2010 Accomplishments, 2011 Goals

2010 was a defining year for me. After attending the PASS summit in November 2009, I finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up (at the tender age of 47!). This year I tried to concentrate a lot of my professional efforts on SQL Server. It didn’t always work out, but for the most part it did.

Accomplishments in 2010 –

  • Converted our final SQL Server 2000 database to 2005, just in time for the SQL Server 2008 R2 release. Yeah, we’re a bit behind.
  • Started a blog. Not very technical yet, it’s kind of all over the place, but I suspect that will change with more blogging experience.
  • Attended a SQL Saturday in Chicago. Met Wendy Pastrick (blog | twitter) and Jes Borland (blog | twitter).
  • Attended PASS 2010. Met a whole slew of people whom I now consider friends.
  • Cooked some awesome meals and created some killer recipes. I only wish I had written some of them down. Note to self.
  • Avoided the emergency room this past fastpitch softball season, despite getting hit by a pitch for the first time since I was a kid. Softballs leave a lot bigger bruise than baseballs. But, at this stage in my life I am able to get back in the batters box without a worry after getting plunked, rather than jumping away from every outside pitch as I did when I was 12.
  • Made the All-World team at the Masters Fastpitch World Series in Rockford, IL. Being 5’3″ I’m not known for my power hitting, but I did manage to hit a 3-run home run in one game (against the eventual champions) to keep us from getting run-ruled. Batting .454 for the wekeend with a HR, 5 RBIs, 4 runs, 3 walks and a stolen base, I was the only person on our team to be recognized with this award.
  • Bought my daughter her first car. Not sure that’s an accomplishment, but it sure made her happy, and she is now a lot less dependent on her dad and her mom for transportation.

Not too many SQL Server accomplishments to speak of in 2010, and I hope that changes for next year. I am involved in so many other things at work that SQL Server sometimes takes a back seat. One of my major disappointments this year is that I learned that one of our Java developers is leaving in two weeks. He’s a good friend and with whom I am involved in a major web project for our company. His talents and commaraderie will be missed. Not sure what is going to happen to the web project, I’ll probably be wearing both the SQL hat and the Java hat for the next couple months. Our June 30th launch date is now out the window.

Professional Goals for 2011 – One goal has already been shot down. I asked to attend the SQL Rally in Orlando this year, but I’ve been told I’ll be too heavily involved with our web project to be able to take the time off. I wonder if that goes for vacations as well…

Oh well – here’s the rest of the list –

  • Get a Microsoft certification. I’m currently studying for the 70-444. I’d like to be able to put the initials MCITP after my name at some point this year, perhaps MCM after my name sometime in 2012.
  • Get a data warehouse up and running. Our actuarial department is looking to start one up in 2011. I’ve convinced them to go with SQL Server 2008 R2, which will mean I get a new toy to play with.
  • Attend SQL Saturday #67 in Chicago. I’ve already signed up, so this one should be easy.
  • Start presenting. I’ve been slated to talk at the May meeting of the newly formed Madison PASS group. No idea of a topic yet, but I suppose that will come with time. Ideas more than welcome.
  • Get more involved with the Wisconsin SQL Server User Group (WISSUG). For now that’s all I can say on that.
  • Attend PASS 2011. 2009 was great, it was my first conference, and it was like being a kid in a candy store. The 2010 conference was even better because I made the concious effort to meet people. The 2011 conference occurs over my wife’s birthday, so delicate negotiations are required in order to pull this off. Just might end up bringing her along. She is not in any way knowledgeable in anything SQL, so this may be an interesting trip. She’ll probably end up living at #SQLKaraoke.
  • Blog more. Again, I’m new to blogging, so hopefully I can be a little more focused on this. I think studying for the certification exams might make blogging a little easier, since it will probably give me ideas to write about.

