2018 in the Rearview, 2019 Looming Large

2018 was a challenging year for all sorts of reasons. I set some modest goals for myself and it was mixed bag. My work goals got kind of demolished: I failed to post much last year (although I am happy I now have a post to return to every time I need to write a pivot) and after multiple attempts I failed to pass the MS 70-463 exam on building a data warehouse (I just couldn’t seem to get the last 50-100 points to push me over the top). My personal goals I did okay on though: I passed my nidan test back in September and I am about 1/3 of the way through learning to finger pick Loch Lomond (definitive version is Runrig’s live version) on my tenor uke. I would think the year was failure however I did a lot (especially in the first 3 months):

  • Coordinated and ran the first SQL Saturday here in Spokane.
  • Presented at said SQL Saturday.
  • Managed to keep the local PASS chapter meeting every month (even while I was out of the country with the assistance of my co-leader Elizabeth Hunt (t).
  • Attended SQL Sat Oregon, rode the SQL Train to PASS Summit. I finally managed to make the Summit meet-up with other chapter leaders and SQL Saturday organizers: so much learning and networking.
  • I started the process for creating a not for profit to handle the money for our SQL Saturday since it was successful enough to warrant another one. We officially incorporated right before Christmas.
  • At work I finally got automated backup testing up and running. It’s probably a little over-engineered but it was a solid first effort.
  • I also began attending the data governance meetings at work so we could start incorporating our SQL data into their consideration and I got us enrolled in the EAP for Redgate’s Data Catalog.

This last one is by far one of my favorite things this year. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how we treat our data but beyond being sure it was encrypted and backed up I haven’t been able to do much else concrete but in the last month of 2018 I was able to start cataloging data in our internally developed databases and get start on one of our bigger vendor databases. Adding this metadata will provide us with a much better view of what kinds of data we are storing and where it is.  I’m happy with this initial run at the problem space and I can already see where it starts to answer some questions we should all be asking about the data in our care.

2019 is looking to be another challenging and busy year: I need to refocus and look at my path to an MCSA/MCSE certification. I’m hoping I can take the 70-764 and 765 exams this year. I was hoping to get my 2012 MSCA and upgrade that but I still don’t do enough SSIS work to get myself over the last point hurdle with the 70-463. And being certified on the upcoming versions is probably worth my time.

I’ll finish putting together the Inland Northwest Data Professionals Association in the next couple of months, just in time to run the second SQL Saturday Spokane. I also applied to the Friends of Redgate program and we’ll see what comes of that: that could lead to a whole host of community contributions that I can’t even foresee right now.

2 comments

  1. Jeff · 12 Days Ago

    Finger picking? I’m still learning to strum 😦 With Nidan in the rearview and Sandan a bit down the motorway, you’ll have ample time to nail the certifications, laddy. P.s. founding a SQL Saturday is no small feat, its a great asset to our little community here in the INW.

    Like

    • josh · 12 Days Ago

      Thanks! I’m working hard to not beat myself up where I feel like I’ve fallen short. I started out really down on myself for not doing a couple of things but then realized all the *other* stuff I worked on ate into the time to have accomplished them. Professionally 2018 was a very good year! And don’t worry, I still only know like 3 chords and can’t reliably strum anything…

      Liked by 1 person

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