The two most exciting things to happen are that (a) I passed my Grade 4 AMEB Cello exam a few weeks ago, and (b) I passed my TOGAF 9.2 certification exam the other day. The Azure and Architecture Certifications project page has been updated with my new badge.

The cello exam certainly ended up being a bit stressful. First of all, my teacher of 2 years has developed a shoulder injury and could no longer teach from November, so I had to find someone new. Thankfully that didn’t take too long, but a new teaching style requires some adjustment. As with the last exam, I was quite nervouse, but regular practice sessions with my accompanist helped calm my nerves a lot. Unfortunately, the day of my exam, I received a phone call - my accompanise had tested positive to COVID-19. Long story short, I made some phone calls and was able to get a replacement for that afternoon. What was originally going to be 2 hours out of my work day ended up taking the entire day. However, I did my best, and after only a few days I learnt that I passed. Now I’ve got some good goals for Grade 5 next year - join some sort of amateur group, improve my pitch a lot, and really bed down my bowing technique.

Thankfully the TOGAF exam was less stressful. I did a live week-long training course through work in December 2021, and I’d been a little slack since then. However, a few weeks ago I decided to finally do the exam. I spent about 6 weeks reading through the two study guides we were provided with and completing a couple of practice exams, and I passed without too much difficulty.

I’ve been doing a little more miniature painting recently. One day I will finish the figures for my Scythe board game. I’ve just bought a copy of Star Wars: Rebellion, too, and that has a lot of miniatures to keep me busy. Eventually I’ll get back to my Warhammer.

Summer Sales for Steam and GOG are always tempting, and I’ve picked up a few games at 50% or 75% off. It’s easy to play a bit too much but gaming with friends and family is a lot of fun.

As for actual work, there have been some developments but not a lot of excitement. With the help of the security team, I can finally communicate between our on-prem SQL server and our Azure SQL servers for a POC I’m running. I’m learning how to get Polybase working and it’s neat when it works. I’m also gearing up for some external consultants to help us build a picture of our current data architecture and suggest some ways for Youi to improve. With this and my recent TOGAF certification I am hoping to get more involved in Data Architecture work. It would be great if it leads to some real career development.