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Personal 2019 review

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Since I’ve officially stopped working for the year now I thought it would be a good time to do a personal 2019 review.


As far as technology is concerned it’s being an interesting year. As usual, there were a large number of announcements at this year’s Ignite.

To save reinventing the wheel you can read a pdf that has all the announcements in detail here.

Another reason I’ll avoid discussing Azure changes is because I cover some of them in my post which is being published on Christmas Day.

However, I will mention the most significant one that affects me at the moment, which was the official release of SQL Server 2019.

As some of you may have noticed by past blog posts, I tested this a lot before its release. Now it’s available I have been busy planning its deployment somewhere for a client.

It was highly anticipated, and a lot of correctly predicted that it would be announced at Ignite.

One thing which has really impressed me this year is the dedication by Microsoft to provide more training material for both SQL Server and Azure technologies.

For example, the SQL Ground to Cloud workshop and the updates to Microsoft Learn. In fact, you can read a post I did this year about SQL Server 2019 learning resources in detail here.

Another technology related item I will mention is the updates to Azure Data Studio. Because this application is going from strength to strength and I look forward to what it delivers in 2020.

Data Platform and Azure Communities

I’ve seen a lot of good things happen in both the Data Platform and Azure communities this year.

For example, the choice of conferences is widening for all of us now. In addition, big strides are being taken to introduce attendees and new speakers into the communities.

Personally, I like the fact that the SQLBits team are experimenting with sessions of different lengths. In addition, I’m very impressed by the number of new events appearing in mainland Europe as well.

I have also attended one event where I was told that this year the torch was being handed over to a new generation of organisers. All I can say is that I thought it was a great event and I hope I get invited back again next year.


On a personal level it’s been a busy year for me. After speaking around Europe for the last eight years I finally got to speak at SQLBits.

In addition, I presented my very original and popular session at dataMinds Connect in Belgium and various SQL Saturdays.

As you can imagine I spoke in various new countries this year. Such as Ireland, Poland, Belgium and Bulgaria. In fact, whilst writing this post I am wearing my speaker’s T-shirt from SQL Saturday Cork.

I consider myself very lucky to have been selected at all these events. Plus, my session is a bit more complicated than the standard session people attend. Hence, I put in a lot of hours practicing for each one.

Outside of speaking other interesting events happened as well. For example, since April I have been covering as SQL Server Product Owner for a client.

Due to this, me and Sander Stad got talking and realised between us we can present various Azure DevOps sessions together. In fact, we have enough for a training day if needed.

Which is why we have submitted various sessions for various events next year including SQLBits. So, will have to see what happens there.

Of course, I’ve been writing blog posts as well. In fact, 66 posts this year including this one, 67 if you include my Azure Advent Calendar post which is scheduled to come out on Christmas Day.

Some of them have been very in depth as well. For instance, I did a post in January about patching SQL Server. It’s fair to say that it’s being popular this year. You can read that post in detail here.


In reality, I’ve been busy this month right up until my final day of work in December, including the evenings. So, this personal 2019 review is hopefully the last thing I am doing before I take a break.

You will see what I have been busy outside of work on Christmas Day when my contribution to the Azure Advent Calendar is released.

It includes my first ever video, which I admit was both fun and time consuming. I will do a post at some stage about my learning curve for it.

Final word

I hope you have enjoyed my personal 2019 review. For the community as a whole it’s been a very interesting year. Especially with all the latest updates including the release of SQL Server 2019.

Anyway, I’m officially taking a break from things for the festive period as being busy working long hours right up until my final day with everything. Now I’m going to spend some quality time with my patient wife.

I’d like to wish you all happy holidays. For those of you who celebrate it, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Personal 2019 review
Festive chocolate for the holiday season, the Q was hard to find
Published inFood for thought

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