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

I 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. Projects at work have tapered off, and I’ve been able to wind down the number of personal projects so I can just relax going into the holidays.

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 am going to focus in applying DevOps priniciples into my daily DBA work. I have the idealistic goal of trying to manage 90% of my job using Infrastructure as Code and Build pipelines. That’s not to say it will be my only focus. I still plan to get better with Powershell, SQL, Cloud technologies, and Postgres.

I think I can learn these things by 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.

Another area which I think needs more work, is my ability to relax and have fun. The last several years have been hard for my wife and I, so I think we deserve to spend more time enjoying our lives. I am dedicated to what I do for work, but sometimes that dedication takes over other aspects of my life. So I think I need to work a lot on developing a better balance of work and life outside of work. 

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