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I was reading this post on J.D. Meier's Blog, which deals with the “cloud” (I really dislike that term). You might wonder what that has to do with SQL Server, since it isn’t specifically about SQL Azure. I’ll come back to that in a moment.
I play a little music now and then, on the keyboards and with a guitar as well as the mandolin and banjo. I’m not very good, although I do play in public each week. I try to get better all the time, but sometimes I hit a “wall” – not in the mechanics of playing like finger-positioning or scales or things like that, but being able to improvise new lines and riffs. So a friend gave me some interesting advice. He said: “Go learn to draw.”
Now, if I’m not an awesome musician, I’m an even less-awesome artist. I can certainly appreciate art, and I can put nice things together on a screen or PowerPoint demo, I’ve never really been able to draw 3-D art like the masters do. But I took his advice, set up a pen-tablet for my PC, and grabbed a few books on learning to draw. I’ve watched painting shows on PBS, talked to artists, and had folks show me how to draw better.
And I can play better now. Isn’t that strange? No, I didn’t draw anything that has to do with music – but putting my mind towards another creative effort allowed me to get better at the first one. There’s enough thought-processes in one that helped me in the other.
So now let’s talk about that article I mentioned a moment ago. No, it doesn’t deal with SQL Server, but I really like the approach he takes in his blog post. He lays out everything very clearly, deals with the topic that people ask about a great deal, and I like the set-up for the table that follows his topic. It’s something I’ll incorporate into my security plans for databases going forward.
So what does this mean to you? Study some new development language. Read about chip technology. Go back and practice some math. Find things that are tangential to database technology and the business of what you do, and read, do, practice and try those things. You’ll find it helps “round you out” as a data professional.