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2011 – The dissection


Blimey, doesn’t seem like a year since I wrote my last end of year review End of year review 2010 and goals for 2011

Things didn’t quite go to plan, mainly because of an unexpected career change this majorly shifted a number of my priorities which meant that some goals were re-prioritised, others were replaced and some simply dropped. With this in mind let’s see how I faired with my Goals for 2011:


Last year I made a commitment to the SQL community by starting my blog and attending a few events, this year I have built and consolidated on that platform and intend to take things on to the next stage next year.

  • Write at least two articles for one of the major SQL community websites.
  • Attend at least one SQL User Group per quarter on top of SQL Bits.
  • Present some SQL Nuggets at a User Group session.
  • Monitor and contribute more to #SQLHelp on Twitter.
  • Contribute more to the various SQL forums.

Partial success here. 

  • No published articles, but I did produce 4 SQL Server webcasts for Quest in November so I like to think that this is a tick.
  • Tick, I attended 4 UG’s this year. Southampton, Surrey, two in Maidenhead as well as SQL Relay and SQLBits (twice). I kind of cheated a bit here by starting up the Maidenhead User Group. If you’re interested in attending here’s the link for future events and if you fancy your hand at presenting please get in touch.
  • Contributing more to various media channels is a subjective task. Whilst I did contribute you always feel that you can do more and I hope to address this in 2012.

One very nice surprise was that I was awarded the Microsoft Community Contributor Award earlier this year so I must have done something right. It’s a great honour to be recognised in this way and I am very thankful to Microsoft for it.

2012 Community Goals
  • Publish more content. Not sure on the media for this yet, I’m in talks with marketing to produce more SQL webcasts so watch this space…
  • Work permitting I’m planning on hosting 6 User Group meetings this year and hopefully attending some of the others around the UK. Unfortunately I can’t commit to a number as it really does depend on where I am in the country on that particular day!
  • In my new role I have the opportunity to speak to number of users across EMEA, it’s really satisfying to help them with issues and pass on best practices to make their lives easier so this goal is to differentiate between community and professional development better and to try and make a positive difference in and expand the SQL community.


Professional Development

I love SQL Server and try to learn something new each day, to help me achieve this I have set myself the following goals.

  • Take and pass 70-433 and 70-451 exams (SQL Server 2008 Development track).
    Eventually I want to take the MCM exams and these are the pre-requisites that I have yet to take.
  • Take and pass a Windows OS or networking exam.
    The idea behind this is that it will provide me with more peripheral knowledge which will enhance my DBA troubleshooting skills.
  • Blog more, I have a stack of ideas but have not written them up.
    This year I intend to become more organised with my blogging and blog at least once or twice a week. The increase in blogging should help with my goal of publishing a couple of articles.
  • Overhaul my website, the look and feel hasn’t quite turned out as I had hoped, so a redesign with a few new features is just what the doctor ordered.
  • Read 2 technical and 2 professional development books cover to cover.
    At the moment I tend just to read the relevant sections of books and am no doubt missing some real gems.
  • Make better goals!
    One of the books I am interested in reading is “Getting Things Done” by David Allen which was recommended by Brent Ozar Blog|Twitter in his blog article Goals? Where we’re going, we don’t need goals. The idea of having goals at different levels which keep you on track does sound appealing and is something I will be looking into.

Changing jobs really hammered the plans I had for personal development in a number of areas as I found myself studying other areas that I had not expected.

  • SQL Exams, I took and passed 70-433 you can read up on the resources I used to pass this exam here. Study time for the 70-451 exam has been limited so this will be a goal for 2012.
  • Periphery exam goals were dropped.
  • Blog more, I seem to have blogged less than last year. Definitely an area for improvement.
  • As you can see my blog hasn’t been overhauled yet, but I have found someone who’s quite good at that kind of thing and is willing to lend a hand.
  • Book reading, tick.
2012 Professional Development Goals
  • Make time to study for and take the 70-451 exam.
  • Make a big dent in the MCM reading list. This means reading it not printing it out, sticking it up and throwing things at it (that wouldn’t be professional at all).
  • Learn more about the Windows OS, especially Windows Core and Virtualisation.
  • Blog more to reinforce study material as well as overhauling it.

I still have personal goals, but this probably isn’t the right place for them so I shall refrain from posting about that area of my life. This is a SQL blog after all.

Happy New Year,


Richard Douglas

Richard Douglas is a SQL Server Professional working in the UK where he recently worked as a DBA in women's clothing, not literally he hastens to add! He is certified in SQL Server 2008, runs the Maidenhead SQL Server User Group Pass Chapter and is on the organising committee for SQL Relay. In his spare time plays the trumpet in local symphony orchestras.

His online presence includes:


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