Every Day Actively Practice Your Skills and Recognize Your Strengths and Weaknesses with Kevin Kline

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Kevin Kline

Kevin Kline is the Principal Program Manager at Sentry One, a leading provider of award-winning tools for database management and monitoring. Kevin is a founding board member and former president of the international Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS). He frequently contributes to database technology magazines, websites, and discussion forums. Kevin is also an author or co-author of several books including SQL In A Nutshell, published by O’Reilly Media which is now in its third edition.

 

In this episode, Phil and Kevin Kline discuss how seeking out ways to actively practice your skills pays dividends. They talk about why soft skills really matter for IT professionals and how to develop them. Kevin shares his insights into the future of the IT industry. Including how automation and big data will greatly benefit everyone.

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Kevin Kline

Resources

KevinKline.com – Check out Kevin’s website!

2 Top Career Tips

1) Deliberately practice both your tech and soft skills. Do this in an active way. On a daily basis, seek out opportunities to practice what you know as well as learn more. Pay particular attention to your soft skills. But, don´t do this in a vacuum. Learn alongside others and get a mentor. Someone you can emulate and is a few steps ahead of you in career terms.
2) Spend some time really getting to know yourself. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Maybe take some psychometric tests to help you to do this. This will enable you to truly understand yourself. To be able to identify what you need to work on and what you do well so that you can follow a career path that really works for you.

Show Notes

Worst Career Moment

Some time ago, during a bout of quite deep depression, Kevin struggled with communicating. He became what he describes as closed-lipped. In the end, his team sat down with him and explained that they needed him to change this behaviour or step aside. Understandably, this was a low spot in his career. But, when he opened up to his team about his problem they supported him. Together they were able to work through the situation and become a fully productive unit again.

Career Highlight

Stepping out onto a SQL Server (PASS) conference stage, in 2010, and seeing an audience of 6,000, was a career highlight for Kevin. It bought it home to him just how much the community had grown. He was immensely proud that his voluntary work, and that of others, had paid off to such an extent. In the podcast, he shares several other career highlights.

The Future

Using a great analogy inspired by Downton Abbey, Kevin explains that we are at the stage where the tech we create requires far less maintenance. We are also right on the cusp of apps being able to write themselves, at least partially. These two changes will lead to developers being free to add value. To be more creative and able to achieve truly amazing things. With the added benefit that all of this can be done very quickly.

The Reveal

What first attracted you to a career in I.T.?

Being able to earn a good living doing work that he loved.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Be aware of how you might be perceived by taking one course of action over another.

What is the worst career advice you’ve ever received?

You have to show your power. In the podcast, Kevin shares a story that demonstrates why this is usually a very bad idea.

If you had to begin your career again in today’s world, what would you do?

Helping companies to extract more from their data. Big data has a bright future.

What career objectives are you currently focusing on?

Technology evangelism. Kevin explains what that is and why it makes sense to get involved.

What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far?

Being an effective communicator. Someone who can sell an idea or position in a way that the audience can understand.

What do you do to keep your own career energized?

Traveling and public speaking both energize Kevin´s career. But, every now and again, he also takes a complete tech break, which also energizes him.

What do you do in your spare time away from technology?

Back in 1975, Kevin started playing Dungeons and Dragons, something he still enjoys doing. He is also a keen gardener and reader.

Contact The Guest

Contact Kevin Kline through the following social media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kekline

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kekline/

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