This year has been, well….intense. I’ve been extremely busy, and extremely overworked. It wasn’t until I got a chance to go to Yellowstone and unplug for a few days that I realized just how hard this year has been. I’m thankful that the end of the year is here, which brings a monster of a slow down to projects at work – Thank you change freezes!

My year went like this:

January/February – The other DBA announced his retirement by the of March, he did so while our boss was on vacation. At the time, it was just the two of us on the on-call rotation. So in addition to being a surprise, it was seriously short notice.

June – October – Spent the summer with my head down working on projects and training up the new DBA. However, I decided in May that I was tired of sitting in the house all of the time and really missed my workouts. So in June my wife and I finally found a gym that would work for us, and we started going into to lift twice a week. Which, led to my discovery of a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy that had opened just before the pandemic, and of course I joined. The rest of the time I was working on getting my truck and fifth wheel ready for a road trip to Yellowstone, which is a whole other story.

October – Now – I have finally gotten a chance to come up for air – metaphorically speaking.

Focus on training

My job duties have expanded quite a bit this year and I have been given some latitude to shape how the databases are managed. I was already trying to wrap my head around how to apply DevOps practices to DBA work. To that end, I have been putting everything into source control but now I’m looking to go far beyond that. I made it a priority to attend PASS and what I took away was, DevOps is here and it’s just accelerating. 

I’ve spent way too much time over the last couple of years building and configuring SQL by hand. I just haven’t been left with many options to change that until now. My company has recently embraced Puppet and I was one of the first “departments” to jump in to figure out how I can make it work for me.

One of the other things that has changed in my world at work, is I have been getting a lot more involved with Postgresql and to a limited degree, MySQL. I think there is an opportunity to expand my knowledge on Postgresql and push for more of those instances to offload databases where it makes sense because let’s face it, SQL Server is not cheap.

Going into 2022

Going into the New Year, I’ve decided to put a ton of time and energy into applying DevOps to my DBA work. I have the idealistic goal of trying to manage 90% of my job using Infrastructure as Code and Build pipelines. I’m also going to push myself to get better with Postgresql.

But I’m not just focusing on work either. I also want to start applying these concepts here at home as well. Use Puppet, Terraform, Packer, and pipelines to maintain my home network, computers, and build out my labs. And as long as I’m going to automate that, I may as well automate my smart devices with Home Assistant.

Finally, I’m going to force myself to focus on enjoying life again. the past 4 years have been hard on my wife and me. Between her being made her grandfather’s guardian, to cleaning up and organizing his affairs, to handling his estate after he was gone, and just when we thought things were going to get back to normal – Bam! Pandemic. That’s a lot. So some self-care is definitely in order.

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