Today I am doing a quick entry for my participation points in the monthly blog party called TSQL Tuesday. I have missed the past few opportunities for various reasons. Today when I saw the topic, I wanted to post a few quick thoughts. If you are interested, the host this month is Koen Verbeek (blog | twitter) and the invite can be found here.
Koen invites us to explore the cloud, whether it be a stormy cloud or a silver lined cloud. Either way, explore it and how it relates to you. Here are some of the examples Koen posted:
- What impact has this had on your job?
- Do you feel endangered?
- Do you have more exciting features/toys to work with?
- Do you embrace the change and learn new skills?
- Or do you hide in your cubicle and fear the robot uprising?
I guess the answer for me is “it depends” – buahaha. Just kidding.
The Future Is Bright
I think the cloud is a good thing for the data professional, when done right. I do not believe there is anything to fear with it, so I definitely don’t feel endangered. That said, I do proceed cautiously to the silver lined puffs of water in the air. It’s not from fear, but more of a caution to ensure it is the correct move for the business need in question. I don’t believe the cloud is the right answer for all business needs but it is an appropriate solution for many business requirements.
I like to ensure my clients are well informed of what the choices are and the implications may be when deciding to move to the cloud. I like to make sure they understand that a move to the cloud is not a knee jerk decision – it takes planning and considerable effort in many situations. I also like to remind them that the cloud is really just another data center hosting their data. Granted, some offerings from vendors like Amazon and Microsoft do permit considerable flexibility and the opportunity to move quickly to new demands or interests.
For me, one of the biggest benefits of the cloud is the constantly evolving sandbox that I get to use to learn and grow (obviously that means I get to play a lot). I don’t have the resources at my disposal (and most clients don’t either) to be able to stand up a brand new environment from scratch for a POC quickly and efficiently. If I want to play around with Machine Learning (ML) then I can spin up an environment to help learn and evaluate my options. Should I decided I want to learn how to setup a multi-site multi-node windows cluster, I could spin up that environment very quickly and start learning with minimal hardware requirement on my part.
The cloud offers great learning potential for those interested. That said, it is obviously not free. There is cost for the cloud services and of course one must still invest personal time into the “sandbox” in order to learn the technology properly.
Personally, I see no threat from the cloud movement. Some may worry about the cloud automating them out of a job. The truth is, data professionals are always trying to automate things. Automation is not really entirely new and it seems there is always more to be automated.
The cloud offers new avenues to grow ones career. The technology is getting more and more interesting. Is the cloud blowing past you and your career or are you riding the Jet Stream through the clouds and into your future?