Monday, January 05, 2009

Goals Goals Goals

First a recap of last year. I consider last year a banner year in my career advancement and in the community. I met and exceeded a lot of my goals for the year. Others, I didn't do so well. I figured it would be good for my ego to boost it a bit and remind myself what i did accomplish, then list the next set of goals.

Published articles
I was lucky enough to get inspiration a great many times last year, and published articles with
5 articles published to SQL Server Central.
4 articles published to SQL-Server-Performance.
1 article published to Simple-Talk.
1 article published for SQLServerCentral was released in the "Best of" book this year.

Just before the PASS summit of 2008, I started to blog and decided to keep the ball rolling with as much SQL related content as I could muster. I have had quite the surprising interest in the blog, and hope to continue it. To date, I have had 363 visits came from 19 countries/territories to the site. I have been mentioned by other folks in their blogs, and am grateful for it. As the inspiration hits me for items, I will continue to post more. I hope that it can provide a help, in its fashion. I do not consider myself an expert, or that I should be read over anyone else. However, I do have a brain and an insight that may prove useful, and for this purpose, I will continue to produce content.

I spoke for the PASS DBA SIG early in the year.
I spoke in brownbag lunch at work.
I spoke at my User Group meetings.
I spoke and help organize 2 CodeCamps.
I spoke and help organize 1 MS Launch event.

I started up a Special Interest Group with PASS about Auditing and Compliance
I continued to volunteer on the Chapter Committee
I started being a Regional Mentor with PASS
I continued (struggled) to run my local chapter
At PASS, I signed up to a couple volunteer posts
I have spoke and helped run local events

On May 13th 2008, I signed up for a Twitter account and started tweeting. My goals here were to talk primarily about SQL stuff. I followed quite a few othe DBA folks out there in the community and soon, it took on a life of its own.
At the PASS summit, there was a huge use for twitter, as i wrote about in my article on Simple-Talk. Before and after, twitter has been a huge help to my career, as well as networking. I have had 150 followers, though some have dropped off from time to time. Over the christmas holiday, I think I gained 30 followers.
So, this avenue for networking has proven worthy of its time and effort. I have forged relationships with many people that I have then been able to use to our mutual advantages.

So, looking back at these things, I have to say I am impressed I was able to accomplish them. A few were not goals, but organic growths on their own that I simply participated in. Writing articles and blogging, these were items I struggled with and tried hard to produce. Luckily I was able to find multiple topics to write about that were interesting to at least a few folks out there.
There have been many personal goals that i accomplished last year that i did not detail here. For example, after tearing my AC joint in my shoulder, I wanted to be able to start exercising it within 1 month, and be back on my dirtbike within a month of that. I accomplished both of these goals. More are to follow as I strengthen it. In my personal life, i have quite a few goals, but let's keep this surrounding SQL and my career path.

Looking forward

1. I want to do more with my local user group.
I have set aside a few months for meetings (we do not meet monthly) and am actively trying to get these organized with content, sponsor and location.

2. Produce presentations.
While at PASS, I set myself a goal to produce 4-6 presentations for the year, with no clear location or event in mind. Simply produce content that can be shared at an event.

3. Speak at SSWUG.
Back in December, I was contacted with a proposal to produce content that may be accepted and used in the next Virtual Conference. This was a huge suprise to me, and I hope that I can not only produce the content, but speak at the event.

4. Perform Regional Mentor Duties.
When I was first assigned to Regional Mentor with PASS, I contacted those User Group leaders under me, and let them know of our goals and my contact info. I have since met and spoke with some at PASS and virtually. I want to better help these individuals with anything they need to keep their User Groups running well.

5. Blog
As the feeling hits me (like now) I want to produce content for my blog that can actually help people. How will this post help folks? Maybe its just meant to help me, and I consider myself part of that group of folks that I intend on helping. Others may find the content useful, and that makes me feel like its not for not. But at the core, I blog because I want to keep a record of things. And I secretly hope that others find it useful too.

6. Articles
As last year has shown me, I can write. I was happy to find this out myself, and am more excited to produce more content. Last year, it seemed easy, because I had specific projects that I could document in the form of an article. Then, when that well ran dry, I had to invent content. This was a tough hump to climb, but I did it. Now I know it can be done, and I want to repeat this as much as possible this year.

7. MVP
I was nominated last year to be an MVP. As another DBA told me, being nominated was a huge step. I was so appreciative of this honor. I did not get awarded the distinction of being an MVP that time around. So, my goal this year is to do what I need too to become nominated again. Since what I ultimately end up doing is judged by a mysterious litmus chart, I do not know if i will ever get the award. So, all I can truly do is do what I do.
As one friend recently said, those that are awarded MVP status deserve it. So, this goal is not to become an MVP, but to be eligible to be nominated.

8. Read
I subscribe to a great many blogs. I want to keep up with them. I am currently about a month behind on a lot of them, and need to close that gap. I would like to have a constant rolling window of only a few weeks of content that I need to read. This means i need to spend more time at nights and on my own after work catching up. I tend to read a little bit during the day at work, but its not enough to clean house. Someday, it would be nice to be at #InboxZero for my blog feeds.
I have lot of other content that I can read as well. Articles published on my favorite sites, books, magazines, etc. I want to read more from these as well. A couple years ago I had a goal of reading an article a night from the "Best of SQLServer" book that is produced each year. I made it pretty far that year in reading, and got 3/4 of the book read. I would like to do something like that again.

9. Topics
There are quite a few topics that I feel I could know more about with SQL Server. These seem to be on a lazy susan, spinning by me at random moments, to taunt me with the items I have more to learn about. Every once in a while, I want to pull one of these items off of its protected shelf, dig into it, and then permanately place it on another shelf of things I have learned well. I just hope that the last shelf has enough space, and I don't end up moving items between the two locations as I loose knowledge of one, to gain knowledge of another. My HDD seems to be full up these days.

Well, there you have it. A look back, and a look forward. I will have to reference this from time to time to see how I'm doing. After all, metrics need to be gathered, reporting of statuses, etc. Hum, maybe I can devise a database to organize this list, and... ha, there I go on a side project that is not on the list.
So, this reminds me of one that is not on my list.

10. #InboxZero
I want to maintain InboxZero habits, and foster new ones. For both home and work. Becoming more organized will help out tremendously in so many other aspects of my career, life, work, and so on. InboxZero!!!


Stephen said...

Great post! No need to secretly hope your blogs are helping others, come out of that closet, because they are! You are a good mentor to a lot of us average DBA's who have not really thought about our goals for the year, or beyond. Sometimes we need the nudge to delve into the unknown.

Keep up the great work.

Happy 2009!

Christy said...

woohoo! Keep up the good work. Those look like great goals!
Keep on keepin' on.