Two Weeks Of Learning Coming To An End

I’ve been on the road for the last 2 weeks. The first week I spent in Orlando at the Microsoft Ignite conference. The second week, I was one of 600 people to attend the “Intelligent Cloud Architect Boot Camp”, run by Microsoft in Bellevue, WA, in the US Pacific Northwest. It’s been tough to be away from my family for 2 straight weeks, not just on me, but more so on them, but we viewed it as an investment in our future.

I’ve made a career from learning, what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella calls being a learn-it-all instead of a know-it-all. I tell people in my Azure VM training that I’ve never set up a VLAN, but I can network the sh1t out of Azure – except for BGP routing Smile That’s because I’ve studied, tried, learned, and re-learned. In fact, in this cloud era, I think Nadella’s phrase should be modified to relearn-it-all. This two weeks has taught me so much, and it’s going to be information that makes a difference to my employer and our customers. The folks who sit back and don’t learn – well they’re the walking bankrupts that outsource their services to their competitors disguised as their service providers, or who lose their customers to other more agile and aware companies. Times have changed. Sitting back and attending a briefing every 3-6 years won’t cut it. You have to learn to, not just stay ahead, but to keep up in this cloud era, and that’s just the way it is. We all need to adapt – I’ve never previously deployed a lot of the resource types that are used in this mostly-serverless web application that I got working in a hackathon:

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I’m going through another shift in my career – no it’s not Azure. That happened over 3 years ago. No; I’m learning more from the Dev side. Last week I found myself learning about IoT, big data, and analytics. This week I was all in on containers, microservices, and serverless computing. I became aware of things like Mesos, Kubernetes, and Jenkins. I used Swagger to discover and test APIs for the first time.

One of the highlights of the past two weeks is talking to people who’ve read this blog, saw me speak, heard me in a podcast, or read my content on Petri.com. I get a bounce in my step when someone thanks me for something that I was able to help with, and some of the compliments were very flattering. Thank you! One of the “oh crap!” moments was when I was standing near some MS staff and I overheard one of them say “That’s the Aidan Finn?” – that’s when the fight or flight instinct kicks in! One of the cool aspects of this boot camp was the cross-learning that went on. We did group whiteboard sessions which were the best things we did all week. A table of 6-8 people given a challenge to design something that no one person knows fully. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you learned. And I learned loads, so thank you to those people who taught through collaboration.

To be honest, between jet lag, learning, 8am-6pm classes followed by re-writing training until 11pm, and being away from home for so long has me exhausted. I can’t wait to get on my plane home and hopefully sleep a long sleep on the redeye, and finally getting home to give my family a big hug.

On Monday, Azure training courses continue at the office, supplemented with new information. Then we dive into working with a new type of customer, and I cannot wait to show them the things that I have learned. And then there’s something else … something new … something that I’ll share soon Smile

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4 Comments on Two Weeks Of Learning Coming To An End

  1. Great story to read Aidan. And a lifetime learning is what also makes you a better person. Not only because of the learning, but also because of meeting other people, getting to know how the world “works”. Do you know if Microsoft is going to organize more of these boot camps? I was not aware of this, and I would have loved to attend.

  2. Agreed. It was a great chance to get my feet wet in things that I’ve been meaning to learn more about. It’s interesting to see the way that MS is going with the cloud, and how we can make the best use out of all the new capabilities.

    Was also great meeting you in person and hanging out. Great week!

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