7 ways to reinvigorate your development skills in 2014

Focus on learning new skills, developing innovative projects, and getting certified. You will gain job security and greater exposure in the process.


"It gives developers an opportunity to think outside the project they're normally working on and think of things they could do to help their organization by building a tool or solution."

—David Lyle, Vice President of Product Strategy, at Informatica

IT leaders are focusing 2014 planning efforts on strategic directives originating with the business. Trends such as the consumerization of IT are shifting the balance of power from IT to the lines of business and, in some cases, the end user. Benefit from the business’s newfound self-reliance by investing some time in your own skills in 2014. Take the initiative to expand your skill set to meet, instead of fight, trends. You will become more valuable to the business in the long run.

Where should you start?

One option is to download the newly released PowerCenter Express, Personal Edition. A free single-user version of the Enterprise Edition of PowerCenter, it can process up to 250,000 rows per day and one job at a time. You can import data from relational databases, flat files, XML, and even unstructured and social media data. You can later move mappings directly to PowerCenter Enterprise or to the Informatica Cloud.

“It gives developers an opportunity to think outside the project they are normally working on and think of things they could do to help their organization by building a tool or solution,” says David Lyle, vice president of product strategy, at Informatica.

What can you do?

There are numerous opportunities afforded by the Personal Edition. For instance, you can:

  • Focus on small, departmental projects that do not justify an investment in the Enterprise Edition.
  • Demo larger data integration projects or pilot new ideas.
  • Bridge the gap between shadow IT and corporate IT by running quick proofs of concept while brainstorming with the business.
  • Integrate data from one-off projects into larger company data integration efforts.
  • Set up your own sandbox, separate from your organization’s production servers.
  • Experiment with data types and areas of integration, such as sentiment data collected from Facebook and Twitter.
  • Investigate how public data sets, such as those available at Data.gov, might fit into company efforts to gain insight into customers.

There’s a tremendous amount of publicly available data that you can get from the U.S. government. Some of it, if you were to combine it with your organization’s data, might give you deeper demographic data to augment what you already have,” suggests Lyle.

The Personal Edition provides you the additional luxury of getting up-to-speed or expanding your PowerCenter knowledge in a nonproduction environment. “It’s a complementary environment to use while working on your certification. Use it instead of sitting in a class in front of a machine or on corporate servers you’re logged into with everyone else using PowerCenter. This lets you confine your mistakes,” explains Lyle.

Change often leaves IT having to prove its worth. Preemptively add skills to your portfolio that you can translate into value for the business. Reverse IT’s reputation as a marginalized cost center by showing that developers can partner with the business and innovate new solutions.

Make 2014 the year you meet your professional goals. Download PowerCenter Express and begin expanding your data integration skills.

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