Tech Tuesday - Mid year review

I have been neglecting my blogging as of late. I apologize, but will not give excuses, even though I have plenty. Suffice it to say that there are more important things in life than blogging.

Since we are half-way through the year, I thought a quick review would be a good idea to see what I have done this year that make me a better Dad, husband, employee, etc.

Photography has always been something I enjoy, but late last year, I decided to try and start making some money at it. While it has been fun, I have not had crazy financial success. I have however done a lot of learning and am continuing the quest. I will probably not become a full-time professional any time soon (so my boss can rest easy if he is reading this) but I will continue to work on improving my skills, both in photography as well as the supporting tasks like web development, accounting and marketing.

Last year at this time, I had finished my first Ironman and was still "recovering". I have made several starts this year, including a streak of over 30 consecutive runs. That has dwindled, but I will be restarting again soon and hope to be able to run a marathon by the end of 2009. If I am able, I will be attempting to set a new PR (personal record) and break 4 hours (an 18 second improvement over my current PR from Dec 2007).

Oracle is an ever-growing animal. It has complexities no single person should ever expect to fully grasp. For most of my roughly 10 years as an Oracle DBA, I have kept my focus on what is typically called the "core DBA" skills. Last year, however, I was called upon to learn enough about the Oracle Financials application to be able to support business while a colleague was scheduled to be out of the office. I did so and kept things running. The temporary need became a permanent need as my company chose to reduce the size of our team and I became the permanent Application DBA. That has been a learning experience for me and has really rounded out my skillset.

While I will continue to develop my skills as much as I can, it is helpful to get some ideas. I was reminded of a January article from Tom Kyte that had his resolutions for 2009. Take a look and see if any of these might be a good idea for you to work into the rest of 2009.

One of the items on Toms list that I have found most useful in my career has been the suggestion to mentor someone more junior. I would not have accomplished as much as I have had it not been for people like Anand, Jeff, Paul, Rich and many more that have been there with ideas and suggestions about Oracle as well as others like Kevin, Scott, Kevin (yes, 2 different Kevin's) and many more that have been there to help me with tasks in other areas like Perl, web development, and system administration. In return, I have tried to "pay it foreword" by mentoring others. I have also participated in user groups behind the scenes and in front of the crowd, giving presentations on things I had learned.

So, what about you? Any progress on your annual goals? Any new goals you want to add to finish 2009 strong? Leave me a comment here or shoot me a message over on Twitter.


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