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Alternative Data Platform New Year’s post

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Well it’s nearly the end of 2018, so I thought I would publish an alternative Data Platform New Year’s post.

In reality, there’s a lot of end of year reviews appearing now. Hence, with 2019 coming up I thought I would publish this alternative Data Platform New Year’s post as we say goodbye 2018 and hello to 2019.

Instead of just a review of the year I thought I would do something a bit different. Next to the usual end of year review style I will welcome 2019 in this post. To do so I’m discussing next year’s aim, its potentials and put in resolutions you might want to consider.

This post will be arranged by the following sections. The list below are bookmarks so if you want to jump straight to a section be my guest.

2018 Announcements

It has been an interesting year for the Data Platform industry. There’s been a fair few big announcements. Also, some interesting developments. I talked about the potential for some of them in a previous post here.

Let’s have a look at some of these big announcements.


AWS made some big announcements in partnership with VMWare. For example, RDS running on VMWare is currently in preview and expected in near future.

They have also announced AWS Outposts, which is their move towards a Hybrid cloud infrastructure.


Microsoft have also announced some new applications. For instance, SQL Server 2019 is currently available as a preview. And they certainly have heavily invested in it running on Linux this time around.

Plus, they announced a rename of Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) to Azure DevOps and have changed the frontend. In addition, they have also announced that Team Foundation Server (TFS) will be renamed as well. It is now Azure DevOps Server 2019.

Hence, it will have a changed GUI and will look and feel like the Azure DevOps offering in the cloud. Currently it’s in preview.


Another significant thing that happened at the start of the year was that the DBATools team introduced DBAChecks. This tool certainly can be useful. I briefly talk about it more in a previous post here.

Other announcements

And top it all off, Hortonworks and Cloudera certainly suprised the Big data community by announcing a merger and IBM purchased Red Hat.

Event name changes

Whilst we are talking about DataGrillen, there’s been a growing trend this year of events changing their names. Especially in Europe.

This is to reflect that they deal with Microsoft Data Platform and no longer just SQL Server. Consequently, some events that had the word ‘SQL’ in them previously now contain the word ‘Data’.

I suspect in 2019 we will see some more events change their name. Especially since Microsoft hinted at this year Summit a name change might occur within the SQL Server product.

Subsequently, we might see more places that hosted SQL Saturdays changing their name as well and no longer being affiliated with Pass. Which has happened at least once recently.

SQL Saturdays

Potentially we will see more new locations for SQL Saturdays appear in 2019. I spoke briefly to somebody from Pass at this year’s Pass Summit. They wondered why a SQL Saturday in London hadn’t happened yet.

From a Pass perspective this might seem like a good idea since it is the UK’s capital and a lot of Data Platform professionals live there.

However, there are already plenty of Data Platform related events in the UK. Including multiple venues for SQL Saturdays as well as Europe’s biggest SQL Server related event SQLBits.

SQLBits announcement

Whilst we are on the topic of SQLBits. I do have a bit of an announcement. After speaking for years at various places around Europe in 2019 I will be speaking at SQLBits for the first time.

I will be presenting my unique session I talk about later in this post. I certainly am very excited about doing this.

New Year’s resolutions


I’m sure plenty of you out there have your own New Year’s resolutions in mind. One you might want to consider is using Twitter more. If you are not on Twitter already or if you barely use it, I recommend you do so.

It helps you network with others with similar interests and helps you keep an eye on industry movements.


Another resolution you might want to consider is to use the SQLHelp hashtag more.

For those of you who don’t know what it is, it is a hashtag used by those who need help with SQL Server. They ask a SQL Server related question on Twitter and put the hashtag somewhere in the tweet. For an example of this just search for #sqlhelp on Twitter.

After this an expert or two from the community tries to help them solve the issue.

For those of you that have used it in the past and fell out of love with it, maybe you could revisit it for help or to help others out now that you are more experienced.

It’s very beneficial and a good way for industry experts to give back to the community.

Learn new things

Self-development is also a recommended New year’s resolution. Especially if you are a SQL Server DBA. Certainly, the industry is evolving and so is the role of the modern DBA.

Your current role might not require change right now. However, I suspect it will do further down the line as the industry changes. Plus, you might decide you fancy a more challenging role in the future.

So, if you are not learning anything new at the moment indulge yourself and make plans to learn new things.

Data Platform Butterfly Effect

I take it you know of the butterfly effect? Which is where they think if a butterfly flaps it’s wings somewhere it effects something else elsewhere. Well there certainly could be a few of those after this year’s announcements.

Who knows, maybe you will do something in 2019 which will cause a butterfly effect in the future. Maybe you will do something in Linux to help people adapt SQL Server better which could have a ripple effect in the industry.

For example, maybe you’ll be the person who fixes that one main problem a lot of people encounter. After all, anything is possible with a bit of imagination and innovation.

On a professional level

This year I started the year working for a Dutch company after working from home for my former employer. It’s certainly been an interesting move so far.

In addition, I’ve also started presenting a session in a new format which I have discussed previously. Subsequently, my announcement earlier in this post relates to this session.

In 2018 I attended my first US SQL Saturday and my first PASS Summit. This was such an interesting experience I dedicated a post to it which you can read here.

However, if you are thinking of travelling around Europe, make sure you’re aware of what you need. For example, what stickers (vignettes) you need from certain countries in your windscreen and what you need to keep in your vehicle in each country.

On a personal level

One thing I did this year was create this blog to start posting everything in one central place. I definitely was surprised by the number of people who read my post about filtered indexes which you can view here.

Plus, I also used a bit of imagination after this year’s DataGrillen event. After Germany I went on a mini road trip around Europe and visited some amazing places.

Some of you might want to consider the same if speaking in mainland Europe this year, or any large country like Australia for that matter.

Welcoming word

Usually I say a final word. However, since it’s about to turn 2019 I thought I would say welcome to 2019 instead. So Happy New Year.

I do have some New Year’s resolutions of my own, including learning more about Kubernetes, SQL Server 2019 and embracing newest DevOps technologies. I’ve also got plenty of reading in other areas such as BIML to catch up on in the New Year as well.

Any views about any of these items are more than welcome.

Alternative Data Platform New Year’s post
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