This month’s TSQL2sday is hosted by Malathi Mahadevan (b|t) and the topic is about setting learning plan and goals for 2018. It is a perfect time to think how I would like to develop myself next year, what skills I should improve or what to change in my career path.
I never used to make New Year resolutions. I never had such need, and never thought about it as a good idea. However, I also never considered it as a simple way to create a learning plan. A plan that I can pursue to become a better database specialist. A plan which will help me get rid of my inner procrastinator (Mr. P: “keep dreaming…”).
This month’s T-SQL Tuesday topic encouraged me to try… I sat down for a while and this is the plan I came up with…
Earn a new Certificate
Some of you may say this is trivial. Maybe it is, but for me, this is a great way to set a goal. Every certificate requires exams to pass. Every exam has a list of topics you need to be familiar with. It is also quite easy to get access to the materials like courses or books. It allows me to learn new things in a very systematized way. Ultimately, the entire commitment and hard work are rewarded with a certificate. Some will say that certificates are useless today, but I don’t think so. You never know when they may turn out to be useful.
At the beginning of 2017, I passed two exams and earned two new certificates: MCSE: Data Platform and MCSE: Data Management and Analytics. In 2018 I want to learn something related to the cloud. I’m thinking about earning MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure certificate. It requires few exams to pass, but with proper planning, this is very likely to be achieved. Another cloud-related option on my radar is AWS Certified Solutions Architect – professional, but as MSFT fan I’m not so convinced.
To achieve this goal, I’m going to leverage my free 6-month Pluralsight subscription I got with my Visual Studio. I intentionally enabled it a few days ago to not make any excuse that I still have time. In addition to that, the Internet is full of free materials like documentation, webcasts, articles, and blog posts. They just wait there for me…
Speak at Conferences and User Groups meetings
I love learning new things and I also love to share my knowledge with others. Especially when they really want to learn new things and explore new, so far undiscovered, areas. Every speaker will tell you that during preparation you really learn a lot. Depending on the topic you need to do research, make some experiments, build demos. I find this way of studying very exciting, and I’m even more excited when I can share what I have learned.
In this year, I had a great opportunity to speak at two conferences in Poland. In May, I was speaking about Database Unit Tests with tSQLt at SQLDay conference. In September, I presented session Troubleshoot SQL Server performance problems like a Microsoft engineer at SQLSaturday #664. I also delivered four various sessions at Data Community Poland (formerly known as PLSSUG – Polish SQL Server User Group) local meetups.
I am very ambitious when it comes to my presentations. In next year I would like to double the number of conferences with me as a speaker. Of course, I’m not going to stop my speaking activities at local meetups.
In addition to the speaking at conferences, I also want to attend more of them. This year I didn’t have a lot of such opportunities. Every conference or community event is a great opportunity to meet great people. People like me, who are eager to learn and share knowledge. Being among such people creates a great atmosphere. This is like charging batteries for next months of hard work.
Next year I certainly will once again take a part in next SQLDay 2018 and SQLSaturday organized in Poland. Would be great, if I also could attend at least 3 or 4 SQLSaturday conferences organized in neighboring countries.
That’s not all. My biggest goal in this category is to go to the PASS Summit in Seattle. This year I didn’t make it, but I will try hard to make it next year.
Nope. I’m not going to write a book 🙂 I just already have a few positions on my to-read list that I would like to find time for. Maybe it sounds silly that I need to plan to read books, but with two kids at home, I need to carefully plan every single piece of my so-called free time 🙂
Currently, I’m reading “The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win“. It is an amazing book so greatly describing work in a big company. I didn’t finish it yet, but I can already recommend it.
So far on my to-read list for 2018:
- Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems
- Database Reliability Engineering: Designing and Operating Resilient Database Systems
- Migrating to Microservice Databases: From Relational Monolith to Distributed Data
- The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization
- Refactoring Databases: Evolutionary Database Design
If you know any other interesting book on similar topics, then please drop me a comment on this post. I will be more than happy to add more interesting books to my learning plan for 2018.
The last goal on my list is to keep this blog alive. I created it already one year ago. At the beginning, it was very hard for me to motivate myself to write regularly. For few months I wrote just a few posts. I did not think before that writing is so time-consuming. However, as I already mentioned I really like to share information, knowledge, and thoughts with others. In September, I decided that I have to be more consistent in what I do. I started to write more regularly. Recently, I was able to publish posts weekly. My goal is to keep this trend in 2018 – a new post every week. Maybe with a bit of luck, I will not have to do it alone. Let see what time will bring…
And that’s it! This is my learning plan and my goals for 2018. I hope I will have enough time and energy to make it.