Personal Goals for 2011 –

  • Taking a page from Mike Walsh (blog |twitter), I need to be getting closer to God. “For all have sinned, and fall short of the Glory of God.” -Romans 3:23. Being so busy this past year, and with no signs of slowing down, I know I’ve neglected this part of my life lately. My wife and I joined a Bible study group this past year, but the “moderators” were pretty one sided in their beliefs, sometimes even contrary to what I thought Scripture said, so I haven’t attended that lately. Don’t know if that’s a shortcoming on my part, or what, but I do know I have to pay more attention to this part of my life. I’m pretty private about it (it took all my strength to write my blog immediately preceeding this one), so concentrating on this more may allow me to open up more about my faith, and help me realize my strengths and weaknesses in this area.
  • Cook more. My wife wants to lose about 25 pounds, and I want to put on about 10 pounds of muscle while losing some fat. Gotta come up with some creative cooking to accomplish that, and to not have it taste like wallpaper paste.
  • Run a 5K or two. So many people I know have started running through the Couch to 5K program that I’ve decided to try it. Paraphrasing Gimli, I’m a natural sprinter – dangerous over short distances, but not meant for cross country. I’ve been challenged to get in shape for the Crazy Legs run in April – an 8K, mind you. I’ll have to work hard to split time between this and weightlifting, because when I get to the gym something clicks and I head straight for the free weights, always forgetting that the treadmills and eliptical machines are right there.
  • As every year, I have a goal of staying out of the emergency room during fast pitch softball season. I have not always been successful in attaining that goal. Sprained ankles, a forearm contusion from a diving catch on a gravel warning track (worst pain I’ve ever been in, but I caught the ball), and a broken hand from sliding head first into third base on a rain soaked diamond (just an FYI – you don’t slide in those situations, you stop. Fast.) have all landed me in the emergency room in the past few years. Hopefully last year’s ER avoidance was not a fluke and I can continue my good fortune on the ball diamond.
  • There it is. It seems that 2011 is already shaping up to be an extremely busy year. It will be interesting to look back a year from now to see what I can cross off the list, and if there is anything more I can claim as an accomplishment that I haven’t written down in the goals, both professional and personal.

    Comments welcome, and I look forward to seeing many more of your accomplishments and goals.


About Gill Rowley

I live in a Madison, WI suburb, working as Owner/President of White Knight Data Solutions. I like hunting, fishing, working out, my boat, my motorcycle, playing with my rescued bull terrier Lola, and gourmet cooking. Oh, yeah, and I play men's fastpitch softball, and chess. Let that sink in. :-)
This entry was posted in Fast Pitch Softball, SQL Server. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 2010 Accomplishments, 2011 Goals

  1. David Stokes says:

    Thank you for posting such an inspiring entry. While I don’t have a blog yet, (one of the 2011 goals!) I will be working on a summary of my past year and some goals (spiritual, personal and professional) for the upcoming one. And you’re right right, I certainly can’t top the post from Mike Walsh ! Thanks again for the inspiration. BTW, I follow too many people on twitter as well and tweetdeck almost looks like a stock ticker! I would be open to any suggestions on how to organize my friends.

    • gillrowley says:

      David – I don’t have any good ways of organizing the people I follow, but I do have certain hashtag searches set up in Tweetdeck. #sqlhelp, because you never know when someone will ask a question you’re meaning to ask as well, #sqlpass, because a lot of people will throw this hashtag on their tweets to announce something to the whole community, and perhaps one more, the hashtag du jour, as it were. #tsqlHolidayMovieLines for a bit of levity, #sqljobs (you never know), or whatever else seems to be the hot topic of the day. Obviously I can’t see everyone’s tweets, but following a few hashtags, or even a few people can help you focus in on what you’re looking at. Hope that helps. take care.

  2. Jes Borland says:

    Gill ~ Thank you for sharing. It’s amazing how far one can come in a year, isn’t it? I’m excited to read more blogs, see you present, and to talk in person again soon! I know you’ll nail the running, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you during softball season!

    Oh, and don’t forget to post some more of those awesome recipes!

  3. Sarah S. says:

    Gill… your wife must share a birthday with Jason Strate? Well, I’ll be tagging along to PASS next year too (it’ll be the 1st week of our honeymoon if you can believe that). If your wife decides to tag along, maybe she and I can pass the days together as a couple of WI Moms exploring Seattle before rocking #sqlkaroake at night…

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