Looking Back at the Decade

Today is the last day of 2019, and the last day of the 2010 decade. I’m still somewhat amazed by the fact that we’re entering the 2020s and we still don’t really have flying cars. We’re well past 2001 and 2010, and still not much space exploration, though the growth in computing power and AI/ML likely accounts for the success of rockets that can take off and land and be used again. I’m still impressed by SpaceX. I’m also thrilled that I got to see the first rocket that landed successfully. Actually, we didn’t see much more than a flare light up and then go out, but my son and I were at Cape Canaveral, watching from the causeway on that historic night.

In the last decade, we’ve seen a number of SQL Server releases. 2008 R2 was released in 2010, and since then we’ve had 5 other releases. Back in 2010, we didn’t have Availability Groups. We had clustering, Database Mirroring, and Log Shipping for HA/DR. We had no in-memory capabilities or columnstore indexes, things we assume are available now, even though not many of us use them. Maybe more surprising, the idea of SQL Server on Linux was still my most popular joke for most of this decade.

Data became very important this decade, perhaps most notably with the passage of the GDPR in the EU. Whether you think this is a good law or not, it has changed how we view data. No longer is data something that organizations own and humans have no rights against it. I think it’s a good start, and lots of other regions are basing laws on the GDPR. We could do better, and ask for more control, responsibility, and accountability over data, but this is a good start.

I also think that many people have started to become more data savvy and competent in how they work with database systems. While we see lots of basic and silly questions at SQLServerCentral, I see less of the completely ignorant questions being posted and more often I see complex requirements that are hard to handle in SQL.

We’ve seen quite a rise in NoSQL database platforms. Neo4J was released in 2007 and MongoDB in 2009, but both have had a lot of growth in the last ten years. We’ve seen Apache Spark and Databricks appear and become integrated with SQL Server, which isn’t something I’d have thought about in 2010. Similarly, the evolution of Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Azure Data Lake are extremely recent. Windows Azure itself was actually released in Feb 2010. Now, it’s a collection of over 600 services that many of you use everyday. AWS has had similar growth to the point where I think many of us do think cloud first for many systems these days.

SQLServerCentral was in v3 of it’s existence back then. The original ASP site had been rewritten in ASP.NET and then nHibernate when Redgate Software purchased the site. Since then we’ve continued to grow and thrive, adding our popular Stairway Series and continuing to help you learn and solve problems every day.

T-SQL Tuesday was just getting going, in its first year. We’ve now had 10 years of the blog party happening every month. After a long run, Adam Machanic moved on in life and I now manage the event from tsqltuesday.com. If you haven’t ever participated, it’s a good way to get started with a blog and building a brand for your career.

Quit a bit has happened since 2010. Data growth is astounding, and continues to increase. Exabytes were surprising back then, but today we talk in terms of ZB, another order of magnitude. I think that provides lots of challenges and opportunities for us to grow as data professionals in the next decade. I’m looking forward to it, and I hope you are as well.

Steve Jones

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