Goals for 2017: A Midsummer Night's Reflection
Somehow, it's already June and we're about halfway through 2017. This got me thinking about a post I made at the beginning of the year, "It's 2017; What Am I Doing With My Life?", and it feels like a good time to reflect on my progress and make adjustments (if necessary).
I started off the year by diving into Columnstore Indexes. Once I analyzed the performance testing results of Columnstore Indexes for my specific scenarios, I found myself on the path of a new topic: Partitioning. Those were quickly combined into Partitioning Columnstore Indexes (a long journey that taught me much about the capabilities and limitations of such a combination). This was an exciting project and something I hope to blog about in detail soon. There's some useful information and workarounds that could help others avoid the confusion and errors I encountered.
I managed to complete two presentations in April, both of them on SQL Server Data Compression.
My speaking goal was to give a presentation at the Maine PASS user group that I lead. I'm happy to report that I was able to complete that goal in April. It was my first time presenting at a PASS user group. I had a friendly audience, so there wasn't much to worry about there!
I also spoke at my first SQL Saturday in April. When I wrote about my goals for 2017, Chris Wood (an organizer of SQL Saturday Edmonton), took the opportunity to suggest I submit for this event to check off another Canadian province on my list. When my submission was accepted, I took the opportunity to present at my user group as a practice run, and then SQL Saturday Edmonton became my first SQL Saturday speaking event. I didn't advertise that fact before I spoke because I didn't want to influence my potential audience. ;-) They were a great group and the organizers put on a wonderful event.
Though it was a short weekend trip, it allowed me to visit Alberta and meet another goal. I managed to tour the Alberta Legislature Building (a surprising place for a bunch of palm trees). Later, I made a quick visit to the Muttart Conservatory where a corpse flower nicknamed Putrella was days away from blooming.
I recently returned from a vacation in Newfoundland (technically the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, but I didn't make it to the Labrador part, so I will consider them separate for travel goals).
I wanted to see at least one iceberg while I was there. As you can see, I was not disappointed:
I was fortunate to visit during an unusually active iceberg season. In addition to the icebergs, I fell in love with the gorgeous shades of blue water, the sod houses, stunning hillside hikes along the coast, and views of St. John's from Signal Hill.
I have yet to bake my first batch of macarons and I'm excited to still have this item on my to-do list. I'll be sure to share the results when that happens. In the meantime, here's a vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry "neapolitan-style" cake I made last month.
As of today, I've read 21 books this year (out of a goal of 48). Most of them were enjoyable or useful reads. One of the more interesting books I read this year was called, "No Ceiling, No Walls: What women haven't been told about leadership" by Susan L. Colantuono. I learned about this book from the PASS Summit 2016 Women in Technology Keynote (presented by Kelly Lockwood Primus and sponsored by SentryOne). The book offers a unique take on what she calls The Missing 33%. It provides insight that has been mostly absent from other leadership books I've read, which made it stand out on my list.
Trekker, my rescue dog, has made substantial progress on his goals this year. In all fairness, they were my goals, but he has cooperated where he can. He's a fast-learner when it comes to obedience training (like a sit-stay from fifty feet away). I've accepted that when it comes to lessening his reactivity/emotional responses to situations that I can only control our training schedule and methods, but certainly not how quickly he responds to that training. He's been with me for just over half of a year now and I continue to be amazed by him. I was told he didn't know how to play with toys when I got him, but you should see how he jumps through the air now to catch them! :-)
April was a big month for me. In addition to my speaking events, I also celebrated my two year anniversary at SentryOne. Since I've started here, my role has been Special Projects Lead. However, in April, I accepted a new role of Senior Technical Writer on Jason Hall's (b|t) team. I'm excited about this change and feel it will better incorpoate my passions (writing, technology, and teaching, for example). I'm currently completing some of my major projects that were underway, and will likely still work on special projects as they arise, but my primary focus will be technical writing in this role.
Thanks for reading my post and may you be progressing towards your 2017 goals if you have them. :-)