SQL Server Blog

2011 – A Look Back Professionally

2011 was a year of changes for me professionally. It was a good year, I definitely didn’t do as many blog posts as I should have, though. Like I’ve talked about before in my sappy 2010 year end wrap up, sometimes you forget where you’re going if you don’t take a look back at where you’ve been. So I’ll do that here with a few intents for this new year at the end.

SQL Server Community Involvement

Like I said, I hadn’t blogged as much as I would have liked (about 50 posts) but I did get to speak at the SQL PASS Conference (With Erin Stellato – we gave a fun presentation basically asking the all-important vendor and DBA question, “Can’t we all just get along?!” I’m inclined to say no still – it’s that “all” word in there…) had a good ending to the User Group and a bit of a bumpier start this year with it (we’ve still met, just not as many times as I would have liked). All in all – not a bad year –

  • Spoke at SQL PASS Conference
  • Spoke at SQL Rally Orlando
  • Spoke at 7 or 8 local or regional SQL/Developer Events in addition to the two conferences
  • Helped Run a SQL Saturday in Boston
  • Was recognized as a SQL Server MVP in April
  • Still had people reading the blog (just over 33k unique visitors per Analytics and about 21k views/clicks on the feed by feedburner’s reckoning- not a ton and more than half found me through google searches, not because their friends and family said “you have to check out this blog!” but still surprised me like last year)
  • Helped some folks out with some of the StackOverflow sites towards the end of the year (mostly with the dba property – great resource, even if their DBA is a turtle expert who dresses his dog up and takes it out in public like that)
  • Volunteered on the Speaker Selection Team for SQL PASS’ Program Committee
  • Helped out the Deep Dives 2 book as a technical editor
  • Helped organize the Birds of a Feather lunch at PASS again

I am already signed up for speaking at SQL Connections Spring ’12 and hope to help get a SQL Saturday together in Boston as well as one in NH. I am sure I’ll be speaking at some SQL Saturdays and User Groups this year as well.  I want to maintain my level of community involvement and try and minimize the travel time at the same time. We’ll see how that works out in 2012!

Straight Path Solutions

Last year, one of my “goals” for this year was to be a great employee. I started off with the year having that defined as for the consultancy I was a SQL Server Practice Lead for. It ended with me being the “CEO”, Book Keeper, Principal Consultant, Sales/Marketing Team and Janitor for my own Consultancy. What a ride it has been! I am so happy I made the jump off to my own and think I’ve done well in the role of Principal Consultant. I need help in the other areas (especially book keeper and janitor) and I need to make sure I give myself the free time I need and make sure I remember one of the goals of going off on my own was to spend more time with the family and giving time back to God. I’ll be working on that as a 2012 goal. Some highlights for this hat, though:

  • Continued helping with Winxnet with several of their SQL Server needs (performance tuning, health assessments, helping out the Remote DBA team with escalations, etc.)
  • Stayed busy with one customer in particular – a well known travel industry website – primarily as a SQL Server performance and database administration resource but also helping out with their Hadoop/Hive environment and loading data to and from this environment – I’ve learned more about Linux shell commands and writing Bash scripts in the 6 months I’ve been with this client than I ever have. Definitely wouldn’t mind doing some more Hadoop work in the future.
  • Helped out a handful of companies with SQL Server Performance and Health Assessments – tuned a lot of queries, made systems run faster and helped DBA teams be more efficient.
  • Was selected to be a remote DBA resource to help out a busy DBA team at the 4th largest credit union in the US. Started working with them towards the end of the year and hoping to see that pick up in 2012 and take a more prominent role in the schedule.
  • Continued helping as the sole DBA resource for the IT department for one of the largest cities in New England via Winxnet.
  • Helped Microsoft Learning develop some new exams for the next release of SQL Server in a few different capacities and on a few different projects.
  • Started helping and talking to a couple SQL Server gurus in a venture they are working on. I’ve done some work for one of their clients and talking about ways of aligning with them a bit more in 2012. More on that hopefully in the coming months.

I am still glad I chased that dream down in July and I’m hoping that 2012 continues to be a success but I’m hoping I don’t just define that success by staying busy with clients but that I do give myself more family time and that I am able to give abundantly to charities and ministries like Options for Women and Living Water International.

More Popular Posts of 2011

Some of the more popular posts in terms of traffic or comments/tweets/mentions last year (as well as some of my favorite ones thrown in):

Here’s To 2012!

I really thank you for checking out this blog. I thank you for the contributions you’ve made or are planning on making to the SQL Server community in 2012. Let’s make 2012 a prosperous year. Let’s make it a year where we all learn and grow together in amazing ways. Let’s make this the year of the #sqlfamily… But… Let’s do what we can to make 2012 the year where everyone can drink water that won’t kill them.

Article by Mike Walsh

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