2019 – Alexander’s year in review

It is the last day of 2019, and I have (as usual) procrastinated and almost failed to produce this post. Again. But, as is the thing with year-in-review posts, one REALLY need to get them out on the year in question. So here goes.

A year of firsts

2019 was (yet another) full-speed year. It was a year of firsts, as well as a consistency. It was also almost a year of loss, but more about that in a bit. In 2019 I went to my first MVP Summit in Redmond. It was absolutely epic. I can’t heap enough superlatives on this opportunity.
I also went – and spoke – at my first SQLBITS in the UK. I have no idea how I’ve failed to prioritize this event previous years, but let’s just say I’ll be coming back. In 2020 they’re pulling out all the stops and are making the event five days long(!). Another first was my first speaking engagement in the USA – at TechMentor Redmond I got to speak at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, Washington. Somewhat later in the fall I was also fortunate enough to be chosen as a speaker at Microsoft Ignite. This was my first really big conference, and while I didn’t draw a huge crowd, the 200-ish people that attended my session gave me an exceptional score. I am deeply grateful and very happy so many people liked what I had to say.
Back home I got the Swedish Power BI User Group to slowly take off after being handed the group in late April. I started working more with the Atea Group on a Nordic level. Here I’ve just about completed a whole new curriculum and training concept for Atea as a corporation. It will be very exciting to see where that takes me in 2020.
The podcast produced 60(!) new episodes in 2019. We also brought Toni Holopainen on board to further expand our knowledge base.

Almost a year of loss

In December things kind of went off the rails for a few weeks. Coming home from Norway I noticed that one of my cats was not being her usual self. This progressed to a high fever and a trip to the vet. Nimitz the cat was admitted no fewer than three times and circled the drain for quite some time until the chief veterinarian involved herself in Nimitz’ care. Fast forward to today and Nimitz is back to her old self, albeit on heavy antibiotics for another 16 days.

Finding a niche

During all this time I was struggling to find my niche, way, focal point, or whatever you want to call it. I’ve been told I’m a bit of a strange duck – after 20+ years I’ve amassed quite a wide range of knowledge. I can do weird stuff to SQL Server. I know my way around Power BI. I’m more than decent at speaking and presenting. I’m a competent trainer. I know some networking, some programming, some hardware and a whole slew of other stuff. Bringing all of these things together should be easy, right? Not so. Quite the opposite.
I have some ideas. There are some rather interesting things at the intersection when you start to draw a Venn diagram with the cloud, data, speaking, and psychology. I’m confident 2020 will be clearer for me. I am fortunate to have exceptional friends to bounce ideas off.

Conclusion

In conclusion I’m slowly starting to accept that the written medium is not my thing. I’m constantly amazed by how other people manage to produce excellent blog posts weekly, let alone one EVERY DAY (yes, I’m looking at you, Cathrine!). I can’t. I’ve tried, over and over again, and I just can’t come up with interesting content and commit it to text. I am pretty good at talking, I am pretty good at presenting and I am pretty good at training people, so I’ll simply have to find another way of expression. The podcast seems to be one way of expression that works.

I won’t claim that 2020 will be a calmer year for me. In some ways I think 2020 will be even more intense, but 2020 brings with it a sharper focus, and a clearer direction at work. As soon as I find the same in my community life I’ll be golden…

Happy New Year to all, and I’ll see you on the other side.