My first commitment
Like Denis, I will read more technical books. I have a huge stack of unread books on my desk, that I will try to finish. Here are the books, in planned reading order:
- Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Programming, by Itzik Ben-Gan.
- A Developer’s Guide to SQL Server 2005, by Bob Beachemin and Dan Sullivan.
- MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-444): Optimizing and Maintaining a Database Administration Solution Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005, by Orin Thomas and Iam McLean.
- Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: The Storage Engine, by Kalen Delaney.
- SQL Server 2005, Practical Troubleshooting, The Database Engine, by Ken Henderson
I am currently near page 20 of T-SQL Programming.
My second commitment
I’ll write more blog posts. At least two per month. Non-technical blog posts, like these, don’t count.
In case anyone believes that blogging won’t make me a better developer, go ahead and read some of my previous blog posts. Then try to guess how much time I have spent studying a subject before I even start writing about it.
My third commitment
I will set up a virtual machine and actually install and test at least two CTP versions of SQL Server 2008 (instead of just downloading them and forgetting which directory I put them in, as I currently do).
My fourth commitment
I’ll try to increase my number of posts in SQL Server related newsgroups to at least 200 posts per month. (As a comparison, I had 55 posts in June, and 45 posts in the first half of July).
Like blogging, replying to questions in newsgroups is a great way to learn, as it confronts me with problems I don’t have in my normal work and that require me to think out of the box. Plus, I automatically see other replies when working in a newsgroup, which is also a great source of inspiration!
My fifth commitment
I am enrolled in a number of online courses offered by Microsoft Learning. Some are completed, some partially completed, and some not even started. I’ll finish them all before the end of the year. Here is the list:
- Collection 2781: Designing Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2005 Server-Side Solutions.
- Collection 2790: Troubleshooting and Optimizing Database Servers Using Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2005.
I have currently finished two of the eight modules of collection 2781 completely, and a third one for 81 %. I also noted that a third collection I was working on has already expired, so I guess I won’t be able to finish that one.
I know myself. If I just make plans and keep them for myself, I’ll forget about them. Posting my plans here and labeling them as “commitments” will generate some extra pressure for me. To add yet more pressure, I will also post progress reports, as comments to this post. Don’t expect daily reports, but feel free to prod me if you see no progress reports for three weeks or more.
Denis says he knows it’s cheesy, but did it anyway. I agree with his assessment; tagging is VERY cheesy indeed. So I won’t. (Do I hear some sighs of relief?)