I know I missed out on the massive meme yesterday (T-SQL Tuesday #14), but I blame dealing with the weather down here in the South. Snow twice in a season here in SC? Say it ain't so! Here are my technical goals for the coming year:
I write about two articles a month. I can write more, but it's about getting better organized. Actually, I need to write more in order to improve as a writer. And I need to play more to improve as a technologist. Yup, I said play.
Back when I was first getting started writing on SQL Server, I didn't really have a focus area. In fact, if you look at my early articles on SSC, you'll see they are all over the place. And I liked that. As my job pushed me more and more into security, I wrote about what I was working with the most: security. What probably pushed me the hardest in that area and where I learned a ton was working on a book that, unfortunately, failed to materialize. I wrote a lot, but there was a lot still left to write. And there was this Active Directory implementation I was responsible for. That implementation killed everything outside of work that I was doing. I spent two years not able to take vacation (my wife loved that), working more hours than I can count, and deep diving into so many different technology areas related to AD (DNS, Kerberos, LDAP, etc.) that I came out of it surprised I still knew what SQL was. Needless to say, we never got the book finished. But when I was working on the book, I was playing almost nightly with different things in SQL Server. And those made me better as a technologist. So I need to get back to playing more with the technologies.
So back to the writing... how much? I think I want to average writing once a week. I can do it. It's a stretch. But I think that is a doable goal for me.
Speaking goes along with this. As I'm writing more, I need to be speaking more. I want to improve as a speaker. It doesn't matter if it's in person or on-line. Actually, on-line is better, because my ministry efforts take up a lot of free time, and they will always come before my professional work. That's what my priorities are, and where they should be, something Steve Jones helped me to realize a few years back, which is "yet another reason to respect and look up to Steve (tm)." I only did a handful of presentations last year. This year I think a good number would be twice a quarter. That would be eight for the year.
SQL Saturday Redux:
We've been slow out of the gates for SQL Saturday #70 and we need to get on the ball fast, because January is halfway gone and the event is in March. We've got the space again, now to get call for speakers, caterer meal selection, and announcements going. I really believe in providing local training at no cost. Andy Leonard will tell you that he was approached by a technical school instructor who walked away with valuable information at the previous one in Columbia, SC. And his students were able to attend for free and hopefully get a taste of database work. You can't beat opportunities like that. So my goal is to help put on another spectacular event for the benefit of the community.
Come Up to Speed on AD 2008R2 and Citrix 5.0:
Switching back to a Senior SQL Server DBA means I don't work day-to-day with AD and Citrix. I can see that some of my skills are eroding in these areas. I don't want that to occur because one of the areas I think I add value to my organization is because I have an infrastructure architect mentality and knowledge base. So this will require extra work outside of work, but these are areas I've picked for 2011 that I want to build back up. Thankfully I have some friends who do consulting who can always use an extra hand.
Complete the SQL Server-related MCITP Certifications:
Yeah, I'm a slacker. The last Microsoft certification I have is from 1999. December 30, 1999. So we're talking 11 years. I've gotten other certifications, GSEC (which I let lapse), Security+, and CISA (can you see a pattern?) but I never went back and worked on the Microsoft ones. I once had a career goal of being an MCT. I've got the train-the-trainer class. I just need the MCITP. So why stop with one? Why not just get all three? That's my goal. By the way, I never go after a certification simply to have the certification. I go after them because they give me topics to dive into and study. And thus I learn more about a technology, I play with the technology, and I learn even more. One of the reasons I became an infrastructure architect was because I went hard core after my Windows NT 4.0 MCSE. My IT friends that knew me back then can tell you I took apart everything you were legally allowed to in order to better understand Windows NT from workstation through multiple domain model implementations. A lot of that is what prepared me to do what turned out to be a very long, and at times complicated and intricate, AD implementation. So I know spending that time will make me better in SQL Server in the long run. But what about the MCM? At this point, it's a gleam in my eye. realistically, I can't afford the lab exam, and my organization doesn't have an absolute need to have an MCM on staff. So that makes it hard to justify. I like working where I do, so that means the MCM is out, just like for my network guys, CCIE is out unless they pay their own way.