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Cleveland DBA

Colleen Morrow is a Database Engineer for a software company in Westlake, Ohio. She has worked in the IT industry for 15+ years, doing everything from technical support to development to database administration on Informix, Oracle, and SQL Server platforms.

Goals – 9 month checkup

Nine months down, three to go*.  It’s time once again to see where I’m at with the goals I set for myself back in July.

Certification

If you’ll recall, in my last checkup, I had shelved the idea of certification for the time being.  I had other priorities that I felt were a more important use of my time and energy.  That’s still the case, but I have to say I’m impressed by the upcoming changes in the certification process.  The old Database Administrator and Database Developer certifications are now one overarching Data Platform certification.  New applicants for Professional-level DBA certification will need to pass 5 exams.  Those who already hold previous Professional-level certifications will need to pass 3 exams.  And you’ll be required to renew your certification every 3 years, therefore there’s no longer going to be any version specific certification.  Check out James Serra’s blog post for more detailed information and links to the exams.

The new certifications will be available in June 2012.  Just in time for next year’s goals?  Perhaps.  I have to say, while the entire process sounds more challenging, that also makes the idea a little more appealing to me.  Having the developer and DBA stuff all wrapped into one certification makes for a more well-rounded DBA.  And the recertification requirement ensures that you keep your skills sharp and current.  I’d like to hear a developer’s opinion on this, though.  I see the value in DBAs knowing more about what their developers can and are doing in their databases.  And certainly developers will benefit from knowing more about how SQL Server works to help them design more efficient code/databases.  But I wonder if this is going a little too far.

In any event, I’m going to seriously reconsider certification for next year’s goals.

Present at a SQLSaturday

Back in January, I submitted 2 abstracts for SQLSaturday #119 in Chicago:  my “Quest for the Holy Grail of DDL Auditing” presentation, and new one.  Well, I’m extremely excited to say that I will be presenting in Chicago!  Whoohoo!  The topic?  “So I started this blog…now what?”  I’m still in the development stages of this presentation, but I’m going to focus on hints and advice for the new blogger:  Blogging topics, writing exercises, best practices, etc.  This is obviously a brand new presentation for me, so I’m a bit nervous about debuting it at such a large (for me) venue.  But I’m having so much fun working on it, and I think it’s going to be awesome.

Increase my readership

This goal is also going very well.  My site visit stats continue to rise.  No huge numbers, but steady/consistent improvement, which means I’m doing something right.  My focus these last few months has been on quality vs quantity, and I’m very happy with the content I’ve produced so far.  I especially enjoyed getting in touch with my inner developer in my RYO Maintenance series.

Blogging once a week has also allowed me more time to work on another writing project:  I’m contributing a chapter for the upcoming book, Tribal SQL, that the MidnightDBAs are coordinating.  My chapter covers various auditing methods in SQL Server.

Homework

Overall, I’m pretty darn happy with the progress of the past 3 months.  No rest for the wicked, though, so I’m giving myself homework for the next 3 months:

  • Do more research into the new certification process.  Take a beta exam.
  • Kick ass at SQLSaturday #119.  If all goes well, submit that abstract to SQLSaturday #122 in Louisville (I’ve already submitted the DDL Audit abstract, so fingers crossed people!)
  • Keep on writing.

* Why does time go by faster, the older you get??

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