It seems there are two reasons that folk choose to learn new technologies. Either:
- There is an immediate, environmental need that must be solved, or
- There is a general, intrinsicinterest in learning new technologies
The discussion/decision making process around the first category typically progresses something like, ‘OMG THERE IS A FIRE,’ and is based on a specific challenge involving a combination of technologies. As such, the process of solving the problem becomes naturally limited in scope. The second is often a more open-ended journey of exploration —a ‘what does this feature do?’ discovery into the possibilities presented by new technology.
Often, if learning is driven by trying to solve a specific problem, the joy of exploration is lost in the need to put out the fire. Alternatively, if learning the new tech is driven by intrinsic interest without a focused goal, the process never feels satisfactorily "done." We felt these pains, and examined how people were successfully learning new tech. Many folks are driven by a combination of these reasons — exploring new uses, learning what can be achieved, and applying that knowledge to solve immediate, tangible problems.
Quite recently, we added new resources to elastic.co, designed to emulate the perfect storm of need and interest, and help shorten the time to achieving a meaningful result — or, perhaps, helping you put out the fires you are facing.
If you want to begin the scope of your exploration by solving for a specific thing (Kubernetes logs in the Elastic Stack, for an example) these provide the step-by-step process to install, ingest, and analyze data.
Of course, the fun doesn’t stop there. There are a variety of other resources that are useful when getting started, and can help answer the “what else can this do?” questions:
Docs - The docs are spectacularly helpful and detailed pull requests are appreciated if you find an errant sentence that falls short.
Forums - You are already here, but if you are here for the first time, take a moment to look around. Chances are someone has asked a question similar to yours and the community (including Elasticians, as we call ourselves on internal emails) are always happy to help. You may be surprised, as you learn, at how many questions you can answer.
Examples - If you have services running, and data being generated, you are well positioned to use instruction sets as shown above. But what if you want to explore what the Elastic Stack can do with NGINX but aren’t running it on your laptop? The examples repo provides a catalog of common data sets, common use cases, public data, and includes detailed instructions for exploring the Elastic Stack. We are still upgrading all of the examples to 6.0 so, as always, pull requests are welcome.
Happy exploring and pleasant 3rd day of Advent!