When I was inside of Microsoft and they made Cloud deployment for customers a priority, they quickly discovered how they had underestimated the effects on human capital and how much re-training of IT professionals had to take place.
I was graced to be at the tip of that spear tasked with helping Microsoft Premier Field Engineers, affectionately known as PFE's retool for Azure IaaS, Office 365 and Azure AD Hybrid Identity skill sets. In my journey I discovered that unlike the software products of old where release cycles typically took years, we were now faced with a new phenomenon where cloud product release cycles occur in weeks. Technology has been known for quite some time as outpacing the learning of many professionals, but now it flew right by the industry experts. There were many times where I experienced meeting with customers where I am expected to be the expert only to find out that they were in fact using new technology from Microsoft that I had yet to learn. This made me realize that the industry is going to need to redefine the term "expert". This used to imply experience, but not necessarily in the future at least not direct experience.
We know the pace is not going to slow down anytime soon, so how do we keep pace? Let's consider some rather obvious facts before addressing this question.
First, it is impossible to know it all so we are going to have to pick a lane. We need to start with one area of subject expertise and expand from there. Determining which area to plant your flag could take some time and research. You might even want to reach out to mentors to get a better feel for what skills, habits and even attitudes might be required to take on that area.
Second, once we pick a lane, staying up to date on that topic is likely to take significantly more effort than it used to when products remained relatively static for several years. So we need to identify resources that will help us in keeping up to date. Many times we can be overwhelmed with information sprawl when researching an issue and find it difficult to sift through all of the noise to identify credible and accurate sources of timely information.
Third, you will want to collaborate more with other individuals that have complementary skills and knowledge to become effective in delivering solutions. The times of being a "one man (or woman) band" are gone. Teamwork is essential to successful work in the 21st century.
Becoming aware of these critical learning dimensions I struck out to build solutions to this problem with collaborations of experts from various backgrounds. We know how much this going to mean to those wanting to learn cloud skills having to learn at the speed of change. Take a look at the attached deck appropriately titled "Building a Cloud Army". We are one of a few concerned parties. If you know others, please post in this discussion.
You can also contact me via email at Kevin@RTriad.com
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