The summit is my favorite time of year, but this is literally my least favorite post of every year (and yes, I do consider NOT posting it every year, this year more than most!) It is that time when I take my previous year’s resolutions (centered squarely on the most important 12-ish month period, from one year’s PASS Summit to the next), and see how I did. I rarely actually read them between one year to the next, but I can always hear the bullet points in the back of my mind. “You said you were going to…but you…”
If you want to read the actual post from last year, you will find it here. One of next year’s resolutions will actually be about these resolution type posts, but that is for another day. Realistically, I don’t know how many people would want to read this, but I do it to keep myself honest. Publishing stuff like this doesn’t have a lot of long term value, but it has always felt like a good exercise in talking about the sort of things many of my colleagues in the SQL community go through.
So here we go, just how did I do:
1. Devalue the MVP Award as one of my motivators – It was hard writing this last year, and I was hard repeating it again here. The MVP Award has been part of my life 14 times, for almost 15 years. I really enjoy calling myself a Data Platform Microsoft MVP. But… as the program has changed, and my life has changed, I still find myself doing the same things. I don’t know if this will be enough, and I don’t want “enough” to be strictly speaking: “enough to keep me an MVP”. I do what I do because I enjoy it, and I enjoy giving to people.
This year, I spoke more than a few times, worked on a few conference program committees, and tried to blog several times a month, wrote articles for RedGate about their tools (which just make and already great SQL Server better!) and will be working on a book project.
To increase this, just to keep up with a level of activity (that is not defined) would be folly, and could ruin my desire to do anything. I enjoy what I do, and I regularly remind myself that this is probably the last year I get to keep the MVP moniker. If that happens, yay, If I do keep it, then yay.
2, Be more value, meaning: learn more, build more, and blog more – My plans to build and publish more tools has been not as successful as desired. I still have some utilities in progress, and others I intend to do.
But I have definitely blogged a lot more this year, which I will discuss more in the next item.
What is standing in my way is a bit of fear in terms of distribution. I need to learn Github and publish things there. But that seems like it will take time, which I haven’t felt I’ve had enough of. I also know I can blog about it for neophytes like myself, but that is hard, mostly because I don’t like ending up being wrong and having a record of it!
I also have problems learning new things. I need to really pay attention to #1 up there, and just start learning something completely new.
3. Move away from SQLBlog.com – As you are reading this on (or at least, from) my Simple-Talk blog, you probably know that this has happened, last year on January 8th. I fell pretty much in the middle of the mass exodus from SQLBlog, but there are now only one or two active bloggers remaining on SQLBlog.com. It is sad, I was just there looking for last year’s resolutions blog to reference.
I fear some day that it will go away completely, so I also manually copied my entire blog off into Word documents… like 600 pages… Could be a book if there wasn’t so much personal fluff and well, some really out of date stuff. There are still plans to pull those posts over into SimpleTalk, but we will see what happens.
4. Somewhat to the first point, get my work-life balance in check – I work too much – Yeah, I have improved here, for now. I have spent a lot more time at the gym, and a good deal more time on fun/family stuff (usually they intersect…not always.) I have some projects coming up that may change this, but I don’t know. There are times when I just feel like I can only stand so much, and after an hour plus of exercise and work…It all can seem too much to sit down to a computer and work on a blog, or a project.
5. Either adjust how I deliver sessions or quit – And this is the item that you just want to forget you said and never have to review. I will be making a proclamation about my speaking skills soon, but I did work pretty hard on this this year. The biggest thing I learned is that I just have to relax, enjoy the process, and not try to tackle so much. Getting detailed is for places where you have not exactly, but somewhat unlimited time, like blogs and books.
6. Regularly participate in T-SQL Tuesday – This is what I wrote last year. I did exactly the same this year: “I did write one T-SQL Tuesday post this year, but I don’t know why I don’t do more. Maybe it is the deadline/procrastination thing. Or maybe I just don’t pay enough attention. I know that is the case, I am not on Facebook, and I only check Twitter infrequently.”
I need to do better here. And participate in other things like #sqlchat on twitter more. I just get so busy, and so filled with excuses.
7. Keep involved with PASS – My involvement with PASS went sideways a little bit. Our Chattanooga group went away, due to some issues, and I am working with some of the stronger members to try to revive it early next year.
I joined the leadership of the Program Committee this year, and that has been a very interesting journey. Being new I learned a LOT more about how the program is put together. Very interesting actually. I have every intention of being around again next year, helping to make the program even better.
8. Plan to make easier resolutions for next year – This one is yet to be seen. But honestly, the value of this isn’t to make myself look good. It is to really challenge myself. Which sounds dumb when you put it like that.
This has been quite a year, and I am really looking forward to getting to Seattle next week and being inspired by so many people from the SQL Community.