I've actually sat down to write this blog several times. I am never indecisive when it comes to my thoughts or my writings. Most of the time I just write what I feel. For some reason this post was a little challenging. It was hard for me to decide if I want to share my thoughts about what my goals were for the year. After a couple of attempts I decided to share.
So, what's next for Patrick? Before I delve to deep into my upcoming goals, I want to revisit 2010. Last year was a very good year for me. I accomplished everything I set out to do with the exception of one thing, record a few videos for SQL Share. I have placed this pretty high on my priority list. The main reason is because I explicitly stated it as a goal last year. I am working on my second book now, which is monopolizing a fare amount of my free time between midnight and 5 am. Therefore, most of things I mention here will not begin until I am finished with the first drafts of each chapter. I have about 4 days of writing left. I have to say, the two biggest highlights of 2010 for me was being selected as a SQL Server MVP and SQL Lunch turning 1 years old. Overall, 2010 was a great year for me.
So now, what's next for Patrick? This is where I get stuck every time on this post. What do I want to achieve or accomplish? I am not saying that I have reached the pinnacle of my career. There is still so much for me left to learn and do, but the challenge is deciding what and making sure that it will fit into my already busy schedule. Therefore, I decided to only set a few goals now and add more as priorities change and the year goes on. I plan on chronicling my progress on my blog so follow along. So here are my goals, not resolutions:
I spent much of 2010 marketing and talking about the SQL Lunch that I actually forgot about Patrick. I know some of you that have attended my sessions or met me in person may be thinking, are you kidding. You talk about yourself constantly or at least your EGO does. I recently purchased a domain, which will be announced in another blog, that will be all about me. Yep, I said it all about me. I will blog, post articles, videos, etc... What's going to make it different is that I am going to share technical, professional, and personal thoughts there. I am still going to syndicate all the technical stuff, but I am going to share other thoughts and ideas also. The later will not get syndicated.
I have decided to let my career (not job) and the questions I answer during presentations dictate which technical areas I will grow. I figured if I focus on those things my knowledge should grow immensely since I am a consultant and I speak on a regular basis. Now, I may decide after a couple months that these two avenues are not producing enough learning opportunities for me. At that point, I will start to work on identifying what will be beneficial to me in all aspects of my career.
I wear many hats in my life at this time. Taking on anything new would probably not be a good idea. So instead, I decided to focus on this things that I am apart of now. For example, I run the SQL Server User Group here in Baton Rouge. Our attendance has slumped over the past couple of months. I plan on making some changes and implementing some new things to improve attendance. One thing that I have to work on is bringing in speakers. I think the low attendance can be directly attributed to the fact that we have the same four or five speakers speaking on a regular basis. Another example, would be to improve the things I do as a PASS Regional Mentor. I have some ideas that I think will help grow the User Group base in my region and I will be working with my co-Regional Mentor to get them implemented in an attempt to encourage other community members to start chapters in their area. A final example, which has been brought to my attention several times, is to be a more consistent blogger.
For me, becoming physically fit is going to require a life style change. This change will require that I workout daily and change what I eat. I started this about a week ago and so far not too good. Fortunately I have someone that is pushing the process along. I have been given a workout schedule and a daily menu. Its going to take a little time for me to get this worked in to my life, but I am up to the challenge. Eating lots and lost of junk food is a big part of my life, especially when I am traveling.
Family is really important to me. Last year, as I ramped up on Business Intelligence, my job started to take precedence over my family. No one complained, but when you come home and realize how much you have missed. Weeeeell, it kind of makes you think. As a result, I have worked with closely with my family to add their lives to my calendar before I add work. So far we have the scheduled worked out through May. As events come up I block that time on my calendar. After all, what would life be without them.
Finally, I want to speak more. For those of you that know me, you may be thinking really. Last year I spoke more than 50 times. I plan on at least meeting that number or exceeding it. So if you are looking for a speaking for any of your events, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I cannot physically attend all the meeting, but through the magic of Live Meeting I can make almost any meeting. Last year I had the opportunity to speak to the Auckland SQL Server User Group. I hope I get an opportunity to do that again this year.
Believe it or not, I am currently working on my PhD in Science and Math Education. I have completed all my course work and all that is left it to write the dissertation. Well, I will be back in school the summer working with my committee to get that completed. I have set a graduation date of May 2012. Now that it is out there I must do it. So when I am done, I am going to require that everyone refers to me as Dr. Ego :).
So that's what's next for me. I don't think these things are unattainable, just some things that I think will make me a better IT professional, father and husband.
Talk to you soon and Happy New Year to you all,
Patrick LeBlanc, SQL Server MVP