Setting 2020 Learning Goals

I deliberately didn’t set any goals at the start of 2020 since I was taking six weeks off for a sabbatical. That’s done, and it’s time to look forward.

I know I have a few things that will be important for work. Oracle, PostgreSQL, and MySQL will be on the list as we expand and try to sell more database development tools. We’re also working hard on improving SQL Monitor, so finding a way to improve me query tuning, analysis, and monitoring skills will exist.

The goals I want to set here will be more personal goals that may relate to my career, but they’ll not necessarily be things I do at work. I’ll carve out some time elsewhere to get through these.


I like reading, and do a lot of us to escape and relax. I completed around 120 books last year, but almost all were fictional or non-technology books. I had hoped to get through 6 tech books, but that didn’t work.

This year I’m going to scale back and tackle this in two ways. First, I want to get through at least 3 tech books that relate to specific coding or other skills. I’ve still got a couple from last year, including a Power BI one, so that’s one goal.

The other one will be 2 career related tech books. I started Making Work Visible, and I need to finish that, along with another one.


  • 3 technical books
  • 2 non-tech, related books


I do a lot of demo stuff and build lots of PoC type things, but I need a couple projects. Specifically, I want to get projects done that will help at work, but will be useful in some way to me, or perhaps even others. With that in mind, and dovetailing slightly with those items above, I want to tackle these three projects and get them in a somewhat useable state:

  • A Power BI report that updates from a database
  • A mobile app reading data from somewhere
  • A website that showcases changes and data from a database.

Not big projects, but getting something organized and relearning some tech about reporting and coding is important to me. I have a few rough ideas for which topics to use for these, but I want to try some basic PoC and see how things go.

Checking In

I think I need to check in monthly with these goals and start to see how I’m making progress. I’ll set reminders weekly to spend time here and then monthly to update some stats on where I am.

I think this feels slightly ambitious, but we’ll see how 2020 goes. Hopefully better than 2019.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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8 Responses to Setting 2020 Learning Goals

  1. Ken baker says:

    Which PowerBI book? I’m curious….


  2. way0utwest says:

    I’m not sure yet. The timing isn’t great for me, but I’ll see how things go. I don’t quite know how my schedule will go yet for the year.


    • Ken Baker says:

      Thanks! I can understand that completely. This one I am going to on my own dime, since the company doesn’t see fit to send those of us in certain places in the organization anywhere for any form of training. One of my goals with this conference is to meet many people I read like yourself that publish either blogs or books in the SQL domain. So if you do, let’s connect :-). Even if its just a quick hello somewhere along the way…


  3. way0utwest says:

    Love to meet you sometime. I keep a schedule here on the site, and I’ll update it as I schedule things. I often think I might not go to the Summit, and then often end up doing so. We’ll see this year.


  4. rsterbal says:

    Do you want to be prompted if you haven’t checked in by a certain point?


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