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7 reasons a seasoned developer is an asset to any big data project

Veteran developers will not face obsolescence if they highlight the value of their experience and knowledge.

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Extracting and managing mushrooming amounts of data is a challenge, regardless of where your expertise lies.

Big data is a new label, not a new problem. Case in point: digital data grew a staggering 844 percent between 2005 and 20101. Big data may be at the top of every organization’s agenda, but veteran developers are familiar with the issues. Extracting and managing mushrooming amounts of data is a challenge, regardless of where your expertise lies.

Gartner analyst Merv Adrian recently pointed out that platforms—specifically Hadoop—should not be confused with solutions2. Instead, he argued that, "solutions, including those for data integration, provide the relevant pieces coherently in a way that ties together design, operation, optimization, and governance." If you feel your skills are in danger of becoming obsolete, realize that you deliver that cohesion because of your years of experience.

Because the amount of data and its sources is growing exponentially, innovative solutions and the adaption of current systems are a requirement for a business to stay competitive. You are facing the same challenges and must embrace change in order to avoid becoming a liability.

Do not let the loud cry for innovation overshadow the fact that your fluency with current technologies and architectures is an enormous asset. But do not be complacent either. Convince your organization that you are a sound investment by diplomatically stressing:

  1. Your knowledge of existing systems puts you in a prime position to identify the processes that currently work and those that cannot scale.
  2. Your ability to pinpoint existing risks and inefficiencies that, when addressed, can free up time for innovation.
  3. Your respect for data governance and standards, as well as your knowledge of nuances specific to your organization.
  4. The high cost and steep learning curve that come with hiring inexperienced developers, regardless of their experience with the latest technologies.
  5. Efficiencies and innovation afforded by new architectures such as Hadoop are only as solid as the foundation they are built on.
  6. Your ability to see beyond the data itself and understand the direct correlation between data and its effect on business processes.
  7. Your understanding of the foundation on which current innovation is being built.

Very few strategic business decisions are made these days without some nod to big data. Enterprises are trying to take advantage of both structured and unstructured information from a variety of sources. And they are in desperate need of innovative developers who can manage the data flow. If you cannot face the challenge, you will find yourself left behind. Meanwhile, developers and enterprise architects who can see the opportunities in big data will find themselves in high demand. Big data will only get bigger. Read this white paper, The Safe On-Ramp to Big Data, to help position your organization to reap the rewards.

1 IDC Digital Universe Study, sponsored by EMC, June 2011.

2 Gartner, "Hadoop and DI—A Platform Is Not a Solution," February 2013

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