Happy New Year!
Today begins 2019, though it's a holiday for the majority of us. I'm certainly taking a well deserved break, as it was a busy 2018 and 2019 is likely to continue the trend.
This year we'll get a new version of SQL Server, with quite a few enhancements that may make a difference to your organization. We've seen early versions of SQL Server 2019 out, and if you haven't had the chance to play with it, perhaps that's an item on your New Year Resolution list. If you worry about installing beta software, this is the year to certainly install Docker and get familiar with containers.
In fact, this is the start of my 2019 learning plan. Last year I didn't do as well as I would have liked, but I did manage to learn more about Extended Events and a bit of Python, though the latter became quite rusty as my year got busy. In any case, I did spend a little time at the end of the year doing some of the Advent of Code in Python.
Containers are going to matter in the future, and certainly the developers you work with will be interested in working with them, so I'd make this a priority for most people. They take some getting used to, but it's a technology that will start to become as uqibuitous as virtualization, so spend time here.
As a side note, I'll also say that I run Docker on Windows, but I use Linux containers. I'll write about that a bit, but you should start to do the same. My plan is to rebuild an older laptop with Windows 10 and start from scratch, and I hope to document the process.
I want to have other learning goals, not the least of which is to read more technical books. I invested in a few during the Apress Cyber Monday sale, loading up on 8-10 books at a reduced price, and I want to get through them, even if it's just for fun projects. My recommendation is that you sit down and think about your career this week and make a plan. You can always change it, but start the year with the goal of learning one or two things well, set aside some time each week, and hold yourself to the plan.
I'm hoping everyone had a great and safe New Year, and I look forward to seeing some of you this year at a few events. I'm looking for a lighter schedule, but I still want to get out and speak at a few new places, so let me know if you'd like me to come to your event.