This past weekend was SQL Saturday 192 in Tampa. Being my home user group event always makes this event special, however this was the first time I spoke at my home SQL Saturday and that made it an event that I will always cherish. In addition, this year, I took in a full day pre-con training on Friday with Buck Woody (b | t) and quite frankly it changed my life. How many times can you say that about a SQL training, let alone a $99 training?
I know what you’re thinking, believe me I do. How can a one day training change your life? I have spoken at two SQL Saturdays prior to this event and a couple of times at a couple of user group meetings so to say that I was a speaking novice would be an accurate term in my eyes anyway. In addition, I have had no formal training in public speaking except for the semester speech class that I nervously tried to avoid and almost vomited every time I stood up in front of the class.
This journey began in 2011 as I resolved myself in Andy Warren’s Professional Development Plan session at the Tampa BI SQL Saturday. I wanted to conquer this fear of public speaking and give back to the community. It seemed pretty simple. I had no idea how hard it would be and with my fight or flight instincts many times I wanted to just run away, but I did not want to embarrass myself in this community and that held me accountable.
After taking Buck’s class entitled “Creating Your Best Technical Presentation: A Speaker Workshop,” I now feel that I have the skills necessary to put together a decent presentation and deliver it without embarrassing myself. The presentation this past Saturday went well considering that I did not rewrite it, I also did not want to run or vomit and those are great things in my book. Now I have to go back and rewrite my presentation with the skills that I have learned. If you ever get the opportunity to take this class at a local SQL Saturday near you, do it!
It is an honor and privilege to be selected to present at SQL Saturday Tampa on March 2, 2013. We will be at a new location this year, Hillsborough Community College in beautiful Ybor City, due to our growth over the last couple of years. In addition, we have three pre-cons this year and I will be attending the “Creating Your Best Technical Presentation: A Speaker Workshop” by Buck Woody (b|t). Hopefully, after this session, my presentation skills will continue to improve before my session on that Saturday. If the winter blues got you down then head down to beautiful Tampa for a warm weekend of SQL learning and register for SQL Saturday #192.
This year I will finally get to attend two other SQL Saturdays that are in the relative vicinities. In the past there was always something going on during those two weekends. As it stands, I am planning on submitting my newest session, Backups: Getting the Most Out of Your Storage, to both of those events. Curious as to what they are?
SQL Saturday Jacksonville (#SQLSat215) will be April 27th and SQL Saturday Atlanta is tentatively scheduled for May 18th. Come on out and join me at all three of those events and maybe one of them will have some SQLKaraoke for the after event! Enjoy!
Being methodical and logical as I am, I have set forth a plan to achieve my Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate as noted earlier in my goals for 2013. Having not found much in the way of preparation material as noted in this post , I decided to rent the 70-462 Training Kit from Amazon and transpose some of the objectives there to fit the 70-457 and 70-458 since I am taking the upgrade exams the materials for the regular exams should suffice in preparation.
Now I have outlined a calendar below and the hard dates to hold me accountable to the task especially since the book has to be returned in June. Let the journey begin!
|70-462 Training Kit – 70-457 Objectives|
|Install and Configure|
|Install SQL Server & related services||1||2||1/20/2013|
|Implement a migration strategy||4||1||1/27/2013|
|Configure additional SQL server components||3||1||1/27/2013|
|Manage SQL Server agent||11||1||2/3/2013|
|Maintain Instances and Databases|
|Manage and configure databases||3||3||2/10/2013|
|Configure SQL Server Instances||2||1||2/17/2013|
|Implement a SQL Server clustered instance||8||1||2/24/2013|
|Manage SQL Server instances||2||2||3/3/2013|
|Optimize and Troubleshoot|
|Identify and resolve concurrency problems||10||2||3/10/2013|
|Collect and analyze troubleshooting data||9||1-6||3/17/2013|
|Audit SQL Server instances||6||3||3/24/2013|
|70-462 Training Kit – 70-458 Objectives|
|Configure and maintain a backup strategy||11||2||3/31/2013|
Implement and maintain indexes
|Import and Export Data||4||2||4/21/2013|
|Manage logins and server roles||5||1||4/28/2013|
|Manage database permissions||6||1||5/5/2013|
|Manage users and database roles||5||2||5/12/2013|
|Implement High Availability|
|Implement database mirroring||7||1||6/2/2013|
Today I thought I would set forth a course of action in order to accomplish my goal of passing the 70-457 (and eventually 70-458) in order to achieve the Microsoft Certified Solutions Architect (how hard is it not to say Systems Administrator). I know what you are thinking, experience is the best trainer, but I like to be well prepared before I spend money to take an exam.
Sadly, Microsoft’s page for this exam has no content as far as a book, training, or even practice tests available for either exam. I understand that I could use the limited materials for exams 70-461, 462 and 463, but those are all assuming that you do not have an MCTS. I would like to limit my preparation to only what I need to pass the exam. I was able to find one book on Amazon, but I am not sure of the series. I have never used one of these books before. I think I will rent the 70-462 book from Amazon and that will force me to finish it by June.
