My 2015 Plan

I started this on Jan 1, but with family commitments, I ended up delaying it until today. I wrote about having a 2015 plan, and thought I should build one as well. I’ve tried a few things in the last couple years, and while I haven’t stuck to the plans, I have thought that my years were successful. This year I’m hoping to do a slightly more formal plan.

I’ve broken this down into a few areas, all of which should help my career. These are the high level areas, and while I have some plans, I suspect that life will get in the way and things at work with change, so I have to be flexible.


While I’m not sure certification really helps me in my career, I do know that it is something that catches eyes on resumes. What it means after that is up to you and how you sell/market/position it.

However I do know that certification efforts can drive learning. I took a number of the SQL Server 2012 exams when the product was released, but never took the last one I needed for certification. I didn’t have the time to schedule it at the time, and it’s bothered me every since. I need the 70-462 exam for the MCSA certification.

In November or December, I noticed Colleen Morrow writing a series on exam prep for the 70-463 exam. It got me thinking. I should follow along, study, and then take the exam. Since I have a relatively light travel schedule for Q1, this is something I want to work on.


I tried to do the Powershell Challenge last year with the book Powershell in a Month of Lunches last year. I used to take the book, my laptop, and work through exercises while at my daughter’s volleyball practice. I reached a point where I got off track, had some networking issues, and ended up not completing it.

However I learned things. I ended up writing quite a bit about Powershell and using it to accomplish small tasks. In the new year, I want to use it more, and one of the places it to replicate lab setup for new machines and rebuilds. That’s the goal as I build out new systems in 2015.

I do want to complete the challenge, but we’ll see how it fits into my schedule.


Last year I actually spoke less than 2013, but it felt worse. I think the problem was too many events in too short a period of time. Three in a few months and four in one. I need to balance that out in 2015.

Red Gate is also looking to change some of our SQL in the City seminars. We may end up doing more private, as well as all day, training seminars on our tools and the Database Lifecycle Management (DLM) topics. I expect that I’ll need to spend more time here, which means less other events.

I’ll likely also skip some of the bigger conferences. I’m speaking at SQL Konferenz in Germany and (hopefully) SQL Bits. I will likely submit to DevConnections, but that may be it. The multi-day events are a time sink and drain and if I’m going away for a few days, I think I’d rather invest in myself at a SQLskills event.

As far as SQL Saturdays go, I think Q1 is the first time I don’t have a speaking engagement in a quarter. The Jan ones came up too fast for speaking deadlines at the end of the year and I wasn’t sure I was up for a trip. With overseas trips in Feb and Mar, I’m not sure I’ll make any, though Pordeone in Italy is tempting.

I am thinking to get to Madison and New York City, but this might be a year where I speak at less than 10 of them. That’s usually been my goal, but scheduling is getting harder. Certainly Puerto Rico is tempting, as is Ottowa. We’ll see how many pop up and where in Q2/3/4 and I’ll work out a schedule.

I also expect to evolve a couple of my talks and change them around. I’ve usually added a couple talks each year, but this year might be tough. If I get one more done, I think that will be plenty.


Writing has been mostly editorials and small content for the last few years. I’ve written a few articles over the break, and I’m looking to do a few more across the next few months as I delve into new topic areas. It’s a time sink, but I want to be sure that I get some longer technical writing done.


The last thing I need to do is build a better lab. I started setting one up last year and it worked OK, but I had a drive die with a few of the VMs on it (I know, I need backups. See PosH above), and I got busy. It also wasn’t quite the right design, and I was unclear on a few of the AO/AG/FCI items. We’ve had a lot of content this year in those areas, partially with me pushing for it, and after my day at Allan Hirt’s pre-con, I want to rebuild it in a new, better way.

I also want to make it a better, more replicable setup. We’ll see. This may help with the speaking above, and certainly the other items, so I want to get going on this, preferably thinking about building up a small, portable device with labs.


I’m writing this post so that I can go back and evaluate it again at the end of the year. I’ll compare how I did and see where the plan failed, and where it changed. Without a doubt, things will change.

I do have a reminder every month to go back and look at goals, so I’ll be checking this post each month to see how I’m doing it.

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Editor, SQLServerCentral
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