Puzzling out new concepts

Recently, I have been watching the SQLBI #Unplugged series about the data modeling associated with Composite Models in Power BI. It’s hard for me to capture all of the points that Alberto Ferrari and Marco Russo are making in these excellent videos because I am learning so many different things when I watch them. I seek out content that is unfamiliar for me. I will absorb the pieces in the content that fit with my current knowledge set. That part is easy and reaffirming. But then there are usually two other types of material:

  1. I recognize some of vocabulary and concepts but can’t pull all of them together yet.
  2. I have never heard the terminology and the concepts used aren’t familiar at all.

For the first group, I make note of the vocabulary and concepts that I may have heard of, but don’t fully understand. I then try to find more content around those ideas. Often, if I consume just a bit more content, the pieces will fit together.

I don’t spend a lot of time on the second type of material. I recognize that I don’t have enough knowledge to even begin to fit those pieces together. If I liken it to a puzzle, I don’t have enough of the surrounding pieces to be able fit in these pieces. Sometimes I will be able to see that the material is too far out of my field for me to spend any time on (think of it as a puzzle piece from a completely different puzzle), and I let those concepts go.

As a technical trainer in a field that is constantly evolving, I have to always be reaching for the new ‘stuff’. The problem with my approach is that it can be disheartening because it feels like a race where the finish line is always being moved. That’s why, this year, I have decided to track all of the content that I consume; all the videos, all the conferences, all the books. I am hoping that when I look back at the end of 2021 I will see that I have done three things:

  1. Filled in more of the existing puzzles
  2. Started new puzzles
  3. Kept a log of all the new concepts that I tackled in 2021

To keep me motivated, I have started a public team that anyone who is serious about their Power BI learning journey can join. In the team, I have created channels for popular learning avenues that I and other team members are working through. If you would like to join this team, please contact me and I can send you a description of the group. If it is right for you, we can spend 2021 learning together.

Photo Credit: Bianca Ackermann on Unsplash

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