Michael J. Swart

January 4, 2012

Then, Now and Later

Filed under: SQLServerPedia Syndication — Tags: , — Michael J. Swart @ 12:00 pm

So happy New Year! This is the week that a lot of people look back on their year and make plans for their new year. Well, I’m no different. This week I’m taking a break from the technical content to take a look at 2011 and what 2012 might bring.

The Past (Looking back at 2011)

I started blogging a couple years ago. I picked the domain MichaelJSwart.com (with the middle initial) because MichaelSwart.com was taken at the time. I liked the sound of it any way, probably because of Michael J. Fox. My favorite character of his was Marty McFly:

And a year ago, (prompted by Jenn McCown’s t-sql tuesday post about resolutions) I made a new year’s resolution to blog weekly, keep the articles technical and to include illustrations.

And I had an absolute blast doing it! So it was easy to keep it up:

  • The topics came from whatever interested me. Luckily I have an interesting job with new and different challenges almost daily.
  • The time came as by treating the blog as a hobby. I figure the average person has that much free time, it’s just a matter of how to spend it.
  • I like to write when I’m feeling particularly awake.
  • I like to draw when I’m not because it’s more fun and it probably uses a different part of the brain so that it feels like less mental effort.

I particpated in a couple SQL Saturdays. The first one in Cleveland was great. Among other things, I learned that if you visit Cleveland’s art museum at 10 am on  Superbowl Sunday, you have the entire museum to yourself. The second SQL Saturday I attended this year was in my own backyard. I presented for the first time in Toronto and it was exciting.

The Present (this week)

So I was excited to learn this week that I received Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for SQL Server (achievement unlocked!). I feel honoured to receive the award and inspired to continue writing. I feel like I’ve learned and benefited from the SQL crowd more than I provided (expertise consumer first, expertise provider second). So many people have helped me but I’m not going to name names. That’s next week – seriously 🙂 .

The Future (2012)

So I’m going to resolve to continue blogging the way I have for the past year. It’s a challenging (if not a surprising) resolution. It’s challenging even though this resolution boils down to resolving to continue a fun hobby. This starts now but I’m going to hold off on the technical stuff for just one more week: I want to write something about people who inspire me (and why they might inspire you too). Stay tuned.

And also this year, I’m going to try something new. I want to try to participate in a local user group. Easier said than done because for me, there is no local user group and I’m going to do something about that. (Ohioans, I love you but the commute is killer 🙂 )

It’s all very exciting. Look out 2012, you won’t know what hit you.


  1. Congratulations! and very well deserved! I have really enjoyed your blog over the last year. Please keep it up.

    Comment by Keith Tate — January 4, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

  2. Wonderful job. Love all you do…keep on doing it.

    Welcome to the club. I’ll teach you the secret handshake….

    Comment by Karen Lopez — January 4, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

  3. Congrats on the MVP, well deserved! This is a great blog you have. Superior tech knowledge and an accessible writing style. Keep it up!

    Comment by JJ Burnam — January 4, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

  4. Many congrats on the MVP(ness).. your blog is one enjoy reading

    You will have a blast on the user group front I just know it.
    I got involved in ours a couple years back and I now run that {London,UK}
    I also have great fun travelling to others UG’s in UK and abroad to present
    Was so fortunate to even get to do 2 sessions @ 2011 SQLPASS Summit

    Do enjoy the MVP Summit if you go, I’m seriously jealous I’m not an MVP and thus can’t attend it


    Comment by Neil Hambly — January 4, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

  5. Thanks Keith, Karen, JJ! Your feedback means a lot.

    Comment by Michael J. Swart — January 5, 2012 @ 8:35 am

  6. And thanks Neil, The user group thing is the one that makes me the most nervous. And I know how you feel about the MVP summit. I was jealous about being unable to attend the PASS summit this past fall. We’ll meet in person in the future at some summit (PASS or maybe even MVP).

    Comment by Michael J. Swart — January 5, 2012 @ 8:35 am

  7. Wow! Awesome news! Your blog is on my bookmark bar as I always look forward to the updates. SQL comic book in 2012?

    Comment by Adam Mikolaj — January 5, 2012 @ 10:05 pm

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