A new year, and a new attempt to record the journey. Ideally, this year either the idea takes hold and I am able to give back, and get something, out of this writing exercise or else I hang it up. The idea of capturing plans, successes, failures, musings, etc., still has a lot of appeal for some reason. There is a lot of accountability that comes with putting something “on paper,” even if it is electronic.
So, it is a new year, so let’s start with the objectives for the year. Professionally, I am in the position of leading ont of the most talented set of professionals in the organization. There are eight database administrators and two ETL platform administrators and together we’re essentially responsible for the availability and performance of several hundred TB of data assets across hundreds of servers. The details are not something the organization likes to publish, so I will be a bit vague about that. Suffice to say, we are heavily invested in SQL Server and are in a very strong position in the company. We have the ability to make such an impact on how the end user perceives the company. If the databases are running slow, if the ETL data loads are not running as they should be, there is a direct impact to the business. We had some great wins in 2015 and I’m looking forward to delivering more solutions in 2016.
Being the team lead has put me into an interesting position. I feel comfortable in the role, and do wonder how to best prepare myself for what other opportunities could be on the horizon. I don’t have any thoughts about leaving the organization; I’m pretty happy with the area and the quality of life it provides, but at the same time I hopefully have a good long career still ahead of me and don’t want to stagnate. This year I want to make some changes in that regard.
Personally, the objectives for the year fall into three categories– health, family, and personal growth. In the health category, without going into the details too much, I have a lot of work to do. Suffice to say if I were to lose half my bodyweight, I’d be barely, if at all, underweight. You can do the math. This is a lifelong struggle and I do wonder sometimes how it affected my career and especially my parenting. My kids have a couple of health challenges that are directly attributable to my generally failure in this regard. This must be corrected in 2016.
Family. I have a lovely wife and four wonderful kids, and we are what I’ll call orthodox Roman Catholics. Orthodox in the sense that we follow the teachings of the church, even when difficult. God established the pillar and foundation of truth not in the bible, not in a pastor’s message, and certainly not in my exulted opinion (thank goodness for that!), but in the Church. When I disagree with the church on matters of faith and morals, I do my best to submit to her will and strive to find the fault in my own. When it is not a matter of faith, I still strive to understand and weigh her opinion most strongly. In this regard, we can do better in our daily prayers, in habits of living the faith. We also homeschool two of the three oldest who are school-aged, and I want to get back on track there after a few sicknesses and a very busy December set us back.
When it comes to personal development, I need to read more and surf less. More writing, less TV. When the weather breaks, I want to do more outside and put in a garden, to take some steps in the realm of self-sufficiency. There’s a lot of problems in the world today and sometimes it seems like all it would take is a minor market correction and all we see around us can come crumbling down. I’m not planning to go off-grid and live in the woods somewhere, but being able to live for a few days or weeks without the crutches of modern day infrastructure isn’t a bad idea either.
At a very high level, that’s the lay of the land as I gaze upon this new year. I’ll focus in a bit more on January in my next post.