Keep learning …

I have to admit that getting the Cloud Practitioner Certification last month was just the motivation I needed to rekindle an old and useful habit. I remembered the various certifications I had acquired for EMC, Veritas, IBM, and other technologies years ago and realized they were more than just badges. Getting this badge was my next step:

As I set off to tackle this next level, I uncovered a couple of less obvious observations about the process. To get a deeper understanding of just about anything takes a building of knowledge from the basics to more advanced. The testing and certification process verifies and reinforces the information learned for a specific level but I think there is more than just the new subject matter gained in getting “certified”.

Here are some additional things I discovered from my latest certification efforts:

  • research is now easier – for many subjects, there is a broad community of others that can help and a lot of information readily available to consume – internet search is your friend – but be mindful of the depth of information needed for the task at hand – there is always more information – know when to pause and apply what you have learned,
  • practice, practice, practice is still a good thing – getting wrong answers is sometimes as good as getting the right answers – as long as you understand what was wrong or right – just trying to memorize the response won’t build a deeper understanding of the subject – being able to identify the wrong (“fake”) options is a useful skill too,
  • read the entire question – think of this like good, basic listening, and problem-solving skills put together – pay attention to the details – some things are important some are not, don’t add things just because that’s what you know – work with what is available in the problem, focus on the problem – don’t try to solve for something that is not being asked,
  • a little time pressure is OK – it demands a dedicated focus for longer periods of time – when was the last time you worked on one task for ~2 hours? – time management skills and pacing are critical to completing many complex tasks.

With the change rate of technology in the world today, it is always critical to keep learning.

The big question is what’s next?

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