SQLSat86 Session Review: Andy Warren’s ‘Building a Professional Development Plan’

Before we begin, I must first admit that when I saw ‘Building a Professional Development Plan’ in the SQL Saturday 85 Schedule in Orlando back in September, I was not enthusiastic about attending this session as I thought it was more for consultants or for those looking to start their own business.  Quite simply, I was thinking business plan and not individual plan.  In hindsight, I wish I had attended this session back then, but I digress.

As most everyone knows, Andy Warren is the father of SQL Saturday and his status in the SQL community is legendary.  With that being said I will now list the things that I learned from this session.

        • Generally we do not like setting goals as there is an inherit risk of failure.
        • The professional development plan, or PDP, is essentially your business plan as you are essentially a business with a plan.
        • The PDP should be a pretty good mixture of growth items as well as technical items, such as:
          1. Formal Education
          2. Training
          3. Projects
        • The PDP should have goals, milestones, as well as tasks necessary to accomplish these items.
        • Questions you should ask yourself when developing the PDP include the following:
          1. Am I learning skills that only apply to my current job?
          2. What will be the next job that I search for?
          3. Will it be within my company?
          4. Am I being siloed into a narrow skill set in order to accomplish my existing responsibilities?
        • If you are not being paid enough for your existing skill set then you are leaving money on the table.
        • Where are you going and what do you want should be reflected in your PDP.  What is the balance of the following items:
          1. More Money
          2. Stability
          3. Challenges
          4. Responsibility
        • The following is a breakdown of the amount of time needed to reach different levels of success, how much are you willing to spend?
0-20 hours No goal, no plan–Just work
21-50 hours Standard Maintenance
51-100 hours Slow growth, adding one skill
101-200 hours Serious investment
200+ hours Different focus / Hyper Growth
        • A Personal Development Plan should include the following:
          1. Networking, you should always try to meet three new people at each event or training.
          2. Writing / Communication skills
          3. Leadership / Management training
          4. Formal Education (or degree)
          5. Teaching / Presenting
          6. Professional Organizations / Events
        • Blogging is important to your PDP for the following reasons:
          1. Networking
          2. It gives you practice writing
          3. It shows your level of consistency and follow through to future employers
          4. It shows that you participate in your profession
        • You should keep up with new features for SQL Server.  It is not possible to master all of the features but knowing what they are or do can be beneficial to your career.

I thoroughly enjoyed this session and will be developing my own Professional Development Plan before the end of the year.  Thanks, Andy.

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About Ed Watson

Florida Gator and Certified SQL Server Enthusiast, Star Wars fanatic and is there anything else...oh yeah PS3! I am a geek and SQL Server DBA who dabbles with VMWare, there are other technologies greater than these? Not so fast my friend! I also love to travel to new and exotic places.

Posted on November 17, 2011, in SQL Saturday, Training and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on SQL Swampland and commented:

    The most popular blog post for 2012, enjoy!

  1. Pingback: SQL Saturday 192, Tampa Has Come and Gone But Left Its Mark! | SQL Swampland

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