Once You Stop Learning, You Start Dying.
– Albert Einstein
It all started on a fine Sunday morning. At around 08:30 AM, I was sitting in a nearby park after my brisk walk and yoga practices. This 15 to 20 minutes is my ‘me-time’ which I like to spend alone, not thinking about anything.
But that day, suddenly a thought struck my mind like a burning meteor plummets the mother earth. Meditation can sometimes start a chain of thought. The first of which sparked a series of questions for me:
What am I doing with my career? Where is it headed?
What new have I learned in past 6 years? Am I dying like Einstein said?
What should I learn if I want to work for another 10 to 15 Years? How to live?
These questions made me restless. I knew it was time for me to enter into a retrospective mode about my career, my skills, my experiences, my future endeavours and most importantly on the joy of learning something new.
Introducing myself, I am a software engineer by profession. I have 12+ years of experience in engineering software products and services. I have worked at leadership level positions while leading different job functions like Product Management, Product Development, QA, DevOps, Production Support and Presales. My key skills are Java/J2EE, Project Management / Program Management, Product Management and Software Delivery Management. At each stage during my career, I have always focused on learning which resulted in my career progression.
However, now, the question was what’s next for me? I knew I had reached a stagnation point where it is a make or break situation for me.
After returning from the park, I spent the weekend and a few more days trying to find out what to do next.
- I started connecting with people in my professional networks.
- I started visiting blogs on emerging technologies/software trends.
- I started visiting websites of educational institutes for professional courses.
- I started reading books on career transformation.
Here, I would like to pause and recommend a book which helped me a lot in making my next move – The Start-up Of You by Reid Hoffman (Co-founder and Chairman of LinkedIn) and Ben Casnocha.
After a lot of searching, I got introduced to the world of Disruptive Technologies. Technologies like Big Data, Machine Learning, AI Bots, Analytics and Data Science, Quantum Computing, Internet of Things, Block-chain and the list goes on.
I understood this very quickly and clearly that these technologies are going to change the face of the world in coming years. They have already started making their mark and are growing at a steady pace. Businesses have started generating huge business values from these technologies. Software companies have started new business verticals dedicated to these technologies. The Fortune 100 companies have also started in-house business verticals focused on generating business values from these technologies for their organisation.
Probably, the only factor which is slowing the growth of these technologies is the lack of skilled resources in the market, across the globe. The dearth of skilled resources is at every experience bracket level and for every job function.
I knew it’s the time to make a move as I will have a huge first mover’s advantage over others in terms of better opportunities, better remuneration and a leadership position in the market.
Based on my personal preferences, I chose Big Data Engineering!
After doing some research, I found an online part-time course for working professionals to which I enrolled immediately for; UpGrad Post Graduate Program In Big Data Engineering in association with BITS Pilani.
It’s been a little more than a month since the start of the program and I already feel I am very much part of the Big Data Industry. We have a rich cohort of like-minded professionals who are very active and enthusiastic to learn and share. On the academic side, we have our highly qualified and experienced faculties from BITS Pilani who are there to make sure our fundamentals are clear and strong as a crystal. On the industry side, we have our distinguished Big Data Leaders from the industry who are very excited and generous in sharing their experiences and case studies of various Big Data projects.
Last but by no means the least is the UpGrad team who is constantly at a war footing pace to make sure the learning experience for all students is nothing but the best.