2014 – A year in review.

G’day,

And so another year passes, and as I’ve never wrote a “year in review” post before now seems like a good time to start.

2014 has been a pretty hectic year for me, both personally and professionally. The project that I’ve been working on for the past few years finally drew to a successful conclusion and the highlight of the year was the birth of our second son, Robert, who arrived in mid June the day before SQL Saturday #316, Christchurch, New Zealand. Admittedly, the timing could have been better, but I’ve only got myself to blame for that. That being said the second SQL Saturday to be held in Christchurch was a huge successes where we had a few MCM’s and MVP’s visit from Australia and the North Island.

I was lucky enough to be able to take 3 months parental leave just after the birth of Robert. That leave combined with my annual leave as well as some study leave, travelling and attending conferences has pretty much meant that I’ve probably spent about 6 months away from my desk job for the entire year.

In the first half of the year I was lucky enough to work on the PASS Program Committee where I was part of a group helping to select sessions for the Application Development track at summit 2014. That was pretty good and all the sessions submitted were of high quality, it’s just unfortunate that some have to miss out.

In April I was also lucky enough to be selected to speak at SQL Saturday #296, Melbourne, Australia – where I must have done something right as I’m back on the speaking list for the 2015 Melbourne SQL Saturday – which is numbered #365 and looks like being a huge event.

The Christchurch SQL SERVER user group passed the 150 member mark and we are now regularly getting around 30 members each meeting along to our monthly meetings. The group also moved to a new home that is kindly provided courtesy of the local polytechnic.

In August of 2014, one of our leadership team left group as he was re-locating as part of his job. Rob Douglas ( b | t ) moved to Nelson and has since set up the Nelson SQL SERVER user group.

One of the other highlights was being asked to speak as part of the Microsoft Student Accelerator program at Canterbury University here in Christchurch.

Oh, as well as all of the above there was my MVP award, which was given in October. Due to this I decided to get on a plane and attend the MVP summit and PASS summit – which I had initially removed from my agenda due to the arrival of Robert. Attending this two summits was one of the best decisions of the year and I’m glad I made it.

Hopefully 2015 can be even more successful.

Best wishes to everybody in the SQL Community for 2015 and here’s hoping that you achieve all of your goals.

Have a great year

Cheers

Martin.

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About Martin Catherall

Martin Catherall is Senior SQL consultant at SQL Down Under, based in Melbourne, Australia. Martin is also a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and Regional Mentor (RM) for the Professional Association for SQL Server. Prior to relocating to Australia he was extremely active in the Christchurch, New Zealand data community - founding the local SQL Server user group and organizing SQL Saturday Christchurch - which later became SQL Saturday South Island. He likes learning interesting stuff about processing and storing data and passing on his knowledge. In his spare time he likes to learn guitar and hang out with his two young sons Callum Glen and Robert Michael.