Oh, it’s that time of the year; time to reflect, review, and resolve (rrr-yeah baby! in an Austin Powers accent). Not sure if it translate in written form.
Disclaimer: I don’t usually don’t do New Year Resolutions
But I did it anyway. I probably didn’t do resolutions in the past because they were a written record of what I was supposed to do and at the end of the year I grade what I said I was supposed to, to what I did do, and it looks so darn bad. You can see my written record of what I said I was going to do in 2010 here.
What in the heck did you say you were going to do?
I started and wrote my first blog article in January 2010, which happened to be my 2010 Resolutions (blah). I set a goal of blogging every week. I might have been a little ambitious for me to start with. I only wrote 27 posts and unfortunately not a lot of them were on SQL. I did however participate in 3 T-SQL Tuesday posts.
Grade: C- [A+ for starting a blog, but C for not maintaining]
Try and read a new book every month. Well I did not read the two books that I listed, but did read parts of a handful of other technical books. I killed a lot of trees printing out articles; there is just so much good stuff out there.
Wanted to study and learn about two SQL DMV’s each month. I believe that I read this on Tim Fords blog that he wanted to do something similar (borrowed the idea). Well, that was a big fail. I did this for two months and failed to continue. I may try to do that this year, but pick the DMV’s ahead of time.
Workout 3 times a week. I did pretty good on this one until August. Once my boy (I’ll blame him for my failure in this), finished swim team in August at the YMCA, we didn’t go back to the gym, which ended my workouts. I ended up cancelling my membership since I was not going enough.
Grade: C [A+ for 8 months and F from September through December]
Take one Microsoft SQL Server Cert Exam. Well in July I passed 70-431.
Get more involved with the SQL community. I had the pleasure to help Greg Larsen with SQL Saturday #43 setup in Redmond, WA (June 2010).
Overall grade in my great grading system: C-
I have a lot to improve on for 2011.
Review – You suck!
I am my worst critic and I can usually talk myself out of most things. One of the hardest things for me to do last year was blog. I still consider myself a newbie to the whole blogging thing. I haven’t found my niche or what I am trying to convey. I am still feeling a bit random about what to post. My first blog post was my last year’s 2010 resolution [Blog].
Reflect – It was a year ago?
Wow, can’t believe a year just passed.
I just posted my 2010 Review [Blog] and if I was actually being graded on these, I would be taking summer school.
Resolved to do better
I am not so much into setting New Year’s Resolutions and as you can see from my 2010 review (link above) I did terrible. This year the plan is to be as vague as possible to achieve higher scores (not really). Instead of resolutions, I shall call these goals.
1. Take Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Cert Exam 70-432. My primary reason is to keep up my skills and learn more about SQL Server areas that I don’t necessarily use in my day to day job. Last year I set a goal for myself to take the 70-431 and passed it in July 2010 [Blog].
2. Participate in all T-SQL Tuesday Blog posts in 2011. I participated in 3 events in 2010.
3. Write at least 1 SQL Server Blog post a month.
4. Volunteer\Help at SQL Saturday #68 in Olympia (April 2011). If I am able to attend PASS in 2011 (3rd timer), I will volunteer there as well. Hope my boss approves budget.
5. Continue to learn SSIS. I worked on two projects this last year using SSIS, which I really enjoyed and hated at the same time. It’s funny looking back at the first project that I built. Oh, please nobody look at it. HAND IN FACE.
Better planning, being more organized, and continue to grow as a DBA
I am a frequent reader of some great SQL Server blogs (Brent Ozar, Grant Fritchey, Thomas LaRock, and Paul Randal to name a few) and one of the current topics started by Paul Randal is what three events brought you here? Even though I haven’t been tagged I thought that it was a great topic and wanted to share how I got to where I am.
LOST JOB / NEW OPPORTUNITY
In early 1999 I had lost my job at the BNSF Railroad as an Inspector. I was being subcontracted out, such a slimy word. At that time I had been with the company for 8 years, was close to being 30, had a 2 year old, and a mortgage. I made the decision that I wanted to change careers (losing my job helped me with that decision) and get into computers. I had always been interested in computers, software, and creating things. I enrolled right away into a Microsoft learning\certification farm to begin my quest to get my MCSE and make oodles of money. Well that is at least what they told me.
EDUCATION / NEW JOB
So after changing careers and no real computer background except for my newly acquired MCSE in hand I went out to conquer the world and run some fortune 500 companies computer systems. After several interviews and not even a call back I got a little discourage. I thought with this piece of paper with Bill Gates stamped signature on it that I would be fighting off the offers. That was not the case. A short time later a friend that I had met while taking these computer courses called me about a possible job as an entry level Help Desk position at an up and coming software company. I figured that with my current prospects (not a single one) that I really needed to get my feet wet and get some experience, so I decided to interview. I was offered the job and accepted. The job paid less than what I was previously making (hard to swallow) and to make matters worse the job was 45 miles away with the worst possible east side traffic (Puyallup to Kirkland). The first couple of months I worked 9am – 5pm and I would leave the house at 6:30am and get to work with several minutes to spare. The return trip wasn’t any fun either. I would get home around 7pm eat dinner and then start the whole process over the next morning. The first few months were very long and I really didn’t like my position answering the phones. To make matters worse the Sr. Systems technician was not very helpful. This made it difficult to learn the software that I was supporting. After a few months there the Sr. Systems Technician left and the Mid level tech was promoted to Senior. He was the complete opposite, he was pleasant to work with, was open to sharing his knowledge, and really took me under his wing to mentor me. In fact a short time after he was promoted he went out of his way to recommend me for the Junior position. This is the point at which I really began to enjoy SQL Server and wanted to read and learn everything that I could get my hands on. My first SQL Server book was Kalen Delaney’s Inside SQL Server 7.0, great read. I have since bought each edition that comes out. During my time at Intuitive I went on to become the Sr. System Technician and eventually went into the Product Quality Group along with education/training.
I enjoyed my time at Intuitive and was there for over 8 years. After the company was bought out by a competitor in 2006 I decided that it was time to maybe look for something new. I began to search for something closer when a former Intuitive co-worker emailed me stating that there might be an opening in the near future for a DBA and to keep my eyes open. I was very interested and to make it even sweeter the company was using the software that I had been supporting for the last 8 years. I interviewed, was offered the job and accepted in April 2007. Now the job wasn’t any closer in fact it is located almost directly east of my previous company. That was ok; I have made the drive for the past 10 years, so I am use to it and made a great habit listening to some great podcasts during my drive. I have learned so much in my time here and continue to learn new things each day.
I can definitely see how God has had his hand in my life putting the people that he has in my path. It is hard for me to see through the trees, but God has the 50,000 foot view and is guiding me through it, I just have listen to him.
My wife is also a big influence to me. She is my biggest my cheerleader and encourager. She inspires me to do great things.