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It’s been an interesting few months for me, things are different, and yet the same.

At the start of the year, I didn’t think I’d run a 10 mile road race (done that), and I’d expected to have completed the SQL 2008 MCM by now (not done that, and not going to).

This week, I’m taking the first of my SQL 2012 Exams, which I’m looking forward to, and because of this (along with no longer needing to focus on 2008), I’ve been able to look deeper at the 2012 / 2014 versions of SQL Server. I’m liking the new features.

However, this post isn’t about SQL (well, maybe indirectly). It’s about why I’m doing it.

The only person who can control what you can learn, is you. However you do it, you need to grow, and gain skills, move yourself to the next level.

Professionally, I do this by attending conferences and user groups where possible (I’m attending the SQL Relay event in Reading (UK) on 11th November), and also have a Pluralsight Subscription. This is a phenomenal resource, and has given me a huge list of training courses to work my way through.

Personally, I also use a lot of the material from Eric Thomas (motivational speaker) to get my head in the right place. Also, YouTube has a great wealth of motivational videos that help, and I love the one below. Pushing myself to get to a better state physically, so be able to go from not being able to run half a mile, to running 10, has reduced my stress levels, and I feel healthier for it. Obviously, this is a good thing since, in our industry, we spend most of the time sitting and this is REALLY unhealthy (Read this: Sitting is the new Smoking).

Whatever it takes, it’s all about growing yourself, stagnation is not an option.

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On 12th July 2013, this blog passed 30,000 views. Thank you for contributing!!

Although, actually, it’ll be a bit more since it’s not always been on my current host (WordPress).

So, there are various stats available from WordPress on who visited from where, so here’s some interesting nuggets…

Where are people viewing from ?

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Mostly from the US, closely followed by the UK, then India, so actually no surprises there.

 

 

 

What are the top 5 posts ?

Blog Post Views
Page Corruption in a SQL Server Database 2,906
Creating a Virtual Cluster 2,848
SQL Server ODBC on Linux 2,691
Loading Reference data from a SharePoint List using SSIS 2,219
Fun with TPC-H (part 1) 2,103

How do viewers get here ?

The vast majority (over 17,000) made it here from Google, with other methods being far lower (Bing 650, Twitter 470)

Other bits…

The busiest month was October 2012, when I had over 2,000 views. That was directly due to me hosting TSQL2sday. I’m averaging 1,500 views a month and have been for the past year, with over 1,000 distinct visitors a month since WordPress started tracking them in December.

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you continue to find this blog helpful.

So, about 10 months ago, I did a blog article about my experiences moving from a Blackberry to an iPhone 4s (Read it here).

Well, I’ve moved off it now. It was a combination of reasons, including:

  1. I can’t write stuff for it. I’m starting to do more programming at the moment, and it’s a nice idea to be able to write stuff for the phone I’m using. I can’t do this on an iPhone.
  2. The screen is small. I’ve also got an iPad2 and still happily use that. However, the screen on the iPhone is small compared with alot of newer smart phones.
  3. Magpie syndrome. I like shiny things, while my Blackberry 9700 kept me happy for 2+years, the Blackberry 9900 didn’t, and it turns out that the iPhone hasn’t either.
  4. Using the iPhone feels like I’m in a glass box, with all the fun things being outside. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I’m not sure how else to explain it.

So, what have I moved to ? A very kind person has let me have their previous phone, a Galaxy Nexus. This is lovely to use, and easily cover the items above. In addition to this, it lets me:

  1. Use almost all the apps I was using on the iPhone (Evernote, RunKeeper, Pluralsight, Netflix, Flipboard and iPlayer).
  2. I discovered some new apps I could use now, including Falcon Pro (a really nice Twitter client) and Ingress. Ingress is really interesting, and doesn’t appear to have anything like it on the iPhone.

I’m not saying that I’m not using the iPhone anymore. I am, I’m using it as a GPS device for running. It’s great that the RunKeeper app is available on both platforms, and also, the iPhone is smaller so fits nicely in my pocket when out and about.

I’ve also started a separate blog (separation of anxieties, or something), RunningNick.com, which will be covering my training for the Great South Run, which I’m doing in October (10 MILES!!!). If you’d like to sponsor me, there is a link on the right, funds go to Diabetes UK.