Like clockwork, another year has come and (almost) gone. It’s been a wild year on many fronts: major happenings included the devastating Haiti earthquakes, the signing into law of a landmark healthcare “reform” bill, a major debacle over the use of body scanners and intimate pat-downs at TSA airport security stations, the personal crash and burn of golf star Tiger Woods, and the deaths of well known celebrities including Corey Haim, Leslie Nielson, and Elizabeth Edwards. Closer to home, my beloved Texas Rangers finally made it to the big one, and across the street they’re prepping JerryWorld for the first-ever Super Bowl in the Dallas area.
For me, both personally and professionally, this year has had a strong central theme: Change. Specifically, change for the better.
The year started off very strong. With the year barely a few hours old, I was notified that I had been selected by Microsoft as a SQL Server MVP for 2010. The honor of being chosen for such distinction is still a bit surreal even a year later, and I’m overwhelmingly thankful to the SQL Server community for the opportunities I’ve had that allowed me to share my knowledge and build my own skills as I teach others.
The same day, I received word that I had been elected to the board of directors for the North Texas SQL Server User Group in Dallas, where I was chosen to serve as the Director of Logistics and Communications (I have since changed roles to Director of Finance). Since then, we’ve hosted two highly successful SQL Saturday events, and incorporated the group as a non-profit entity.
Just a week into the new year, things changed again (and again, for the better) when I accepted a job offer to become a business intelligence consultant at a Dallas-area BI consultancy. I went to work for Artis Consulting in February of this year, and it’s been an exciting ride ever since. I’m working with some of the sharpest business intelligence professionals I’ve ever met, at a company that is highly selective in its hiring and is equally diligent about treating its employees well. I can’t speak highly enough of my employer or coworkers, and I hope that our relationship together will be lengthy and fruitful.
This new role has brought a lot of interesting challenges. I crave variety – I despise that stagnant feeling I get when I get in a rut – and have been happy to find that the work life of a consultant is never the same from one project to the next. This variety of assignments has helped me to improve my skills a great deal over the past year.
Only a fool would move in Texas in the summer. It takes someone truly insane to do it twice in the same summer. In 2010, I was just such a nut.
My wife and I had been looking to relocate closer to the Dallas metroplex for some time, since the employment and educational opportunities were limited in the relatively rural area we were in. After my job chance, we decided to make the move and sell our home and move to a Dallas suburb. After our home sold (in just 4 months!), we temporarily moved into an apartment, which turned out to be much more challenging than we’d anticipated. Dividing 1300 square feet amongst five people is a discouraging mathematical exercise, and even less desirable in real life. Fortunately, we purchased a home in just a couple of months, and were only in the apartment for 10 weeks or so. After a few bumps in the road, the kids have adapted well to the change and are enjoying the new home and other surroundings.
A Wild Ride!
Every year of life has a theme. Sometimes it’s status quo, sometimes it’s a downward trend, and occasionally it’s simply surviving – and in the past, I’ve experienced all three. But for me in 2010, it was all about positive change. Never before has a single year brought so many new and great things. I raise my virtual glass to the incredible year gone by.