This was a good year in a lot of ways both personally, professionally and with spiritual growth. I still have far to go and plenty of goals to whip together for 2011 but a quick rundown of where I’ve been. These thoughts are my own, and don’t speak for my employer. the next post will come out on Tuesday or Wednesday with some themes I hope to set for 2011.
- Faith – I’ve been getting really challenged to give more of myself to God and His Glory. For these past 9 years of my Christian walk, I’ve been attaching caveats and my plans/desires to my service and worship. Through some great friends (you 3 know who you are) here in the SQL community who are also Christian and do a bible study/accountability group together online, some books that hit me right between the eyes and a lot of prayer/introspection, I’m really feeling like God is preparing me for more.
- Family – What a year! Baby number 3 was born and is doing great, sleeps through the night, sweet and cuddly. The older two are coming together as good friends (which is great most of the time unless they get that streak of rebellion together 😉 ). My oldest professed an acceptance of Christ and showed that she understood what that meant over the Summer at Vacation Bible school and she has been helping lead some prayers with us and her prayers are humbling to hear (with requests like “help us be more happy with what we have”, “help us do more for other people”, “help us share Jesus with people”, etc.). It is fun watching the kids grow up and form their personalities.
- Career – A couple changes brought me to a really great role where I get to be a SQL Server SME for a lot of different clients, help build up a SQL practice within a great company and it has been rewarding and challenging along the way.
- MCITP – I received my first MCITP certification. I had previously obtained a couple MCP certs on SQL Server 2000 but stayed away from MS exams since then. I’ve been busy and didn’t see the value. An opportunity to take the exams for free and provide feedback and having the two major MCITPs in SQL being pre-requisites to the MCM certification both led to me going for the MCITP in SQL Server 2008 administration. Much better than the SQL 2000 tests, seem more related to experience in the real world (with most questions)
- Speaking – I have a post half started on this topic and will do it in January. I went from never speaking in the SQL community pre-2010 to speaking at 4 SQL Saturdays, A couple User Groups, and SQL PASS North American Summit 2010. The PASS one was a last minute fill in and as a result no one knew about it so I had an almost empty room (7 people). Looking at the feedback, though, I placed in the top 15! Now the sample size was small but I saw some other sessions with 10 or less people rate elsewhere, so it is at least encouraging to my continued speaking throughout next year. I also had some good feedback from SQL Saturday sessions with more attending. I hope to write a few new presentations for next year (more on that in the goals post)
- SQL PASS – Great time at the Summit and I enjoyed helping out with the coordination of the Birds of a Feather lunch and Ask The Experts area this year. I didn’t do as much as last year where I did the BoF but also volunteered to review abstracts. This year I also helped on the orientation committee and went out of my way to strike up conversations with first time attendees. I had a great time and hope to continue helping out this organization that I love (those recent posts on SQL PASS were out of love not anger)
- Blog – I hadn’t done as many posts as I had hoped but I was amazed when comparing yearly readership numbers. Depending on who you believe (AWStats vs. Google Analytics… I went with the much more conservative number from Analytics here) I’ve had over 20,500 unique visitors, over 41,500 pageviews and my top posts were the ones for things people are searching for on the Search Engines (Finding SQL Instances with MAP, Using SP_Configure, SQL Server Licensing, etc). The posts I thought were my favorites weren’t the most read but that’s alright I enjoyed sharing them all the same. Less repeat visits than I would like but when I look at the most popular content, I think it makes sense. I have some goals to post about in the next post on this front.
- User Group – Before 2010 there was no Seacoast SQL Server Users group. In 2010 there was one. That is great! We’ve had some great meetings with awesome speakers and surprising attendance (25-60 depending on the topic). It has been fun and has taken more work than I expected but not as much work as I feared, if that makes sense?
- MVP – No no, I’m not one. I was nominated again by a couple people I look up to and respect. I missed last year because I hadn’t done as much. This year I’ve done more but not sure if it is enough. We’ll find out in a week or so. I actually don’t think I made the cut (radio silence and I haven’t done as much as many others and there are a lot of MVPs who deserve to be awarded again) and that is alright. It seriously is just an honor to know that I was nominated by people who give a lot of themselves to the community in their own ways. I would be more mad if some great people don’t get awarded this quarter (or soon). People like Jorge,Wendy, Kendal, Jack, Jen, Michelle and I am sure I am missing other folks who I already think of as MVPs with their contributions and involvement. I won’t lie, if awarded I’d enjoy it – I really would like the interaction on the discussion list (even just watching the conversations) and the opportunity to work with some of the developers at Microsoft on a product I love working with. But, I’m not holding my breath and if at least one of the people I listed gets the award then I’ll be happy 🙂