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T-SQL Tuesday #97 – Setting learning goals for 2018

T-SQL Tuesday T-SQL Tuesday. Each month a different blogger hosts Adam Machanic’s (b/t) blog party. The host comes up with a topic on the first Tuesday of the month, and everyone who want’s to participate blogs on that subject, posting on the second Tuesday of the month. This month our host is Malathi Mahadevan (b/t) and it being the last T-SQL Tuesday of the year she wants us to post about our learning goals for 2018. She broke the topic down into 3 parts.

  1. What do you want to learn? (specific skills and talents)
  2. How and when do you want to learn? (methods of learning and timeline on learning)
  3. How do you plan to improve on what you learned? (Putting it to use at work/blogging/speaking)


What do you want to learn?

I don’t have anything specific I want to learn honestly. I’m a very eclectic learner and tend to learn whatever is in front of me at the time (within certain categories). So here are the general categories I intend to improve/work on.

  • The Cloud – We’ve started making a push in this at work so aside from a general interest I have a specific reason for this one. Not to mention it doubles the surface area that I can work in (stuff in the cloud and on-premises).
  • Powershell – This is one of those tools that crosses so many lines and can do so many things that it’s almost impossible not to work on it.
  • Performance tuning – this is a specific interest of mine and tends to come in handy at work.
  • T-SQL – Version by version this changes so it’s important to maintain my skill here.
  • Metadata – By this I mean all of the DMOs, system views, functions etc that provide handy information about what’s going on on the instance.


How and when do you want to learn?
  • Blogs
    • Writing them: Believe it or not, writing blogs is a fantastic way to learn. Between research & comments, you can learn a ton. My plan is to continue writing 2 a week. (Fair warning, this can be a lot if you have any other hobbies, a life, really if you are doing anything much other than writing blogs. Fortunately, I don’t. I recommend starting out slower and building up if you really want to get to that point.)
    • Reading them: Currently, I read the odd blog now and again. I’m going to make a point of reading at least 1 blog a week. Reading blogs is a great way to pick up new tricks, techniques etc from people who are actually in the field doing the work.
  • Pluralsight: I’ve had a Pluralsight account for over a year now and I’ve gone through 1 class. That is a criminal waste of some awesome training. So one course a month. (This one may be pushing things a bit. Adding two or more hours of training a week may be more than I can manage.)
  • Cloud Acadamy: This is paid training provided by my office, obviously specifically about the cloud. At least 1 hour a week.
  • Forums: I’ve been slacking off on answering forum questions. Hard to set a goal here but I’m going to start looking for questions to answer more often. And again, this may not be all that obvious but answering forum questions is a great way to learn.


How do you plan to improve on what you learned?

This is probably the most important part and the hardest. Reading a blog or taking a course to learn a subject is great but without some level of practice, information doesn’t always stick as well as you could hope. Obviously, for me, blogging is a good method to help the information stick. Then for some of the information, I’ll be getting to use it at work. A lot of the information though will get relegated to the “back of my mind”. By that, I mean that I won’t remember details after a while, but I will remember the concept, that the blog exists, that the option is there. From there, when I need it I’ll go look it up, spend a few minutes skimming the blog and/or reviewing the information and I’ll be good to go.


My name is Kenneth Fisher and I am Senior DBA for a large (multi-national) insurance company. I have been working with databases for over 20 years starting with Clarion and Foxpro. I’ve been working with SQL Server for 12 years but have only really started “studying” the subject for the last 3. I don’t have any real "specialities" but I enjoy trouble shooting and teaching. Thus far I’ve earned by MCITP Database Administrator 2008, MCTS Database Administrator 2005, and MCTS Database Developer 2008. I’m currently studying for my MCITP Database Developer 2008 and should start in on the 2012 exams next year. My blog is at www.sqlstudies.com.


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