T-SQL Tuesday #14 – Audrey’s (Career) Aspirations for 2011

Here we are again for another T-SQL Tuesday. This month’s event is being hosted by MidnightDBA (Blog|Twitter). The whole crazy concept is the brainchild of Adam Machanic (Blog|Twitter). If you’re interested in what this thing is about, check out this month’s invite.  A quick bit of gushing praise for the whole T-SQL Tuesday thing: For me, deciding what to write about is the hardest part of blogging. When someone tells me, “Hey Audrey. Write about this. And we promise a ton of people will come read about it”, well, you don’t have to tell me twice. I’m on it like the paparazzi at a celebutante convention.

The topic of this month’s event is “Resolutions”, which is, you know, totally apropos since it’s the first month of the year and all. Personally, I don’t make many resolutions, and they’re usually boring. For example, last year’s personal resolutions included: 1) Lose 10 pounds (I didn’t) 2) Drink more water (I did), and 3) Clear out clutter (Sort of, a little). I do establish career goals, and as my mama always said, “They aren’t real until you write them down”. She was a list-maker. She would make a list, and if she did something that wasn’t on the list, she’d add it just so she could cross it off. Watching her made me a list-maker too. It’s part of my morning routine to sit down and write down what I’m trying to accomplish that day. Yes, I said write. Like with pen and paper. I need the ritual. So it makes sense to get my to-do list together for 2011. Thanks to MidnightDBA for giving me a good excuse to really think about it.

Audrey’s (Career) Aspirations for 2011

1) Learn more about SQL Server internals. I’ll be reading Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Internals by Kalen Delaney (Blog|Twitter), Paul S. Randal (Blog|Twitter), Kimberly L. Tripp (Blog|Twitter), Conor Cunningham (Blog), and Adam Machanic (info in 1st paragraph). This book has been sitting on my shelf, glaring at me for not reading the entire thing for far too long. It’s time to go cover-to-cover, baby.

2) Learn more about Analytics, using SQL Server as well as other products. I want to get better at the UDM/cube/presentation portion of the BI Stack. I’m still figuring out the right approach for this aspiration. But, I can assure you that Project Crescent and BISM are somewhere on the plan.

TANGENT: When I hear Project Crescent, I immediately think “crescent roll”, and then I think “Crescent City” which is New Orleans, and then I think of beignets, because they are tiny bits of powdered sugar-dusted heaven. Then, I get a little homesick, because there aren’t many places around Atlanta where you can get a good beignet. I grew up near Houston, which is close enough to NOLA that the good food tended to bleed over into our part of Texas. They should have just named it Project Beignet to save me the time it takes to get through my stream of consciousness. :END TANGENT

3) Re-read The Data Warehouse Toolkit by Ralph Kimball and Margy Ross. Why? Well, I haven’t read it in a couple of years, and I have a build-out of a dimensional model on my plate. Reading this book again is like stretching before the big game. I’ll feel warmed-up and ready to go when the project really gets rolling.

4) Learn PowerShell (for SQL Server). You know, there are a lot of reasons for learning PowerShell, but the one that motivates me the most is this: My first programming language was Turbo Pascal 7.0 during my senior year of high school in 1994. (I’ll save you the math… I just turned 35. [sigh…]) My first RDBMS was Oracle 7.3 in 1996. Neither had snazzy GUI’s to help me limp along as I was learning. I love how my world has come full-circle. Here we are in 2011, and people are singing the praises of a non-GUI-based way to interact with SQL Server. I want in on the fun. AND… I’m tired of hearing from Aaron Nelson (Blog|Twitter) about how great it is and not knowing for myself.

5) Finish my certifications. I got my MCTS certs for SQL Server 2008 Business Intelligence and SQL Server 2008 Database Development late last year. I promised myself that I’d go on to the MCITP exams this year. This one has a timeline too… I’ll get both before the end of the summer. I’m toying with the idea of going after SQL Server 2008 Database Administration too. You know, because they’re there. And I’m so ridiculously competitive that the idea of leaving the tests untaken is bothering me.

6) Blog, and blog consistently. My fellow Datachix, Julie Smith (Blog|Twitter) and I promised each other that we’d each blog every other week. That’s 26 blog posts for me this year. I’ll go a step further and say that 20 will be technical posts. You’re not getting much fluff from me this year, my friends.

7) Speak. I will present more. I will learn to present virtually. I will rock the house with my awesome, well-prepared, techically relevant, and entertaining presentations.

8 ) Finally, I will be a great consultant. I already know how I’m spending 2011 from a client standpoint, and I’ll be working to make sure that they look back on 2011 and remember it as the year that they finally got their data straight, their processes together, and their analytics moving in the right direction.

So, in conclusion, my 2011 aspirations are: Read, Study, Read, Learn, Test, Blog, Speak, Rock. Easy-peasy, right? Whoo-boy! I’ve got to go. I need to get started.

Wait, before I go… My 2011 aspiration for all of you is that you have a wonderful, satisfying, and all-around kick-ass year. Make time for the things you love. Learn something new. Try something you’re scared of. Make some new friends. Go for a walk in the rain without an umbrella. Watch a sunset or two… and maybe a sunrise. Tell the people you care about how awesome they are. When presented with a great opportunity, go for it. When 2011-12-31 23:59:59.999 rolls around, you’ll be glad you did. I’m totally rooting for you!

Thanks for reading all the way through my list, and if you see me, ask me how I’m doing on it. There’s nothing quite like public accountability to keep me honest.

Rock on, my friends…


4 thoughts on “T-SQL Tuesday #14 – Audrey’s (Career) Aspirations for 2011

  1. 1) Learn more about SQL Server internals.

    Yeaaaah… my copy’s been sitting on my coffee table for the better part of a year now, glaring at me daily. I cover it up with junk mail, to keep the guilt away, but every now and then when I clean up the coffee table, it unearths itself to taunt me once more!!!

  2. Re: The DataWarehouse Toolkit: I look to the feline for help with technical books. Surely walking beside the book and rubbing your face against it repeatedly counts as fulfillment of the resolution?
    No? It doesn’t? Sigh.

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