Now in order to accomplish this goal I need to set aside at least four hours a week in preparation with book learning and using my 2012 Developer license at home. That will be tough, but now I have told you so I am now accountable. Please let me know if you have any tips for studying for this exam, I would appreciate your input. Enjoy!
Yesterday I posted my personal development plan for 2013. After reading a few other similar blogs by colleagues yesterday, one haunting thought stayed with me all night that I couldn’t quite put my finger on until this morning. My goals were lofty, but they were no more so than last year. That would not be stepping out of my comfort zone. There was really no challenge in the list when compared to 2012, where there were some serious steps on the ledge for me.
How do I resolve this? Not sure at this point, but I have some ideas so this may evolve over the next week. The first idea I had would be to upgrade my SQL Server 2008 MCTS to the new MCSA 2012 (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate). This would consist of two exams, 70-457 and 70-458, both aptly titled ‘Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA SQL Server 2012, Part 1 and 2.’ I waited for all of the dust to settle with the new certifications before I pursued moving forward in my personal growth as it does not appear that I am anywhere ready to tackle the MCM, thus I have made it a five-year goal. This would put me on that path and force me to commit to the preparation needed to pass these exams. Now that I have talked this out with you here I think I will add these to the list! Enjoy!
After yesterday’s review of 2012, it is time to set the bar a little higher for 2013. Let’s soar to new heights!
- I will post daily during the work week to this blog in order to give back to the SQL community. Last year I had planned to blog 365 days of the year, but there were many days when the content was subpar because I was on vacation, holiday, or simply having fun with my family. I think this year if I limit it to the days that I am actually working on SQL Server then the content should stay consistent.
- I will spend time daily helping people on twitter, SQL blogs, and various SQL-related websites such as SQL Server Central. This was hard to do last year but it is still a noble goal and thus should be listed.
- I am setting a goal of 600 followers on Twitter which would increase my existing followers 33%.
- I will attend at least ten of the twelve Tampa Bay SQL Server User Group meetings.
- I will attend three to five other User group meetings, such as the Tampa BI group, Orlando’s MagicPASS, or the Tampa VMUG.
- I will attend at least one other event that interfaces with SQL Server such as the Orlando IT Pro Camp.
SQL Conferences & Training Events
- I will attend at least one formal Microsoft SQL training course this year.
- I will attend every SQL Saturday offered in the Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville areas. I would also like to attend some others, if possible, within driving distance.
- I will volunteer to help with at least one SQL Saturday this year.
- I will attend the SQL PASS Summit in Charlotte.
- I will submit to at least two different SQL Saturday events in addition to SQL PASS. Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to present somewhere in 2013.
- I will be in better physical shape in time for Summit 2013.
- I will lose 100 pounds by the end of the year.
Five Year Goals
- I will continue to take at least one to two classes a semester online in order to complete my degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida. All those Engineering and Computer Science classes I took 20 years ago are not relevant today and I would like to possibly return to consulting in five or ten years and that degree would be more beneficial in that long-term goal.
- I would like to become a Microsoft Certified Master within five years.
Tonight I am blogging from our Hillsborough Tampa User Group meeting being held at Computer Associates. Fargham Butt from Microsoft is presenting on Profiler Tricks and this is the best turnout for this group since it started a couple of months ago. I am glad that Pam Shaw decided to create a second group as there are many new faces in the room of probably 40 people.
As of right now, I am going to go back and play with the deadlock graph feature as I have never seem that before. I did it the old way with the trace flag viewing the information in the error log. This is a fantastic visual and I may blog about it later.
If you are not going to your local user group then you need to get out there and get some free SQL learning and networking. It is worth the time investment. Enjoy!
With service pack 1 being released during SQL PASS Summit 2012, I did not get the chance to update my personal laptop. This is great timing as I have just purchased developer on my laptop. You can download the slipstream version or just the service pack separately. Are you curious as to what is new in SP1, then check this link out? It is also a good idea to read the release notes, which I always recommend but rarely do, unfortunately. It is similar to reading the directions, men rarely do that.
Here is the visual upgrade guide, quite simple really, so much so that even I can do it.
The update completed easily and successfully. Enjoy!
Today I am going to bring you a great site, SQL Customer Advisory Team (SQLCAT) presents the Top Ten Hidden Gems in SQL Server 2008 R2. If you haven’t perused the SQL CAT website, do yourself a favor and check it out. Enjoy!
With the DATEDIFF script returning 1 today, I am bouncing off the walls with excitement for tomorrow morning at 2:30 am I head to the airport en route to Seattle for the PASS Summit 2012. The week-long SQLpalooza kicks off for me on Sunday when I board the plane at 5:30 AM ET and does not end until I return late the next Saturday night. I am busy going through my checklist and ensuring that my suitcase is packed properly and thoroughly for I am paranoid that I am going to forget something crucial. See you on the other side, tomorrow.
Haven’t registered for Summit yet? Why not? Come on you know you want to! Enjoy!