Any summary of 2020 that doesn’t start with the horrible state of the world would be a disservice to those we have lost, and their friends and family left behind in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It had impacts on the way you and I both worked and do business. Our database tools team at Oracle decided not to publish software as usual, especially in the early goings. We kept coding, fixing bugs, building technology, but there was no 20.1 release cycle, and for SQL Developer we also skipped version 20.3.

A significant portion of our team was also intimately involved in building Covid-19 response applications! I wasn’t involved for the most part, but it was very gratifying to see the folks around me help make the world a better place, even more so than normally.

For those wondering about versions 20.4 – you’ll see updates for ALL of the products in early January 2021. All are currently ready to go, just going through final QA and Legal checkpoints.

As for travel, I went from 2019 where I probably travelled more than I ever have, to going to a total of zero user group meetings, conferences, and on-site customer visits. I had already decided 2020 would be a ‘down year’ for travel, but the pandemic made that a hard and fast rule vs a personal decision. I DO MISS seeing people in person and hope that we can get back to doing that sometime in the near future.

So instead, I participated in several dozen online events. It was great to see my friends and/or friendly faces on the other end of Zoom meetings and presentations – thanks for coming out to those!

And just also thanks in general to everyone out there that continue to support not only me, but our entire team and our technology and services. It means a lot to us to hear from you, and to see you doing accomplishing such awesome things.

Ok, onto the highlights.

Blogs posts from 2020

I published 67 blog posts (with 55,000 words and 348 pictures!) in 2020. I wish I could say I loved all of them equally, but here are the ones you enjoyed most, one for each product.

Blog posts overall

There were your top 3 favorite resources from my blog, regardless of when they were first published.

Blog Comments

You left 838 comments this year (and I replied 437 times) – thankfully these numbers are easy to get with SQL for WordPress blogs.

620 of those comments came via the Ask Me page, but 25 came from my post on ORDS Parameters and Binds.

I do try to answer all of your questions, if I’ve missed or forgotten you, just ping me again. And I will continue to admit the popularity of the Ask Me page continues to surprise me. I only ask if you want to get into something fairly complicated – email me, or post on the Forums.

Videos

I tried to produce more video in 2020, again because more people were stuck at home, and were probably more open to learning via YouTube. Turns out, I was wrong.

For 2020, you spent 13,000 hours over 232,000 video plays. And, I gained 1,300 new subscribers!

Contrasting that with 2019 and 16,600 hours over 320,600 views, and 1,400 new subscribers – those are significant drops across the board. My guess, there are fewer people working AND fewer people actively engaged in studies (school and university).

Regardless, thanks to everyone for spending your time there with me, and I hope you learned something. If you have requests for a video, I’m always open!

Your favorite videos by product were:

4th most popular video consumed in 2020, but maybe my personal favorite.

Slides

I stopped updating my content on SlideShare. Mostly because it wasn’t user friendly, and has seen almost zero feature updates since I started using it. And it’s a shame, because many aspects of it ARE nice.

You can find my latest content on Speaker Deck. In 2020, looks about 11,520 of you browsed my slides there, and the most popular decks were:

Top slide presentation for 2020…

Speaker Deck –

Over on SlideShare, we had 37,000 views and the most popular decks were:

  • Dimensional Modeling in SQL Developer and
  • REST Enabling your Oracle Database
  • SQLcl Overview

Final Thoughts

Why do I write these summary posts? Two reasons: One, I like to account for what’s happened, what went right and wrong. Am I surprised by anything? What EXACTLY did I do/accomplish this year?

And two, I like being open with my successes and failures. 2020 is either a down year for me, or the world, or both based on my content consumption metrics. But, I’m not going to let that deter me. If anything, I’m just that much more motivated to work harder next year.

The 2nd reason is also due in no small part to someone (Brent Ozar!) that does similar things, and I like to emulate the traits and habits of others that I admire or can learn from.

And finally, I hope all of you are able to enjoy the holiday break and end to 2020. I look forward to working with and getting to know you better in 2021!

Sorry, one more thing…

If you were wondering about my Untappd! beers summary for 2020…

Almost ALL of this was done from home, or from solitary confinement on the road.

My family took a quick trip to Orlando before the world got hit in February, and then we spent a week in the mountains and coast in North Carolina in rented houses to get away from things this Summer. I was also able to take my dad to a basketball game for my birthday in WV in February, little did I know I wouldn’t see him for months afterwards. Damn, 2020 is the worst.

thatjeffsmith
Author

I'm a Distinguished Product Manager at Oracle. My mission is to help you and your company be more efficient with our database tools.

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    I really have to get me that untapped app.
    Easiest way to prove that I really don’t drink any beer.
    😀 “Beers per day: 0” 😀

    What if you have more than 182,5 beers in a year? Can you set it to “Beers per hour”?

  2. Avatar

    Woohoo! Glad you’re doing the retrospectives. These are super valuable for me when I look back over time. I was just reading my past stuff this week too.

    Cheers, and hope 2021 treats you well.

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