Back from Sabbatical

Its been awhile – my last post was Dec 27th – not coincidentally the day I started my diet/lifestyle change.  Post Xmas found me at a weight I had not been at before and suddenly the extra pounds that had sneaked on slowly these past 10 years had become an issue for me and I was determined to shed them and immediately – hello gym membership, goodbye so many hours of computer monitor time.  I am proud to say that after really focusing on exercise and much better eating, I shed 35 pounds and am on pace to be where I want to be for the start of the summer tennis season – but this isn’t a weight loss post but rather a confession on how I could ignore my blog for 3 months – but now I’m back with some things on my mind.

Last night, I went to the Sioux Falls .NET User Group meeting to listen to our Microsoft Developer Evangelist Mike Benkovich present on the Azure framework and the exciting things going on there. 


Great presentation and afterwards, we had good discussion on topics such as Techmasters (Toastmasters for geeks) and Microsoft’s MVP program which led us to a small group discussion on what are we passionate about as developers?

That’s a good question – what excites me about software development?  what topics make me want to buy books and spend precious spare time experimenting & studying? – for me, I shared its Business Intelligence – and with Microsoft coming on so strong in the analytical tools (SSAS, Powerpivot)  and since the company I work for is a 100% Microsoft shop – this is what I see as a great opportunity when passion + work + industry trends collide.  When Gemini was first announced at the BI Conference in Seattle (2009?), I was eagerly finding all of the news I could, and pestering a BI presenter at HDC that year who had been to that conference on all he knew.  Right now at home, I have 2 books on my nightstand – a Head First book on data Analysis and a new Powerpivot book on my Kindle

Head First Data Analysis: A learner's guide to big numbers, statistics, and good decisions

But one thing I started to realize after talking to Mike Benkovich is that I want to do more here – its not enough to just read and be knowledgeable about these topics if I am serious about them.  I have to find ways to stop finding excuses why a busy life is stopping me from doing more in this area. 

I aspire to become a bigger part of the BI Community whether it is :

  • Sharing what I know with others (I was always so impressed with Kent Tegels and how much he was willing to share of his SQL-Server-related knowledge, or other community-minded people I have had the pleasure to work with like Chris Williams (Magenic), Chris Ortman (ran our Mitchell .NET User group for years by himself), Mike Benkovich, and all of those great people who present at HDC each year which I enjoy so much – does this scare me? – you bet it does – this will take some serious babysteps for me.
  • Helping provide feedback on BI tools and processes
  • Creating innovative BI solutions to problems

I have always been a very interested fan/blog reader of Jamie Mac, Donald Farmer, Rob Collie (PowerpivotPro), SSAS team, and so many others – but now I intend to become more of a rabid fan


Because that is where I want to be for the next stage of my career. 

LESS        Just simple reading & being aware of BI technology and content with my small datamart projects

MORE     Community Involvement and being part of this movement

So – if you are such a person that I am aspiring to be, and have any suggestions for where like-minded people on these topics like to hang out (Blogs, Twitterers, etc), please send them to me, it would be much appreciated – tonight I plan on doing some serious RSS-feed trimming, too many trees in my RSSFeed-forest and if I am going to get more focused on BI, many of my general-tech-knowledge/geek feeds I have accumulated these past years are going to have to go – I have a slight RSS-feed hoarding problem that I plan on addressing tonight.

So thanks Mike – I am re-energized thanks to your talk.



About bradosterloo

.NET Software Developer working for Innovative Systems, LLC in Mitchell, SD
This entry was posted in Software Development and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Back from Sabbatical

  1. Pingback: Jumping back into Powerpivot | The View from Office 227

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