Category Archives: Career Advice
After yesterday’s review of 2012, it is time to set the bar a little higher for 2013. Let’s soar to new heights!
- I will post daily during the work week to this blog in order to give back to the SQL community. Last year I had planned to blog 365 days of the year, but there were many days when the content was subpar because I was on vacation, holiday, or simply having fun with my family. I think this year if I limit it to the days that I am actually working on SQL Server then the content should stay consistent.
- I will spend time daily helping people on twitter, SQL blogs, and various SQL-related websites such as SQL Server Central. This was hard to do last year but it is still a noble goal and thus should be listed.
- I am setting a goal of 600 followers on Twitter which would increase my existing followers 33%.
- I will attend at least ten of the twelve Tampa Bay SQL Server User Group meetings.
- I will attend three to five other User group meetings, such as the Tampa BI group, Orlando’s MagicPASS, or the Tampa VMUG.
- I will attend at least one other event that interfaces with SQL Server such as the Orlando IT Pro Camp.
SQL Conferences & Training Events
- I will attend at least one formal Microsoft SQL training course this year.
- I will attend every SQL Saturday offered in the Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville areas. I would also like to attend some others, if possible, within driving distance.
- I will volunteer to help with at least one SQL Saturday this year.
- I will attend the SQL PASS Summit in Charlotte.
- I will submit to at least two different SQL Saturday events in addition to SQL PASS. Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to present somewhere in 2013.
- I will be in better physical shape in time for Summit 2013.
- I will lose 100 pounds by the end of the year.
Five Year Goals
- I will continue to take at least one to two classes a semester online in order to complete my degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida. All those Engineering and Computer Science classes I took 20 years ago are not relevant today and I would like to possibly return to consulting in five or ten years and that degree would be more beneficial in that long-term goal.
- I would like to become a Microsoft Certified Master within five years.
With today being the first day of 2013, I thought it would be good to review my goals for the year and see where I finished. I will italicize the updates at the end of each of the original items.
- I will post daily to this blog in order to give back to the SQL community that has helped me so much over the years. I published 364 blog posts for the year! It was difficult on holidays and weekends, but I am glad that I persevered through it. It became a habit and I think my writing improved because of the effort.
- I will spend time daily helping people on twitter, SQL blogs, and various SQL-related websites such as SQL Server Central. I have tried to do this regularly, but it is harder than blogging daily. I thought this one would have been easier. I simply did not have enough hours in the day.
- I am setting a goal of 300 followers on Twitter which would double my existing followers for 2011. I am at 465 followers today, thanks everyone!
- I will attend at least ten of the twelve Tampa Bay SQL Server User Group meetings. In the end I only missed one and it was due to illness, goal accomplished!
- I will attend three to five other SQL User group meetings, such as the Tampa BI group or Orlando’s MagicPASS. There is a new Hillsborough SQL Users Group that I have attended every session. However, I did not get the chance to attend MagicPASS or the BI group this year!
- I will attend every Tampa VMWare User Group meetings which occur quarterly. I am 100 percent on this one (mainly because there hasn’t been a meeting since December of 2011! There is hope as I believe there will be a meeting in February.
- I will attend other events that interface with SQL Server or VMWare such as the Orlando IT Pro Camp scheduled for January 21, 2012. I missed the IT Pro Camp.
- I will attend one Microsoft SQL training course this year, but I cannot say at this time what that course will be as that will depend upon my employer . I would like to attend Course 2778a (Writing Queries Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Transact-SQL) and Course 6234 (Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services. I did even better than that, I attended a SQLskills.com class and I am also attended the PASS Summit in November.
- I will attend every SQL Saturday offered in the Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville areas. I would also like to attend some others, if possible, within driving distance. I am already registered forSQL Saturday #110 in Tampa on March 10, 2012. I missed the Jacksonville SQL Saturday but made up for it with Pensacola. I attended the March one in Tampa, the one in Orlando in September, but missed the BI one in Tampa in November due to the flu.
- I will volunteer to help with at least one SQL Saturday this year. I volunteered in March and spoke in June and September.
- I would like to attend SQL Rally in Dallas this year and I would definitely like to attend the SQL PASS Summit, but with one child in college this year and two more entering over the next two years, I may have to pass on this one for a couple of years until they are situated and my bank account returns to normal. I did not get to go to Rally, but I was able to attend the Summit and I cannot imagine myself ever missing that event in the future no matter what the cost! The friendships made were priceless.
