2012 In Review

So today is the last day of 2012. A day that some thought would never happen. Sorry, Mayans. 🙂 This day, for me, is always one of reflection and outlook. I always take this day and think about where I’ve come in the past year, and where I want to go in the year ahead. 2012 was a really busy year for me. I switched jobs (twice), but am incredibly happy with my decision. I originally went to a private company working with payment transactions and building a BI solution for them with millions of records a day. Then in late August Pragmatic Works called me and lured me into the world of consulting. Although it was a hard decision for me and my family, I have no regrets about switching. The last 3 months have gone by incredibly fast, and it’s a new challenge every day which keeps me at the top of my game in a wide variety of BI. It’s exciting, the travel is awesome, and I get to work with people all over the world, so I really get to feel like I’m making an impact for not just 1 company, but many. In the last 3 months, I’ve been to Tampa, Boston, and Oslo, Norway. Early in 2013 I’ll be headed to Eastern TN, then potentially to Manchester, England after that. It’s hard sometimes with small kids but I think as a family we’re finally starting to actually adjust.


In September, I spoke at my first SQL Saturday event here in Denver. I got some really good feedback on my SSIS 2008 Configurations presentation, and I’ve submitted to present it again at a couple SQL Saturday’s that are coming up in 2013.


I’ve also just finished writing my goals for 2013. Even with all of the technology, the most effective way for me to track my annual goals is to put them on a piece of paper and put them on my desk. I get an enormous sense of satisfaction when I can physically use a pen and cross one of my goals off. But I’m also going to post them here, because 1) it’s another outlet for me to look at them, and 2) I’m hoping some of you readers out there can give me some support when I need it. For those who follow the EPL, Liverpool’s motto is “You’ll never walk alone” and, although I’m a United fan, that sentence prevails all walks of life, not just soccer *cough* football.


I really want to spend a lot of time in 2013 networking and getting to know the rest of the community better, too. Those who see me at the Denver UG know me but outside of Denver I’m not really as well known, and I really want to get a lot more involved with the community. So here they are, it’s a lofty list but I think if I really buckle down I can do it:


In Q1, I’m going to really try and set the tone for the year. My goals for January are to take the 70-461, 70-462, and 70-463 exams to earn my MCSA certification, speak at 1 SQL Saturday (North Haven, CT in March), deliver 1 online webinar (SSIS 2012 Reporting in January), and speak at 1 UG (here in DEN or COS, hopefully :)) I’m always going to try and buckle down on some SharePoint 2013 BI work and understand it better.


In Q2, it’s no rest for the weary. I want to take exams 70-466 and 70-467 to move up to MCSE BI certification, and speak at 2 SQL Saturdays (Omaha and Phoenix, both in April). Deliver another online webinar (maybe SSIS 2012 Reporting again, but I’m thinking I might do SSAS tabular or multidimensional next time), and speak at another User Group, not DEN or COS, maybe a little farther out.


Q3 goals entail a focus change. I really feel that I can do something that is extremely extremely difficult to achieve: SSAS Maestro. Now, I also don’t feel like I could just show up and rattle it all off the top of my head, either. So my goals for Q3 are to go to the speak at the SQL Saturday here in Denver in September, and study for the SSAS Maestro program while I’m applying for acceptance. For anyone that doesn’t know, to be an SSAS Maestro you have to be accepted to even take the test (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/sql-training.aspx)


Q4 I hope to be accepted to take the SSAS Maestro course and then attend. Apart from that my only other goals is to attend the PASS Summit in October. I’m already registered, and this will be my first Summit. I’m super-excited for October already! 🙂


Overall, I think they’re some difficult goals, especially to try and crunch them into a 1 year time span. But, hopefully, by this time next year I’ll be able to add SSAS Maestro to my skills set. Wish me luck!