Tag Archives: technology

I’m Speaking at #DataPlatformDiscoveryDay

We are living in some very interesting times and the technical conference community is facing some challenges like it never has before.  So many in-person events have been postponed or cancelled.  For those who are speakers, like myself, this have been very challenging.  I have worked from home for over eight years, so the new “norm” is just the same old same old for me.   But I used my speaking engagements as a way to connect with others in the tech community on a fairly regular basis.  Now that this has been put on hold for who knows how long, I’m having a tough time staying connected.

I am very fortunate that I work in an area that is still very much in high demand and still employed, unlike many others who have been furloughed or laid off.  With so many people unemployed now more than ever in the world, many of those folks are contemplating a career change.  Thankfully, I have a fellow Data Platform MVP in the US who has partnered with a colleague in Europe to bring a new kind of tech conference to those who are looking to break into the data platform arena.  Oh, and it’s virtual – and it’s free! So you don’t have to leave your home and if you are on a tight budget, you don’t have to spend a thing.

I am so honored to have been selected to speak at this first of it’s kind, beginner-virtual-free conference, Data Platform Discovery Day.  I will be presenting my What is Power BI session, so if you’ve ever wondered about Power BI and have some free time on your hands, then come join me on Wednesday, April 29, 2020.  There are lots of great introductory sessions out there, here’s the US sessions list and the European sessions list.  There’s still time to register for the US Sessions or register for the UK sessions.

I hope you are all doing well and staying home and staying safe.

New Session, Intro to Azure Data Catalog

I am excited to announce that I have created a new session, Intro to Azure Data Catalog.  This has been a long time in the planning and it’s about to be executed for the first time on Tuesday, January 28, 2020.  I will be presenting it for our local user group, Triad Microsoft Data Platform User Group (f.k.a. TriadSQL).  If you’re in the area, please stop by, I’d love to see you, get your feedback and chat for a bit.

The Long and Winding Road

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“The Long and Winding Road” is one of my favorite Beatles songs, it reminds me of my dad, he was a huge Beatles fan.  My dad passed away almost five years ago, but I still miss him like it was yesterday and I still remember the advice he gave me when I was a kid, “Work hard and don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do something, there’s always a way.  It may not be easy, but there’s always a way.”  I credit that advice for the success I’ve had in my life, both personal and professional.

I started working with SQL Server back on Windows 3.11 (version 4.21a).  I know I’m dating myself here, but that’s kind of the point of this post.  We thought Windows 3.11 was so cool after having to deal with DOS for so many years, we didn’t think it could get any cooler.  But it did.  We got Windows 95, then 98, XP, 7 and now 8.  I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

The same goes for SQL Server.

We started out with what I thought was a great tool, then they made it better.  We went from having to create devices to hold our database files and keeping track of each file growth, to just being able to create our database files and let them grow on their own.  I don’t know about anybody else, but that made me so happy.  No more sp_helpdb every night to make sure I could recreate my databases if needed in a disaster.

It used to be very hard to write T-SQL code if you weren’t familiar with the database objects, the old iSQL query window didn’t have an object browser so you couldn’t see a list of your tables, let alone column names.  Now we have intellisense built right in to the query window.  This feature alone is with worth its weight in gold.  It allows me to be so much more productive, type the first few letters and hit tab.  “BAM!” as Emeril would say.

BCP really used to be the only way to get data in and out of your database, then they gave DTS.  Once again it’s like going from DOS to Windows.  Then they came out with SSIS.  Holy Cow, I thought I’d won the lottery after writing my first package in under 5 minutes.  It truly was an amazing transformation (pun definitely intended).

There are so many other features that have improved along the way, too many in fact to list them all here.

It’s been a long road,

The wild and windy night
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day.
Why leave me standing here?
Let me know the way.

There were definitely many tears shed along the way to where I am today, tears of frustration and of joy.  But I wouldn’t change my long and winding road for anything, it’s made me who and what I am today.

SQL Server let me know the way…