- I will continue to take at least one to two classes a semester online in order to complete my degree in Business Administration. All those Engineering and Computer Science classes I took 20 years ago are not relevant today and I would like to possibly return to consulting in five or ten years and that degree would be more beneficial in that long-term goal. I am still on track here and was accepted to return to the University of Florida for the Summer of 2013.
- I will continue SQLAndy’s recommendation to meet at least three people at every SQL event. This is a great recommendation for networking. It is hard sometimes to break out of our introverted ways. I have been working hard to do this every time and it pays off so much so that when I went to the Summit I had no trouble walking up to strangers and introducing myself.
- I will attain my VMWare Certified Professional 4 certificate this year for VMWare. This did not happen as VMWare came out with a new version before my window closed to take the exam. Now I will have to take a version 5 class in order to take the exam. Personally, I am not that interested in pursuing this certification anymore choosing instead focusing primarily on SQL Server.
- I would like to speak somewhere this year, my local SSUG, VMUG, or even a training session at work. I need to get over my fear of public speaking. 2012 is the year to step it up and take it to another level. I have spoken at my user group and SQL Saturday and it is addictive.
This has been a great year for me, and I hope it has been for you too. Enjoy.
The year 2012 was a great year for me in many regards, but today I want to acknowledge that I read fifty books this year! Reading is great for your mind and your soul so this year I made a concerted effort to read more and I believe this is the most books that I have ever read in a year.
There was a few books on the list that I have read before, but they were read so long ago that it was great to re-read them and experience them all over again especially the Hobbit and A Stranger in a Strange Land. I read and enjoyed them as a child. In addition, a few of the Star Wars books I read in my younger days but I would like to read the entire Expanded Universe and I thought it was a great refresher to read them all at once. Enjoy!
|The Associate||John Grisham|
|Star Wars Fate of the Jedi – Outcast||Aaron Allston|
|Atlas Shrugged||Ayn Rand|
|Star Wars Fate of the Jedi – Omen||Christie Golden|
|Star Wars Fate of the Jedi – Abyss||Troy Denning|
|Star Wars Fate of the Jedi – Backlash||Aaron Allston|
|Star Wars Fate of the Jedi – Allies||Christie Golden|
|Star Wars Fate of the Jedi – Vortex||Troy Denning|
|Star Wars Fate of the Jedi – Conviction||Aaron Allston|
|Star Wars Fate of the Jedi – Ascension||Christie Golden|
|Star Wars Fate of the Jedi – Apocalypse||Troy Denning|
|Star Wars Cloak of Deception||James Luceno|
|A Stained White Radiance||James Lee Burke|
|Star Wars Darth Maul Shadow Hunter||Michael Reaves|
|Star Wars Episode I : The Phantom Menace||Terry Brooks|
|Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith||Adult Comic|
|Star Wars Rogue Planet||Greg Bear|
|Star Wars Darth Plagueis||James Luceno|
|Star Wars Outbound Flight||Timothy Zahn|
|A Stranger In A Strange Land||Robert Heinlein|
|In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead||James Lee Burke|
|Star Wars The Approaching Storm||Alan Dean Foster|
|Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones||R. A. Salvatore|
|Dixie City Jam||James Lee Burke|
|Burning Angel||James Lee Burke|
|Cadillac Jukebox||James Lee Burke|
|Star Wars Shatterpoint||Matthew Stover|
|Cestus Deception||Steven Barnes|
|MedStar I: Battle Surgeons||Steve Perry & Michael Reaves|
|MedStar II: Jedi Healer||Steve Perry & Michael Reaves|
|Jedi Trial||David Shermann|
|Yoda: Dark Rendezvous||Sean Stewart|
|Labyrinth of Evil||James Luceno|
|Han Solo Trilogy: The Paradise Snare||A.C. Crispin|
|Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith||Matthew Stover|
|The Rise of Darth Vader||James Luceno|
|Han Solo Trilogy: The Hutt Gambit||A.C. Crispin|
|Han Solo Trilogy: Rebel Dawn||A.C. Crispin|
|The Awakening||Kate Chopin|
|Their Eyes Were Watching God||Zore Neale Hurston|
|A Good Man is Hard To Find||Flannery O’Connor|
|The Ballad of the Sad Café||Carson McCullers|
|The Color Purple||Alice Walker|
|The Testament||John Grisham|
|The Hobbit||J.R.R. Tolkien|
|Star Wars Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire||William C. Dietz|
|Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope||George Lucas|
|Heir to the Empire (Thrawn Trilogy Book 1)||Timothy Zahn|
|Dark Force Rising (Thrawn Trilogy Book 2)||Timothy Zahn|
Having posted yesterday about my Personal Development Plan, I read a blog post from Neil Hambly regarding his 2012 goals. Now, I realize that my goals were somewhat vague and easy to worm out of. Here are the goals that I had mentioned yesterday:
- I want to dedicate time everyday to this blog and giving back to the SQL community that has helped me so much over the years.
