Denis Offers A Challenge

"Denis the SQL Menace" is at it again.

When we last heard from Denis on a technical matter in this space, it was to provoke last year's Prime Number Challenge.  Denis has now picked up on Scott Hanselman's discussion of that age-old self-improvement question, "What are you going to do in the next six months to become a better developer?"  Not only that, but he called out ten other people to answer the question, and one of them is me.

This is a toughie for me, Denis, because I'm not really a full-time software developer anymore.  I think the question still holds, though, because the work I'm doing to become a more fully realized SQL Server Development Subject Matter Expert is, hopefully, the same work I'd concentrate on were I still delivering code for a living.

What I won't do in the next six months is attempt to learn new languages.  If I was still a working developer, I'd definitely be hot to learn C#, but at this point I simply don't have the time.  Beyond that, though, as I've commented here, the paradigm differences between TSQL and compiled language lead me to believe that there are more constructive ways for me to spend my time.  I'm not sure I'd ever be a great C# developer, and since I've still got plenty to learn about SQL Server (where I at least have a chance to be great), I chose not to be a generalist.

So, to answer Denis' question, most of my personal-growth-as-a-developer work over the next six months will revolve around filling in the gaps in my knowledge of SQL Server 2005, and getting up to speed on SQL Server 2008 as quickly as possible.

As previously noted, I'm on my way out of town for a couple of weeks.  I'll let Denis' question percolate in my mind while I'm gone and see if I can come up with anything insightful for you.

Thanks for including me in your tag list for this question, Denis.


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