Jun 13 2011

Time for a Little PD

No, PD doesn’t stand for PowerShell Development. It stands for Professional Development. Sharks either swim or die (and yes, I know that’s not 100% accurate, but I need a hook on which to hang this lesson). Knowledge workers either develop more knowledge or become buggy whip manufacturers. It’s that simple. Keep moving/learning or die/become obsolete. I’m voting for continuing to learn.

In keeping with this, during SQL Cruise Alaska (I’ll be posting more on my thoughts about the trip), I was privileged to sit through Buck Woody’s (blog|twitter) presentations on “Three C’s on the High Seas.” Buck is a great teacher and not at all afraid to hand out homework, which he did before and during the cruise. Confession time, I did fail to do one pre-cruise assignment and Buck marked my grades down accordingly. I think I’m going to get a gentleman’s C on this one (which would make it “Four C’s” but I digress). One assignment was to give yourself a measurable goal of reading twelve (12) books on professional development related to your goals over the next year. I will read the following books and post short reviews about them:

Presentations in Action by Jerry Weissman: 80 memorable presentation lessons from the masters. I’m always looking to improve my presentations, so any help I can get is worth investigating.

Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath: Basically, learn your strengths and start to work them. This was supposed to be part of my pre-cruise homework. I’ll hand it in late and take the hit.

Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Godin: Innovation by building a tribe of people that support that innovation. Plus, I just like reading Seth Godin books.

Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business by David Siteman Garland: Entrepreneurial approaches to marketing. Technically I’m not technical any more. I’m a marketing wonk. Might as well learn about the job.

Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself by Daniel H. Pink: Shifting working patterns in the new business models operating these days. Sounds good to someone who lives in the US and works for a company in England.

Smart and Gets Things Done: Joel Spolsky’s Concise Guide to Finding Technical Talent: How to find good developers. I still think of myself as a developer, so I might as well try to be a good one. One way is to understand how they’re recognized and emulate that behavior.

Moving Applications to the Cloud on the Microsoft Azure Platform by Eugenio Pace, et al: Yeah, it’s on Buck’s list and it looked interesting. I’m convinced that we need to pursue knowledge of SQL Azure and understand how to work with it as part of keeping our jobs.

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything: Not sure I buy it, but since I’m so involved with the SQL Server community, might as well try to understand how they work.

The Long Tail: Again, trying to understand my new job within our changing world.

The Cloud At Your Service: I’m All In. Of course defining what I’m all in for is a different matter entirely.

The Wuffie Factor: Got this one from Tom LaRock’s (blog|twitter) reading list. He has some good stuff.

That’s my list. Watch for the blogged reviews. I do reserve the right to change my mind on my reading list, so don’t come back on me in 6 months complaining that I didn’t read the book I said I was going to.

Your turn.