Goal Progress–Feb 2021

I set goals at the beginning of the year, and I’m tracking my progress in these updates during 2021.

As I look at goal progress for 2021, I’m going to follow a similar pattern as last year. I’ll give myself a current grade and report on overall progress in of the areas where I set goals.

Current Grade: C

I think I’m making some progress, but perhaps not as much as I’d like.


The goal was 4 books (3 non-fiction, 1 tech). Here’s the current progress:

Technical Skills

I’m solving the Advent of Code three times.  I’m also studying for certification.

  • Certification –  AZ-900 – 5%
  • Certification – DP-200 – 0%
  • Skills – T-SQL – 2020 Advent of Code – 4/25
  • Skills – Python – 2020 Advent of Code – 4/25
  • Skills – PowerShell – 2020 Advent of Code – 3/25
  • Skills – TBD


I had a few projects for myself. Most of January was supporting SQL Memorial as well as doing some SQL Saturday/Data Saturday stuff. So far things appear to be working fine.

  • Support events: submitted and approved some PRs.
  • Speak at the 3 local user groups, at least one live presentation
  • Help organize a Denver/Colorado event, live or virtual
  • Complete my Power BI Volleyball report – I know lots of kids will use this, so I need to get it done – 20%
  • SQL Memorial – 80%
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What’s a Lot of Money?

The other day I was talking to a someone about the amount of money their business spent on a particular transaction. This person thought the amount was high, but I didn’t. We had an interesting discussion from there.

Today, I’m curious what you think is a lot of money that your organization might have spent on some transaction. A piece of hardware, some software, maybe even another company. Are there times you’ve felt they overpaid for some item that you wouldn’t have bought?

Most of the people I know work for someone else. Their concept of large or small values is often dictated by their own view of personal finances. While we might spent US$1-2k on a computer, many of us wouldn’t buy a $50,000 server for home.

For friends that own a business, even a solo one, they often have a slightly different view of costs. A business might need to easily invest $10k in a project, a piece of equipment, or something else. They often find that spending money is less about the amount than the time it takes to recoup an investment.

I wonder how many of you look at a $100,000 purchase and don’t see the value returned. Perhaps you’ve seen your company spend $10mm and you wonder if there was any rationale behind the purchase.

Dealing with any amount of money is hard when you don’t necessarily have all the information, and you’re not used to spending at that scale. I know each time I’ve bought a bigger house, it’s been a bit of a shock and created anxiety. However, when I look back years later, I often feel differently.

I wonder how many of you feel that way about purchases by your organizations over time.

Steve Jones

Listen to the podcast at Libsyn, Stitcher, Spotify, or iTunes.

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Daily Coping 26 Feb 2021

I started to add a daily coping tip to the SQLServerCentral newsletter and to the Community Circle, which is helping me deal with the issues in the world. I’m adding my responses for each day here. All my coping tips are under this tag. 

Today’s tip is to be gentle with someone who you feel inclined to criticize.

A friend got snagged by an Internet scammer and lost a bit of money. Not a ton, but enough to get angry and feel bad. I had felt this was a suspicious purchase, but I didn’t make myself known early enough. I was mad, too.

However, I just sympathized, apologized for not sayings something earlier, and listened to them get upset.

An easy time to chastise them, but better to be supportive.

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ConFoo–The Future of Database Development in Containers

I delivered a talk at the ConFoo conference. I’ve never been to this live, and when I submitted last year, I was hoping this would somehow be a live event in Montreal. It didn’t happen, but I joined the virtual event and gave my presentation.

The deck is here: FutureDBDevelopment_confoo.zip

No real questions, but lots of interest, which is great.

If you didn’t stay near the end, I talked a bit about the Spawn.cc project and the journey the research group has taken to learn about Kubernetes and file systems. It’s been fascinating to watch the project evolve. The API used to change almost weekly as it was improved and enhanced.

A few resources:

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