2011 Resolutions Checkup

3D guy pointing on checklist.

Earlier this morning Tom LaRock (@SQLRockstar) reminded us all the year was half over.  He also suggested we take a look at our new year’s resolutions.  So I decided to give it a go and see how I had been progressing this year. I had broken down my goals for the year into several sections, professional, financial, physical, etc.  I’m actually doing pretty well.

In my financial goals, all are complete except for one.  I really need to get better about saving.  I save, but I really don’t have a safety net, should something happen with my job.  I know many of us don’t like to talk about that, or even think about it, but we all have to realize we need that safety net.  Jobs aren’t guaranteed, they never have been.

For the rest of my personal goals for the year, most of the ones that are left were actually multi-year goals.  I’m still interested in getting my scuba certification as well as taking a sailing course, and getting my captain’s license.  I’m also still interested in taking courses outside of SQL, astronomy, history, archeology, etc.  These are all things I’ll put more effort into after finishing a couple of my short term goals.

Speaking of which, my professional goals we really ambitious this year.  I wanted to complete the prerequisites for the MCM SQL Server 2008.  I’ve completed 3/4 certifications.  I’ll have the last one completed later this month!  I’m also considering adding two more certifications in Business Intelligence, to see if I really know BI.  I’m also looking into adding the MCT to my resolutions.  I really enjoy teaching and sharing with others…it only seems natural to add that cert to my resume, and make the training more formal.

Speaking of training and sharing, I am speaking in public more.  In fact, later this month I’ll be at SQL Saturday #80 in Wheeling, WV!  I’ll be sharing some information on getting started as a DBA, here’s a secret: get a monitoring solution set up as soon as possible.  You can never collect too much info on the performance of your servers!

As this year has progressed, I have made some changes to my goals.  I had considered trying to establish a database course at my local community college.  There are several challenges to this goal.  I’m not shelving the idea, but I’m doing a lot more reaching out and talking with faculty and staff.  I think this goal will take a lot of foundation laying, before I can make it happen.  

Fireworks NY 2006/2007I’m also putting a lot less effort into building toward a consulting company, and more effort into building a training company.  I still feel more motivated to train than to go in and do something.  I’d rather teach someone how to do it, and let them accomplish it for themselves, than do it for them.  If you do it for them, they’ll never be able to handle it on their own.

I have to say this year has been simple awesome!  It’s been an incredible blessing, and I look forward to seeing how the rest of this year turns out.  So let’s turn this around to you.  How are you doing on your resolutions?

By Shannon Lowder

Shannon Lowder is the Database Engineer you've been looking for! Look no further for expertise in: Business Analysis to gather the business requirements for the database; Database Architecting to design the logical design of the database; Database Development to actually build the objects needed by the business logic; finally, Database Administration to keep the database running in top form, and making sure there is a disaster recovery plan.


  1. I was thrown into SQL Server about 2-3 yrs ago. I work on a small IT team (3) for a medium-size business(500 emps) where I serve multiple roles including programmer, data analyst, DBA, developer, and report developer. I’ve recently started working with SSIS and SSRS in the past year and would love to pursue this as my career. Any advice on the types of jobs and training I should be looking for. Thanks for any advice you can provide me. I’m really looking to move on.

    1. You’re on the right path. Reading blogs, attending SQL Saturdays and other events, networking with other SQL Server professionals online and in person…all that will take you to the next level. Before you really get to far into SSIS and SSRS, do you really want to try and be everything to everyone? That’s a tough course to take. I started down that path, and after 12 years, I’ve realized I don’t have the hours in the day to try and master it all. I do have some SSIS and SSRS experience, but just enough to get by. I’ve spent more time really digging into performance tuning and collaborating with developers. That’s been a bigger payoff for me.

      If SSIS and SSRS are really exciting to you, by all means, add them to your skills. But I would suggest specializing over being a generalist. Feel free to reach out to me on twitter @shannonlowder or via email slowder@toyboxcreations.net. I’m always happy to listen and share what I can.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *