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Learning how to ask good questions is an important life skill. This skill doesn’t just help in business or professional life. It helps in your personal life too.

When I’m teaching, I encourage questions. I ask them to ask questions all the time and as often as they’d like. There are two main reasons for this. I want to make sure the student doesn’t have anything that they misunderstand and that they understand the fundamentals. The second reason is to see where the student is in their understanding of the topic.

A question often shows how well the student understands what’s being covered. On one end, it could show a misunderstanding of a concept. On the extreme end, it shows a total misunderstanding of the class.

Sometimes students hesitate to ask a question. They may not know how to put what they want to know into words. If you have a good instructor, that’s fine. The instructor can ask the clarifying questions to draw out what you’re trying to ask. That’s a large part of the value a seasoned instructor brings to the classroom.

When you’re starting out with a technology, there’s the question you’re asking and then there’s the question you should be asking. This means that you’re asking a question about how to do X. Given the technology and use case, you should be asking how to do Y. These questions usually stem from a lack of knowledge to ask the right one. A good instructor will recognize which question you should ask and answer both.

This scenario often happens with Big Data due to the sheer difficulty of it. A recent example was a person asking how to know which line number a MapReduce job was processing. That question reveals: * A lack of understanding of how MapReduce works * A lack of understanding of how HDFS works

When someone gave them the best answer, they still didn’t realize that was the answer. They lacked the fundamentals to understand the answer. When you deal with something as complicated as Big Data, this will happen. If you don’t understand the fundamentals, you will never understand the answers to your questions.

I invite you to join my course and really learn the fundamentals of Big Data. We don’t just stop there, we go deeper into advanced materials that make for qualified Data Engineers.