Posted in Apropos of nothing, Misc

My 2021 In Review

Looking at the calendar, it’s time for that end of year review. What did my 2021 look like in the SQL Community?


Photo by olia danilevich on

Looking back, I spoke a total of 16 times this past year, including one lightning talk. I thought this was going to be a tremendous drop off but it was only a few times less than 2020, so I seem to be maintaining a consistent average of once a month with a few more thrown in for good measure. All of my presentations this year were virtual.


I managed to get 14 blog posts done this year as well, including this one. In some ways, it feels like I’m cheating because the majority of them were T-SQL Tuesdays, but a blog post is still a blog post. It’s also not as many as I did in 2020, which happened to be 20 posts. I have a bunch of ideas for additional posts so hopefully I’ll get to those soon.

Other stuff

I did some mentoring and some moderating at virtual events. I have to say that I really enjoyed those opportunities. I probably learned more from the sessions I moderated than the ones I normally just attend because I have to stay engaged to make sure that I can pass along comments or questions or help the speaker when needed. I love feeling engaged in the sessions and it’s just harder for me with virtual events.

So What’s Next?

I have to be honest…. I don’t know.

Right now, I am not scheduled to speak anywhere until the end of May. To be honest, some of this is my doing where I haven’t submitted to events. If I look at what is open for the Data Community, there are some opportunities but not a lot. Most things are still virtual but virtual event fatigue is real. Some in-person events are coming back. Some of them are ones that I probably would not be able to get to permission to attend and others were awfully tempting but timing and\or travel were issues. There’s still a little too much in the air and it’s a little less stressful to wait it out another year. There may be some hybrid things coming up in 2022 so hopefully we’ll be in a better state with the pandemic overall and I can get to those.

But I also don’t have any user group sessions lined up either, except the one in May. I know most user groups plan months out in advance as well so unless there is a cancellation, they’re probably set by now. I’m not someone who is great about marketing myself to User Groups by going to leaders directly and saying I’m available. (Well, I guess while I’m talking about it, I can give it a try: Hey UG Leaders, I’m available to talk!)

In some ways, I’m worried that I’m a speaker without a platform. But it does feel like opportunities are drying up. I still feel like people I know who were active speakers before the pandemic hit aren’t speaking. I confess that this is a gut feeling and I haven’t gone through the numbers, but I worry that people are getting lost. I do hope that I’m wrong. But personally for me, I acknowledge that I don’t always look for new opportunities outside our data community so I may be missing out. I know so many people who are constantly speaking so maybe I’m a little envious of their tenacity and luck at finding all of these great places.

I would also love to come up with some new sessions. Don’t get me wrong, I like the ones that I have. But it would be great to start coming up with some new ones so they can be ready when I’m ready and have events to submit for. The other problem I seem to be having is figuring out what to talk about. If you have a topic for me, let me know!

But to be the optimist that I like to be, I think having a small break in my schedule over the next couple of months could be a good things. Andy Yun and I have a major life event coming up over the next couple months (we’re getting married!!!) so I can focus more on that. I’m also switching focus with what I’m doing with data in my day to day job to a more data governance oriented role. There’s a lot of learning that I need to do and hopefully I’ll find ways to share in my adventures.

I’ve also wanted to do something more with mentoring. I haven’t figured out what or how, but I have some ideas and I know that I need help. Hopefully downtime from speaking will allow me to find some people interested and we can make something happen.

There is a part of me that’s a little bummed about how quiet I may be in the community for the beginning of 2022, but I think I will frame it as a regrouping. I’m still looking forward to what’s to come. Hope all of you stay safe and healthy in all meanings of those words.

Happy New Year, #sqlfamily!!! May 2022 be better than 2021!

One thought on “My 2021 In Review

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