Another DBA’s look at goals for 2010

Goals are an important part of any DBA. The first few days of the New Year there have been dozens of blogs going out from many of the people I follow along with about their own goals for the New Year. Tim Ford (blog / twitter) I think had the best blog out of all of them. He went over the difference between resolutions and goals and how he does not do resolutions. Personally I think that was an excellent blog and recommend reading it to everyone.

The reasoning behind why I don’t follow the resolutions theme is about the same. First, does anyone ever own up to a New Year’s resolution? Well, from what I’ve seen, not many do. Instead I want to also put out there for those who read my blog, to make goals in your professional career for 2010 and any New Year to follow.

A good definition of a goal is, The end toward which effort is directed. I love that description. When you read a goal as that, you can truly put a goal in perspective to your daily job as a DBA. Not only can you do that, but you can also bring this to your leadership team as set objectives. These are critical to anyone’s development in their career. I also feel this is crucial to the overall building of one’s skills, knowledge and efforts to better peers around you.

This reminds me of the caption above that most of us know from our childhood stories. The lesson I see from this caption and meeting a goal is, don’t take the short cuts because in the end, you nly hurt yourself in life and your career.

My own goals

In my personal yearly review from last year, I checked off goals met and goals missed. A few I missed were upgrading my certifications to 2008. This was primarily due to time constraints. And yes, that is no excuse and I failed to achieve the goal. One major goal I did make was a 4 nines uptime for the database servers my company has entrusted me in securing. Before I was hired with the company I call home, there was about an 80% uptime. To meet the goal in a short time as a year of 99.99% is remarkable to me and a great achievement. Although I had to suffer by missing other goals to obtain this goal, it was not only personally a great success but was shared with my employer as an objective that I set to make with them.

This year I’m setting the 5 nines goal. 99.999% uptime which as most know, equates to around 5 minutes downtime. That is a major improvement over even a 4 nines objective but one I will take on.
My second goal will flow from last year to upgrade my certifications. This is not for my career but a personal goal.

Third, I’ve taken on the authoring for reviewnet.net and requested more responsibilities from them for me. reviewnet.net authors testing on technology. I feel authoring for them not only is a benefit to my own career but also will help the SQL Server community in allowing individuals that will read the finished product, more insight into what they can do to improve their own skills. This goal is part in another in which I feel there is a great need in improving my writing skills. That will benefit my blogging and any other authoring responsibility I put forth for myself.

Building on LessThanDot’s (LTD) already great community is a standing goal and one I see great achievements in our group for this year. LTD blog area has become a great resource to the community. I want to set the precedence to bring the forums to that same resource level the SQL Server community (and all other areas) can turn to for help from other peers. I’m also putting effort forth on building the Wiki section for SQL Server admins. This is a great resource and one I turn to often for quick scripts and tasks that get me answers on my own SQL Server instances.

I am also putting forth a goal to become more of a speaker in the SQL Server community. I’ve put forth efforts on msdn to help others in SQL Server to broaden my involvement to the community and I feel speaking is a high level goal that will allow me to provide more to everyone that wants to learn about SQL Server.

Last but not least, SQL Saturday! Although SQL Saturday in Chicago will be early in the year (April 17th), this is a goal nonetheless. I hope that between Wendy, Aaron and me, SQL Saturday in Chicago will be a complete success and something that will prepare us for a follow up event late in 2010.

I wasn’t going to follow the tag game but I am very curious to see my good friends, George (blog / twitter), Eli (blog / twitter) and Denis’s (blog / twitter) goals for the year. These are three people I hold great respect for and think anyone can build off reading what their own goals for achievements in 2010 are set to.