As part of my path to find a new work environment, I became a subscriber to Linked In Premium.  There are some good job search tools in there that I use, but I didn’t get into the Linked In Learning side of things until recently.  There are thousands of courses in here with a broad variety of topics.  Perfect for a guy like me!  I dove into this head first and tried a few right away.  I started with courses that I had familiarity with to do an assessment before I dove in too deep.  I found these courses to have a good level of introductory knowledge, better than I expected and gave me a good foundation to build upon.  I’ll highlight a few areas that I dug into.

Agile / Scrum

I took 3 different courses here.  I used Agile, Scrum specific in the past when working at Latium and I wanted to see if my knowledge and experience was in line with how others are applying these techniques and methodologies today.  Overall, we were applying the principles and techniques quite closely to industry norms, which was good, and these courses helped me fill in the blanks on a few areas where we were not applying things completely.  I’m confident that if I ever join a work environment that uses Agile / Scrum that I’ll have no trouble getting up to speed with their project quickly and become a good contributing team member.

Python

This language has seen an explosive growth in programming circles out there. Check out this article on Stack Overflow: https://stackoverflow.blog/2017/09/06/incredible-growth-python/ This article is a few years old, so the growth is likely even greater than they projected. I never really understood why as until this point I have only looked into the language to see what its all about.  On top of all of this, my oldest son was taking Computer Science in high school, and guess what the language they are teaching is?  My experience was in strongly typed languages so seeing how Python worked was not something I immediately thought I would like. So the first course I took was “Python for the C# Developer”.  I knew C#, Java, C++ and I figured comparing the two languages would be a great introduction and it was.  Now that I felt comfortable with the key tenants from Python, I moved onto advanced Python courses to learn more.  At the end of it, I had more appreciation of why people would like Python and areas that it could be useful (Data Analysis, BI), but I still cannot get around how “loose” it was.  Working on a large project with this language would seem to me that it could case some huge problems if you have an undisciplined developer that could introduce unintelligible code quite easily.  As I have yet to work on a large Python based project, I don’t have enough data to make a real assessment.  I’d love to be on one though!

Machine Learning on Google Cloud

I’ve always had a fascination with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.  This is a growing area and will affect most businesses and projects in some way in the near future, in ways that people will not even realize.  I found the content quite interesting and is an area that I want to get my hands dirty with at some point.  Once thing I acted upon was to set up my own Google Cloud account to see the tools and tech they have available.  There were several things I got immediately interested in, but I needed a foundation to work from first.  I decided that my next steps would be to set up my very own website on Google Cloud which is the one you are looking at now.  I’ll talk about this process in a posting later on.