Today I received word, after a lengthy four-month process, that my petition to return to the University of Florida after 23 years has been approved. This was one of the major goals that I set for myself last year and this year and now it has been accomplished. I have always felt a gaping hole inside having never completed my degree, not because I really needed it, but because it has always burned inside of me as a personal failure. At this stage in my career it is probably not necessary, but it is something I set out to do and never accomplished. It will be completed, I will not leave this world willingly without accomplishing this goal.
I have been debating internally for months on the decision to buy a Mac. I have been wanting one for a while now mainly because I want to learn to write iOS apps and return to my programming roots. After having an iPhone and iPad for several years this is the next logical step, obviously.
I have programmed in Unix, Linux, DOS scripting, Windows with Progress, Delphi, C++, and Visual Basic as well HTML. Do not get me wrong my passion is SQL Server, but I enjoy creating things as a hobby now mostly.
I think I will buy one but I think the timing is off, probably better to wait until after Christmas. Enjoy!
Yesterday was a good day, I was officially promoted to Senior Administrator late in the afternoon. Same job, a little more pay, but mainly recognition by my employer that they appreciate my performance. That is always a great feeling and a great way to start the weekend.
How will that change my day-to-day routine? It will not, except maybe that I will walk a little taller and have a bounce in my step. It is interesting to note that there have been rumblings of creating additional pay grades so that technical people like myself can advance further without going into management. However, if that does not happen then I have reached the proverbial glass ceiling as I prefer to be a DBA instead of a manager, to be honest.
I truly cannot see myself at the same pay grade for the rest of my career. Money isn’t everything, but raises on a regular basis say that you appreciate me and my work and that you value my performance. Always the optimist, I think everything will work out for the best, so no worries.
Enjoy your weekend!
My wife and I are confronted within the next year with an interesting quandary. Come August, we will be empty-nesters at a young age. Our children will be either on their own or in college. This puts us in a unique position to move onto the next stage of our life. We still have around twenty years left in our professional careers, but where do we want to spend that? Do we stay in our beloved small town?
At this point, it does not look like our children will stick around to start families here so there is really nothing other than a lifetime of friends holding us to this town. We will however, keep our house and possibly move back here for retirement. Do we take the plunge and move somewhere totally outside of our comfort zones and reap the rewards. Do we live the life of nomads moving every couple of years to a new town just for the sake of new and exciting opportunities? We almost feel like high school seniors trying to pick the right college. What do you think?
When hiring SQL Server professionals it would seem to be a no brainer that you would test the candidates? Especially if you are looking for mid-range or senior level candidates. Maybe a technical interview gives you some level of insight into the candidate, but today I saw a DBA test and I was impressed. The test was simplistic in nature but the questions would definitely tell you whether the candidate could handle the day-to-day things that a mid-level DBA should come across. Obviously you could google the answers, so this would have to be administered on site.
What are your thoughts? Do you test your candidates?
Today is my daughter’s last high school marching band competition. Being my youngest daughter, her senior year has been filled with “lasts” and she has been nostalgic to say the least, probably more so than my other children because she is the youngest. For me this is bittersweet as we will never experience these moments again in our lives but we also know that next year will bring many new “firsts” for her.
In life we have to keep milestones in perspective. I am more excited about her “firsts” than her “lasts” but cannot help but be a little sad at the same time because I know she will leave the nest in a few months and our nest will be empty for the first time in over twenty years. That will be a new “first” for us. A challenge to be sure. Enjoy!