Monthly Archives: November 2011

SQLSat86 Session Review: Andy Warren’s ‘Building a Professional Development Plan’

Before we begin, I must first admit that when I saw ‘Building a Professional Development Plan’ in the SQL Saturday 85 Schedule in Orlando back in September, I was not enthusiastic about attending this session as I thought it was more for consultants or for those looking to start their own business.  Quite simply, I was thinking business plan and not individual plan.  In hindsight, I wish I had attended this session back then, but I digress.

As most everyone knows, Andy Warren is the father of SQL Saturday and his status in the SQL community is legendary.  With that being said I will now list the things that I learned from this session.

        • Generally we do not like setting goals as there is an inherit risk of failure.
        • The professional development plan, or PDP, is essentially your business plan as you are essentially a business with a plan.
        • The PDP should be a pretty good mixture of growth items as well as technical items, such as:
          1. Formal Education
          2. Training
          3. Projects
        • The PDP should have goals, milestones, as well as tasks necessary to accomplish these items.
        • Questions you should ask yourself when developing the PDP include the following:
          1. Am I learning skills that only apply to my current job?
          2. What will be the next job that I search for?
          3. Will it be within my company?
          4. Am I being siloed into a narrow skill set in order to accomplish my existing responsibilities?
        • If you are not being paid enough for your existing skill set then you are leaving money on the table.
        • Where are you going and what do you want should be reflected in your PDP.  What is the balance of the following items:
          1. More Money
          2. Stability
          3. Challenges
          4. Responsibility
        • The following is a breakdown of the amount of time needed to reach different levels of success, how much are you willing to spend?
0-20 hours No goal, no plan–Just work
21-50 hours Standard Maintenance
51-100 hours Slow growth, adding one skill
101-200 hours Serious investment
200+ hours Different focus / Hyper Growth
        • A Personal Development Plan should include the following:
          1. Networking, you should always try to meet three new people at each event or training.
          2. Writing / Communication skills
          3. Leadership / Management training
          4. Formal Education (or degree)
          5. Teaching / Presenting
          6. Professional Organizations / Events
        • Blogging is important to your PDP for the following reasons:
          1. Networking
          2. It gives you practice writing
          3. It shows your level of consistency and follow through to future employers
          4. It shows that you participate in your profession
        • You should keep up with new features for SQL Server.  It is not possible to master all of the features but knowing what they are or do can be beneficial to your career.

I thoroughly enjoyed this session and will be developing my own Professional Development Plan before the end of the year.  Thanks, Andy.

SQLSat86 Session Review: Adam Jorgensen’s “0 to SSAS”

The first session of the morning for me was Adam Jorgensen’s “0 to SSAS” presentation. Before this event, I had never had the privilege of attending one of Adam’s sessions and I do not work directly with SSAS, but his reputation as a good speaker enticed me to attend. Needless to say that I was not disappointed. Below are some random things that I learned from Adam:

  • AS is the most powerful engine in the SQL Server line (designed to do table scans which would kill the DB engine)
  • The Standard Edition for SQL Server is missing some of the AS functionality.
  • AS uses BIDS aka Visual Studio with different project types
  • AS works best with the STAR schema but might get the job done if your snowflake schema is not too diluted and you do not mind manually adding the dimensions.
  • “Add related tables” will only find one level of relations which makes the STAR schema optimized for this.
  • It was not said but I am guessing that the constellation schema would kill the engine ;-)

SQLSat86 Session Review: Adam Jorgensen’s “0 to SSAS”

The first session of the morning for me was Adam Jorgensen’s “0 to SSAS” presentation.  Before this event, I had never had the privilege of attending one of Adam’s sessions and I do not work directly with SSAS, but his reputation as a good speaker enticed me to attend.  Needless to say that I was not disappointed.  Below are some random things that I learned from Adam:

  • AS is the most powerful engine in the SQL Server line (designed to do table scans which would kill the DB engine)
  • The Standard Edition for SQL Server is missing some of the AS functionality.
  • AS uses BIDS aka Visual Studio with different project types
  • AS works best with the STAR schema but might get the job done if your snowflake schema is not too diluted and you do not mind manually adding the dimensions.
  • “Add related tables” will only find one level of relations which makes the STAR schema optimized for this.
  • It was not said but I am guessing that the constellation schema would kill the engine ;-)

SQL Saturday #86: Tampa BI Edition

SQL Saturday #86 was held on November 7, 2011, at K-Force Technology in beautiful Ybor City hosted by Jose Chinchilla, President of the Tampa Bay BI User Group.  This event was a great success for a little over a hundred attendees even though I did not win the iPad.  In addition, I believe this was the first time that a SQL Saturday event was dedicated solely to the Business Intelligence platform. 

This was my second SQL Saturday event and it was well worth the investment of my time and travel to attend.  I am going to post separate blogs detailing some of the things either that I learned or  that stood out for me.  Stay tuned for those posts.

Let the Gator Growl!

Hello and Welcome to the Swampland!

Thanks for visiting my new blog.  I have decided to create this blog in order to separate my personal blog from my professional blog as I become more involved in the online SQL Server community.  With this blog, I will be covering SQL Server, VMWare, and Windows server topics as I traverse my professional career online so you can learn from my mistakes and my journey.  Welcome to the Swampland!

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