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Your 2017 Goals

By Steve Jones,

Last week I wrote some predictions for 2017, and plenty of you added your own thoughts. Overall, security is a concern for most people, with little hope things will improve. I certainly hope they do, but like most of you, I think expediency and profit will overwhelm any chance that organizations will make patching their systems a priority, much less improving their data security.

As the new year came and went, I ran across a great post from Buck Woody that's a few years old. In the post, Buck notes that he likes to make goals in the new year with his family, not resolutions. That sounds like semantics, but I agree with Buck. There is power in making goals instead of open ended changes. Goals can help drive you, especially if they're measurable and time boxed. Having someone else keep you accountable also helps.

This week, as we start a new year of our careers, I wanted to ask you what goals you might have. List a few and think about asking a friend, spouse, parent, child, someone else to help hold you accountable and check on your progress each month. If you have just a few goals, chances are that you will achieve some of them. Don't forget, you can always add a few more later in the year if you finish everything.

Perhaps you want to learn something about a new technology. If that's the case, make a specific goal. Don't try to "learn Azure", but instead think about "building a database to track my own movie reviews in Azure and use it for a year." If you want to get better at a specific technology, like T-SQL, then think about challenging yourself with a specific set of problems, like the T-SQL challenge. Or complete something like the Advent of Code in T-SQL.

Set aside some time to improve your career and take a step forward. Data professionals working with SQL Server have no shortage of new features, subsystems, and solutions to practice with as our platform grows wide and deeper each year.

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