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2013 in review, 2014 in anticipation

As is my custom, I want to blog about what I did last year and my goals for the upcoming year.  Since I have more “regular” stuff to blog about, I figured I’d sneak this in on a Friday just to get it up here.  :)  The primary reason I do this is that which gets measured, gets done (hat tip Buck Woody).  2013 was a pretty eventful year, but I didn’t quite get everything I had wanted to.  So let’s look back at…

2013

Speaking – Did pretty well here.  I met all my goals as well as actually speaking at the 2013 Summit.  I love presenting and now it’s a matter of building new presentations.

Blogging  – Not quite an epic fail, but this one was not a passing grade.  I basically blogged regularly through to about March, then fell back to my sporadic pace.  I didn’t even blog for about 3 months over the summer.  I’m very disappointed with myself and can do better here.

Certification – This was a success and was a lot easier than I had anticipated.  I sat down to take four of the five exams cold to evaluate where I stood and ended up passing them.  The one I had to study for (and I knew this going in) was the Data Warehousing exam (70-463).  Pretty happy here, but now it’s a matter of finding other options for certification.

I know a lot of folks have a dim view of certs.  I agree with the premise, that the exams and certifications (mostly) are no substitute for real world experience.  The fact that they can be crammed for removes some of the validity.  But at the same time, I think that they can be a valuable barometer for someone’s knowledge.  I fall in Glenn Berry’s camp here, that certifications are like extra credit.  If I see a cert on a resume, I won’t assume knowledge of the subject matter, but it at least shows me the candidate was willing to make an extra effort to improve themselves.

Secret Project – Ok, this more or less flopped.  Basically, I wanted to either write a book or build a pre-con for database monitoring because I feel there’s a real gap out there.  These are still on my slate of things I want to do, but I did not get that done in 2013.  Boo me.

And that was 2013.  I’d give myself a B for the year, mostly because while I whiffed on some of my goals, I also managed to go beyond on a few things.  In addition, I’ve made some career choices and moved things in that direction.  Which now brings me to….

2014

Several of the goals will be maintenance or the same.  I want to maintain on the presenting, so we’re looking at at least 4 SQL Saturdays and a Summit submission.  Blogging needs to be once a week.  This is a real stretch goal, because it’s harder than it looks, but I need to strive for it.  These two items are the base foundation my career grows from, so I need to keep that foundation healthy.

New stuff for 2014 will be:

  • I’m trying to move my career more towards being a data architect.  So for that goal, I will write more posts on general data concepts and higher level planning.  There will still be plenty of administrative stuff, but I need to broaden my blogging scope.

  • I also need to start reading more on cloud computing, modelling, and larger design concepts.  Right now I’m reading Domain Driven Design and my goal is to read 1 book a month on a related topic.

  • I will identify and start working towards a new certification path for design and architecture.  Not sure what this is, but I’ll have something identified by the end of March and start working on it the rest of the year.

2013 was a year of change in my life.  Not earth shattering change, not seismic shifts, but a definite redirection in my aims.  2014 will be solidifying my plan and starting down that path.  My biggest challenge will be sorting out the things that are new and uncomfortable from those that are the wrong direction.  The question I will continue to ask is “Does this move me in the direction I want to go?”.

 

5 Comments

  1. Tim Ford says:

    Plus it was great having you on SQL Cruise in 2013 as well!

    1. Mike Fal says:

      The Cruise was a thrill and well worth the time. I would love to do something like that again, but I’m not sure I could make it one of my yearly goals. :)

  2. Marc Beacom says:

    Just wanted to say great job in 2013 in delivering awesome content! I’m looking forward to your 2014 content.

  3. Siva Ramasamy says:

    Well done Mike.. My best wishes to achieve more in 2014.

  4. John Sansom says:

    Mike – Blogging consistently is so much harder than most folks realise. If you’re not using one already, I strongly suggest that you use an Editorial Calendar.

    We talk about using Editorial Calendar’s and other blogging tips over in the thread Ideas for Increasing Your Blog Post Exposure in the SQL Community Forum.

    I’d be very interested to learn what Certifications you choose to branch out into, as I myself am also trying to decide what to pursue next.

    All the best for 2014 sir!

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