I still haven't mailed my family's Christmas letter, so I don't see any reason why I can't write my annual "let's start thinking about the new year" commentary 3 weeks late! These "in with the new, out with the old" items might pique your interest.

SQL Server Training


The theme for the January issue of SQL Server Magazine is "Visualize Your Future." Several contributing editors present their thoughts about which hot skill sets you should consider as you plan your SQL Server future. Morris Lewis complements that perspective with an excellent article titled "Learning for Life," which discusses informal and formal approaches to SQL Server training that can help you achieve your goals. Many of you subscribe to the magazine and read it every month. If you don't subscribe, now's the perfect time to start using this valuable resource on a regular basis.

An ongoing theme in this commentary will be "The Future of the DBA," which is what I covered in the January issue. Let me know what you think of the predictions and advice in the January issue; I'd like to maintain a running dialogue on this topic during the next few months.

Important Microsoft Changes


What does Microsoft think will be its most interesting and important technologies and services during the coming year? Find out by reading "The Year Ahead for Microsoft" on the company's Web site.

Keep in mind that Microsoft published this article on its Presspass site, so the content isn't particularly technical. But it will give you some interesting topics to consider. What do you think are the most important changes we'll experience in the land of Microsoft during the coming year?

Worst Practices?


Several years ago, I resolved to stop making New Year's resolutions, and that was the only resolution I've successfully kept. We've all made resolutions but few of us keep them. Nevertheless, the beginning of the year seems like the appropriate time to throw down the gauntlet and promise to make the changes that will enrich our lives. I've never made a list of SQL Server resolutions, but I thought it might be a fun list to create, and I'm asking for your help. We've all heard of best practices. But a list of best practices seems to imply that a list of worst practices also exists, and that's what I'd like to create. Are you a SQL Server professional with a worst practice hidden like a skeleton in your closet? Do you tend to cut the same corner again and again in the name of getting a project done on time? Do you need to resolve to change a not-so-perfect practice that you and your team engage in? Tell me about your worst practices, and I'll compile and publish a list of our most common SQL Server sins. Perhaps airing our collective dirty laundry will shame us into behaving better ... the same way you're really going to lose those 10 pounds by summer.