Reviewing 2011

Though the new 2012 year has started already almost a week ago, I am still trying to review what has happened in my life during the past year (2011).

In a professional sense, 2011 was dominated by the SQL Server, as it was in the past 3 years. I have had spent more then 200 hours on my SQL Server education, and by the end of the year I was lucky to change my daily work from a major part of a typical day dedicated to SQL Server to full-day SQL Server engagement. Right now I am doing a lot of SSIS works, which I am enjoying a lot.

I have presented much more times than I have originally thought and planned – 7 times instead of just 4, that I was expecting in the beginning of 2011. I had delivered a couple of small sessions and lighning talks at SQLPort, NetPonto and PASS. Comparing to the past years, this was definitely the biggest audience that I have reached within a same year.

I have had a period in September-October when I was looking for a new gig, but even after doing 9 interviews, the company I am working with (Novabase) has found a great new gig which I was more then happy to accept. This period of interviews has given my a better view of the current market situation, and the way that things are. I had applied to a couple of portuguese companies that I admire, and with one I have got even to the very last stage, but … when I was saying that I was ready to spend 1 week per month away from home at max, I was really meaning it. I am about to become a father for the second time, and at that time frame I was not going to reveal that it was one of the main reasons for not wanting to work in other countries.

Apart from daily work, there has been so much work with SQLPort, that I am really wondering how on earth I managed to pull it of. SQLPort – Portuguese SQL Server User Group is a baby which has enjoyed a very strong growth – in almost every aspect the group has grown around 100% – events attendance, signups, number of users, etc, etc.
Sure enough – we have had arranged great presentations by the Portuguese professionals and some international specialists like Brent Ozar, Alejandro Leguizamo (SolidQ), Scott Stauffer and Kalen Delaney.

We had organized the first official SQLSaturday outside of Northern America and let me tell you, that the amount of time that a person spends to organize such an event is genuinely ginormous. Do not be fooled, it gives such a big pleasure of helping your own community, that when looking back one feels an enormous satisfaction that we have had full-day event and delivered great content for over a 100 of SQL Server professionals.

Once again I went to the PASS Summit, and once again it was an absolutely marvelous experience. Besides just learning and communicating with other SQL Server professionals, I was given to deliver an opportunity to deliver a small presentation – a so called Lightning Talk. I have chosen to present in what I call “Niko On Steroids” style, which is a kind of very energetic presentation style. When I am speaking about a subject, I feel a genuine passion about it. I am alive, so I need to feel, and when a topic is close to me – then I am looking that every person in the room gets the message. Those who are present, are free to agree or disagree with the subject but if one thing is sure – when listening to me you will feel the highs and lows that I feel when thinking about the subject.

I am not the biggest fan of separating things based just on the calendar year, but if I am looking at the year 2011 – I feel satisfaction. It was a year of learning and surviving. I have faced some difficulties, like a potential unemployment, stress and depression, but I have passed them – hoping that I have become just a bit stronger and a bit happier.

2012 will be different … but I am looking forward to all that it is going to bring into my life.

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