Last week at their Build Developer Conference and the week at Ignite, Microsoft introduced a broad range of new technologies. In recent years, Microsoft has become a more agile and dynamic company. In order for you and your organization to take advantage of this rapid innovation, your organization needs to keep with the change, and quickly adapt to new versions of technology, like Windows 10, or SQL Server 2016 . Or maybe you work with open source software like Hadoop and are missing out on some of the key new projects like Spark or the newer non-map reduce solutions. Or perhaps you are using a version of Oracle that doesn’t support online backups. It’s not your fault; it’s what management has decided is best.
As an IT professional it is important to keep your skills up to date. In my career as a consultant, I have the good fortune to be working with software vendors, frequently on pre-release versions, so it is easy for me to stay up to date on new features. However, in past lives, especially when I worked in the heavily regulated health care industry, it was a real challenge to stay on top of new features and versions. I recently spoke with a colleague there and they are still running eight-year-old operating systems and RDBMSs.
So how you manage these challenges in your environment? Do you do rogue side projects (don’t worry we won’t share your name)? Or do you just keep your expert knowledge of old software? Do you pay for training on your own? Attend a SQL Saturday or Code Camp? What do your team mates do? Do you have tips to share for everyone on staying current when management thinks “we are fine with old technology”?