conference, with the tech leads, including Josh, Cote, etc.
  • Open Cloud Summit - powered globally by Microsoft Azure with guest speakers from leading projects such as GitHub, SUSE, Kubernetes, Spark, OpenShift, PostgreSQL and RedisLabs.

2018

  • Microsoft 20778B: Analyzing Data with Power BI - 3 days training.
  • Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) - Blackbelt AKS Hackfest. This was hands-on training, the first for one day, and other other for two days.
  • TM Forum Open API Training - 3 days training for Fundamentals and Practitioners
  • Udemy: APIs, Social Media Data, and their Real World Applications. This taught how to use the Twitter API, and do analysis of tweets using Python.
  • Udemy: REST API Automation with REST Assured. This course taught how to use the Rest Assured Java library to do API testing.
  • Azure and AKS Blackbelt days: I attended about 3 days at Microsoft

2017

  • UNISA PGCE - I only did the first semester
  • Crucial Accountability - 1 day
  • Google Cloud - 1 day overview and some hands-on work using GCP

2016

  • Redhat Linux self study and exam
  • LEAP: Ken Blanchard Leadership - 5 days in-depth training
  • Design Thinking: IDEA - 3 days training
  • Crucial Conversations - 2 days

2015

  • Web Application Architectures by University of New Mexico on Coursera. This taught the basic of web app design, using Ruby on Rails as the language of instruction.

2013 - 2014

  • During December 2013 at IS I self-studied SIP School SSCA
  • Formal CCNA SP 1 training for a week, and the exam the next week.
  • During December 2014 / January 2015, self studied EMC Information and Storage Management.
  • I also did a on-line VCE Associate course with exam, that took about 6 hours in December 2014

2011 - 2013

Two major training events at Accenture. Core Consulting School in Chicago in March 2011 - this is one of mandatory schools. They teach the Accenture methodology, primarily for Project Management and client interaction. Very good learning experience - about 300 similar skilled people from all over the world for a week.

  • The other major one was Technology Architecture school in London. Very awesome learning experience
  • TMForum training - one week
  • I also self-studied towards Cisco CCNA1 in May 2011, and CCNA2 during July 2011. In December 2011 and January 2012, I self-studied CCDA

2008 - 2010

Early in 2008 just after I joined MTN, I decided I wanted to do more studying. I found out about an MSc Eng in Telecoms that Wits was offering. Some of the guys had completed while still at Wits before coming to work. I planned to complete it over 3 years. The first half of the year was for the course work and lectures, and the 2nd half of the year for research. I did two courses in 2008, and two courses in 2009. Each course lasted 6 weeks, with lectures of 3 hours, two days a week. I used to wake up at 3am to study, come in to work at 7am, leave for lectures at 8:30, and come back at lunch, and stay till late. 3 hour exam at the end of each course! When I told my manager that I was going to make up for all the lost work he said "I dont care what hours you do, just finish the work". Awesome!!! After 2 years of studying most weekends, I gave up. Best decision I made, with absolutely no regrets. Family is more important than this.

  • I started on an MSc Eng in Telecoms at Wits
  • During the same time at MTN, I did a one day Time Management course offered off-site. I still remember some of the things I learned, and have been practicing on it.
  • I also did a one-week F5 BigIP Load-Balancer support engineer course
  • Ericsson GSM one-week course
  • SmartTrust DP support engineer one week course
  • I was scheduled for an Oracle DB one-week course, but my resignation meant I could not make it

2005 - 2007

During my time at ECN, I did'nt do any formal training. I suppose I was just happy to be finally done with exams after 15 years or so.