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The Year of the Community

By Steve Jones,

Charlotte SQL Saturday Key ceremonyUsually at the end of each year I try to look back at the previous year in the database world.  This past year seems to have been an amazing year for the SQL Community and for me it has been the opportunity to meet new people, and also reconnect with so many of the amazing professionals that work with SQL Server.

The year started early with the decision for PASS to take over the management of the SQL Saturday franchise. Andy Warren and I symbolically passed a key (thanks to Peter Shire of SQL Sentry) to PASS at SQL Saturday #33 in Charlotte, and from there the number of events exploded. When Andy talked with me about this idea almost 4 years ago, we wondered if we would ever get to 50 events, or even if we'd have more than 20 in a year. Right now SQL Saturday #71 is scheduled for Boston in April 2011, and there were 32 events last year. It looks like 2011 might be an even better year, with 14 events scheduled so far. If you are even thinking of having one in your area, contact PASS, or even me for a little help.

We also had quite a bit of change in the SQL Server world. SQL Server 2008 R2, the Parallel Data Warehouse edition,  and a few service packs, including SP4 for SQL Server 2005, were released. The growth, and support, of the platform from Microsoft continues to give us data professionals more tools, and opportunities, to build amazing applications for our companies. When I look back at where I started, with SQL Server 4.2, the platform is almost unrecognizable. Next year we may get another new version, with some nicely matured subsystems like PBM and Extended Events, that will greatly help DBAs better manage their systems.

Steve Jones tablet on a horseBeyond the laptop was a change that amazed me. After having an iPhone, and seeing Surface, I was truly stunned at the success of the iPad, and the rush to build other tablets, like the Galaxy Tab. It's amazing how versatile and useful these devices can be for consuming information. I expect some amazing new applications, especially in the BI area to be coming in the future. Even my employer has found them useful, giving away dozen's of iPads in our SQL Monitor launch, which can be used to watch the SQLServerCentral servers in real time.

There were many more events, from the release of Windows Phone 7 and 4G networks to the growth of the Cloud and NoSQL databases. We had Arnie Rowland's Project Phoenix, which looks to help unemployed tech professionals, another Exceptional DBA in Tracy Hamlin, and perhaps the beginning of a recovery in the global economy. It seems more people are taking an interest in their career, and poised to take advantage of the hiring that is starting to pick up.

From my perspective, 2010 was a great year for the SQL community. I don't know if this community is closer, stronger, or more helpful that those of other technologies, but I do know that it's an amazing group, and I am better for being a part of it.

Happy New Year.

Steve Jones


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