I seem to have missed mentioning it, but I am an O’Reilly learning platform DEIJ1 scholarship recipient for 2023 due to my cross-skilling efforts in order to return to paid tech work after a crisis due to mental illness (and of course an application letter).

What does that mean? Well I get access to O’Reilly’s learning platform for free, for a year. This is rather awesome as O’Reilly is renowned for their technical books, and the learning platform gets me access to no only any of their books, but other publishers, live streamed events, ‘sandboxes’ for trying out things like AWS, and more. It’s awesome!

I’ve already found the Power Platform training live stream I attended helpful for my contract in which I am using Microsoft Power Platform.

This also helps prepare me for the first Microsoft certification exam of the set I have planned, which I will be soon scheduling.

Even sooner, though is the CompTIA A+ Core 1 exam. Today or tomorrow I will be trying the practice exam, and assuming I feel confident enough with the results, I will schedule the opportunity to take the Core 1 exam (the A+ certification requires two exams, so this means in another month or so when I take Core 2 I will have the A+ certification; yes I am that confident of succeeding).

Of course one of the benefits of the O’Reilly scholarship is being able to learn many things, not only those for my immediate plans. It is my intent to refresh on Go (aka Golang) and to learn React (a JavaScript framework for web development) as they of interest to me, in addition to providing more employment options.

One final note: I keep hearing folks say how tech changes so much and that’s so hard to keep up and all that malarky. If one understands the basis of tech that is quite false, as most of what happens in computing these days is for business and financial reasons, with little in the way of revolutionary new technology or discoveries, since at least the 60’s (before I was involved in computing).

That’s not to say there hasn’t been a lot of gradual progress, and a maturing of the technologies, but until we get into quantum computing there is not much new under the sun. Even so-called Artificial Intelligence is not about radically improved technology, but about having more ‘brute force’ to bring to bear.

That ‘brute force’ is party hardware, and partly financial; Large Language Models (the basis of ‘generative AI’ like ChatGPT) depend on a great deal of mundane work on things like labelling and adding metadata to the information used to train the AI.

Whether this so called AI revolution will ever escape being like nuclear fusion technology (which to date has not had clear cases of more energy output than originally input).

So, for everyone who thinks technology is magic, it’s not. It’s many, many years of work and money that’s gone into getting where we are today. A solid understanding of computer science theory (and lots of practise) goes a long way to not being out of one’s depth with any of the modern fads.

  1. Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Justice ↩︎