Friday, March 22, 2013

SLC Code Camp 2013

Tomorrow morning I will be presenting on 'Release Management' at the Salt Lake City Code Camp. I was one of the lucky ones that was selected by the community to present a session at this event.

This is a presentation that I have tailored after the chapter I was honored to write in a SQL Server 2012 book recently. This is a topic that has been close to my heart and part of my day to day job for quite some time. It was fun to prepare this session for a not exclusively SQL Server audience. I am a bit nervous about it, as I usually am before any presentation.

I have uploaded my preso and supporting files to my public Dropbox. You can find the links here.

LINK to Presentation Files

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

What do you do when you hit the finish line?

Do you ever find yourself at the endgame of a task, only to not know what to do next? Having never thought that you would actually end up here? Sometimes it takes so long to get there and the journey is so arduous, that you forget the goal is not the work to accomplish the task. But to complete the task.

Let's say you have a problem that seems persistent and invasive. Its always on your mind. You try this and that to surmount it, only to be stymied each time. Each attempt results in a failure, at least with the the end goal not being reached. Maybe each iteration discovers a bit more information about the problem that helps you attack it in a different direction. Maybe each iteration shows you that what you thought would solve it did not, and you simply need to revisit the drawing board. But along the way you, either consciously or unconsciously, have relegated yourself to some form of failure. Such that you now get stuck in the mire of simply attacking the formidable wall over and over with all your might, with little to no result.

I believe that we all find ourselves here on occasion. Either by our own hand or by that of others or even the simple fact that the universe seems completely against our progress. What happens to me on these occasions varies. I often will reattack with a renewed vigor, trying to think outside the box. I have been known to assemble folks and discuss and throw down the gauntlet of challenge to these others to assist me, see it from another set of eyes, find flaws in my logic, approach or tactics. I have even given up. But I believe that the one thing I almost always do, once mired in the clutches of this inability to progress forward, I forget the end game. I forget the goal. I forget the tasks I need to accomplish after this task is complete. I see no end in sight, and become shortsighted to the point that nothing else exists but the eventual success of this problem.

So, when it miraculously occurs, the often sought after success, the end goal of accomplishment, I stand there, as if I were the last one left on the battle field, unsure of what to do next. Not even realizing that I had reached my destination, not able to enjoy the moment of success.

To this end I direct these comments. Envision the moment of success. Plan for it, work towards it, and recognize it when it actually reaches your shores. Take a moment to enjoy it. Regale yourself with whatever treats you deem appropriate. Celebrate the moment. But more importantly, envision what it will look like so that when you reach it, or it reaches you unexpectedly, you will recognize it.

This is what you worked for, and it's sad to me when I reach it, but am so in the trenches that I do not properly realize that its here. That I made it. That I accomplished it. That its finished. Over. Done.

Instead of letting the moment slip past you, plan for it and recognize it when it overcomes you. Enjoy it!

Then move onto the next success moment. How many can you rack up? Now that I've written this, I'm onto the next one. Thanks for listening and letting me express my latest success moment.