Focused learning – My topics for the next few months

So, as promised, I've decided on the 5 topics I'll be focusing on for the next few months.

I'll start with the career based topics first:


SQL Server

Over the years I've built up a wealth of knowledge on my choice of database platform, even taking part in the beta program for SQL Server 2005.  However, for the latest version I've been slack, and to this date have not started digging deeper into the new features.  I've completed my MCTS certification on SQL 2005, but stopped there for no particular reason.  I'll be taking this line further now, and complete the rest of the exams for MCDBA and MCPD.


I've been working with this language for some time now, but have never found the time to dig into the newer features that made it into the language in version 2 & 3, once again for no particular reason.  The work I've been doing could be accomplished using the basics, but I'm sure I could have done it better and faster using some of the new features.

I'll stick to these two topics career-wise, and make sure that the knife is as sharp as possible before moving on to the next topics, which will most probably be framework related.

My third topic is purely for fun.  Late last year I made the jump from a fairly good basic digital camera to a good DSLR.  I invested in the Canon 40D.  The camera is everything I've wanted in a camera, but I've only been able to master the basics so far.  So I'll be digging a lot deeper into photography, and will be posting some of the results here.

On a more personal level, me and my wife have started on the spiritual journey, but once again, I've only been able to skim over the wide variety of material out there.  I want to do a retreat with Leigh-Ann, and will be planning that fairly soon.  In the meantime, I have a number of books to dig into and learn more.

Lastly, and this is a long-time passion.  Cycling.

You would think that at the level I'm riding I've learnt most of the things I need to learn, but I've noticed that I've plateau'd.  Meaning, my performance is not getting better, doesn't matter if I train more, I'm not getting better.  This is extremely demotivating, and my sport has suffered because of this.  I've also set myself the goal of completing the Ironman next year.  That's a 3.8km swim, a 180km cycle, and a 42.2 km run.  My plan is to take a serious look at new training techniques, and adapt my training plan to this.  Once I've done this, the plan will be posted here.  I'll also be posting results and race reports again.  This has helped me in the past to pinpoint any tactical errors I made in races, but I've stopped doing the reports to avoid boring people to death here.  But because it helped for me, I'll be starting this again, and if you find it boring, just filter it out.

As an added bonus, a sixth topic is included.  I get to work on my writing skills during all of this.

Can I have your comments please?

3 thoughts on “Focused learning – My topics for the next few months”

  1. You cannot have a narrow focus whilst the rest of the world is going you by. You need to include one more focus area and that will have to be the broader issues both in personal and in Work related areas.

  2. I’m not letting the world go by. I’m simply spending more focused time on learning about the platforms that will support my career for the next 5-10 years, as well as spending time on personal development outside of the work arena, also building a good foundation. In the meantime, I haven’t stopped with my daily dose of RSS and news reading, so the world is definitely not passing me by, maybe I see too much even.

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