Recently I had the chance to learn about some of the changes coming in the SQL Server platform in the next few years. At the MVP Summit we had the chance to talk with people that showed us features and changes coming in the next version of SQL Server as well as some ideas and thoughts about what might come after that. I greatly enjoy the latter sessions, since the ideas and goals of brilliant architects are always interesting to listen to.
As I heard about changes and additions, it occurred to me that while some of the features and functions become easier for people managing platforms, others become more difficult. The tuning decisions we might make with regards to resources become more complex. We have new knobs to turn, and more decisions to make on how to best balance the hardware available on our servers.
I’ve known a lot of people over the years that have feared for the evolution of software, which eliminates some of the “easier” tasks that administrators and even developers have had to manage in the past. There’s no denying that the days of making a career of babysitting boxes, changing tapes, scanning logs manually, and more are likely over. Those menial, easy-to-automate tasks will become the domain of software at some point. We still might perform them, but it will be rarely.
As platforms advance, however, they do not become more autonomous. New decisions and management tasks are needed. That means new skills for those of us that want to remain in information technology. It’s means a little more work for us, more studying and more time. However your career will span decades, so plan your learning along those lines. Don’t try to learn everything this year. Pace yourself and plan on regular learning across the next five years and you might be amazed what you accomplish.
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