Where’s Drew, January 2018 Edition

This post would be a lot longer, but my fingers are so cold that it hurts to type. Regardless, here’s what I have going on this month and where you can find me:

  • I’ve got a couple really good blog ideas gestating right now, but time is a luxury in short supply. However, you can expect some PowerShell-related posts coming mid- to late-month. Mostly around replication.
  • I also have my first, big, two-day online training class I’ll be presenting thanks to Brent Ozar Unlimited. Last year, Brent and I talked and we worked out some details where I get a shot of presenting a big class to a handful of students. I’ve been working on it a lot over the past two months (with even more focus as the dates approach) and I’m both very excited and very nervous. If all goes well, we may do it again, so if you missed your chance to sign up, watch this space for updates.
  • On a personal development front, I’ve been spending some of my cycles on working with big data processing solutions. We’ve had some interesting data usage and processing scenarios where I work, and we’re continuing to explore options to deal with lots and lots of data that gets added almost continually. I did a small hackathon with some coworkers last month and we have a path forward, so I’ll be continuing to dip my toes into that. If and when I feel I have some comfort with the technology, maybe I’ll blog about it, but right now, it’s all still pretty overwhelming.
  • Along those lines, a personal goal for 2018 is to finally “master” python. I’ve dabbled, but it’s not something I use everyday. I’m looking to change that not just because I want to be more effective in working with things like Hadoop and Spark, but because I think it’s a nifty language to do a lot of things. The Humble Bundle has an AWESOME $15 ebook sale right now for over a thousand dollars worth of books. I’d check it out if I were you. It even includes videos!

And that’s pretty much it for January. I don’t have any speaking engagements this month, but that changes starting in February.

Before I go though, in late December I got a poke from Aaron Bertrand from SentryOne. In 2016, he started his “Community Influencer of the Year” award and he picked Andy Mallon. I consider Aaron a pretty big deal in the SQL Server technical community, so when he throws his opinion behind something, people (including me) listen. I started following Andy and it turns out, that award was justified. Andy does a lot of cool stuff and has some really amazing blog posts. In 2017, Aaron chose me as his winner. It all kind of came out of left field and when I first found out, I was at a loss for words. Two weeks later, I still am, but I’m going to try anyway.

This is going to sound ungrateful, but I’ve never liked receiving awards. Every time I’ve won one (and I don’t win many), I always feel like I don’t really deserve them (except my perfect attendance award in 2nd grade. I earned that one). When I look across all the people who take time to post content, speak at conferences, do online presentations… the talent pool is just as wide as it is deep. I don’t consider what I do to be any more outstanding than anyone else who takes time to share knowledge about something they’re passionate about. All of these people are influencers to someone.

That said, I’m very humbled and honored to be chosen by Aaron. He goes into some detail as to why, and I’m very flattered for his reasoning. I’m glad that all my content, not just my technical content, means something to people. I like being open and honest about things that are going on both in and out of my area of technical expertise and I am glad that people enjoy reading about it.

All I can really say is: thank you.

2017 was an amazing year for a lot of reasons, and I’m hopeful that 2018 is just as fruitful and exciting. I hope I can keep this momentum going and continue to provide the quality of content that I have in the past. To everyone who has helped me along the way (and that list is pretty long, too), I couldn’t do this without you. Having key people who elevate, encourage, and educate you is the most valuable thing you can have in your career and personal life. I feel blessed to have the people I do, and I can only hope that they’ll continue to be there for me.