Big Data Challenge

4cc185686a079d35c724b7bb83a6667fI completed the Know It, Prove It challenge and earned the Microsoft Virtual Academy Big Data badge. Whether you’re a Developer, Data Pro, or student, you can learn valuable skills quickly and correctly through video tutorials, assessments, and more. From now until December 14th you too can choose from one of three learning challenges that takes less than 12 hours to complete. Sign up now!

MCSA: Office 365

mcsa265 Really, can’t believe it has been close to 18 months since my last Microsoft Certification. (Not counting the new Streamlined Certifications that came out on September 26, 2016. Those were just updates to existing MCSEs.) But, I finally passed the two Office 365 exams (70-346 and 70-347) for the corresponding MCSA. I spent about two month total of study time. I started with the Microsoft Press book mainly because I picked up a free copy while attending Microsoft Ignite. However, If you join Microsoft Virtual Academy you can get a discount on Microsoft Press books and also watch all the great Office 365 videos while you’re there. Finally, I do have to give a Thank You to Pluralsight and Jeff Adkin for the great videos that really gave me a great foundation for the exams.

Office 365 Identity Models

office365I find it slightly amusing this appeared on my Twitter feed today as I finish up studying for my Office 365 exam. It is a great introduction into the Identity Models for Office 365, but even more important you can get access to Office 365 for IT Pros. This online guide is continually updated to match developments within Office 365. Authored by a team of MVPs, this book gives you the real world, independent view of Office 365 that Microsoft’s marketing materials don’t provide.

SQL Service Pack released

sp1 Just six months after SQL Server 2016 was released on June 1, 2016, the product has received its very first Service Pack from Microsoft. This Service Pack also contains fixes released in the first three Cumulative Updates. Click here to find a list of all the new features and capabilities. However, I think the biggest announcement to come out of this release is that all the features that were once only found in Enterprise Edition is now available in all editions. Here is a great post by Victor Isakov that discusses this unprecedented move by Microsoft.

SQL Server on Linux

sql-server_thumb Today, Microsoft announced the public preview of the next release of SQL Server on Linux and Windows, which brings the power of SQL Server to Linux for the first time ever. But the love fest doesn’t stop there. The Linux Foundation announced today that Microsoft has joined the organization as a Platinum member during Microsoft’s developer event in New York. Want to learn how to get started? The Microsoft Mechanics demonstrates SQL Server on Linux, including how you can: download and install SQL Server on a Linux Virtual Machine; run your SQL Server-based apps inside of Docker containers and improve the performance of your applications using powerful features such as Column Store in SQL Server.

IndyPASS November

15027705_1316663855018534_372375365204117190_n Tomorrow night we have Peter Shore presenting an Introduction to Infrastructure for the DBA. It doesn’t matter if you are a Junior DBA, an accidental DBA or all the way up to a Senior DBA, the infrastructure your SQL Server environment runs on is important.  Many among the DBA community came in as developers or perhaps directly into database administration roles it is equally possible that you have been out of the operations world long enough to have fallen out of the loop with what is happening.  This session is intended to provide a full stack infrastructure overview so that you can talk shop with your cohorts in operations to resolve issues and maybe even be proactive.  We will discuss, in an introductory fashion, hardware, network, storage, virtualization and operating system layers.  Additionally, some suggestions as to where to find more information will be provided.

MCT RL Summit 2016

mctrlSwitching gears, hotels, and summits. It looks like about 45 of the 100 MCT Regional Leads showed up to the summit this year. Always a great time to see my friends from around the world. I can’t believe they seriously make fun of my Indiana accent. So far we have discussed the new streamlined certifications which I have blogged about previously. We have also talked about the 27 new courses coming out for Windows Server 2016,  SQL Server 2016 and Exchange Server 2016. I am going to be very busy reading all those books and gearing up to deliver those classes. But I look forward to an exciting and challenging 2017 teaching my favorite topics.

Data Science Webinar

15027783_1315867098431543_2865450064893849223_nAre you a data scientist that is being asked to speak or is it just part of your work? Do you also use slides for your presentations? If so, join us in this webinar on November 15, 2016. You are about to learn the algorithm that you need to follow in order to be able to create truly effective slides. Slides that will not only help you convey your message better, but slides that will also help you differentiate as a speaker too. No, this is not a talk for designers. This is a talk for you – the data scientist.

Microsoft Exam Prep

cxpobj-xuaaswkb Are you interested in becoming a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)? Getting ready for a Microsoft Certification exam? Then you already know that having the requisite content knowledge is only part of the complete picture. You also need practical, hands-on technology skills and strong test-taking strategies. In this on-demand Microsoft Certification exam prep session, IT Pro and Microsoft Certified Trainer Timothy Warner and Microsoft Learning Senior Content Developer Christopher Chapman help you quickly ramp up on what you need to know to conquer Microsoft Certifications. Find out what they are, who they’re for, and how to become a better test-taker. Take a look at different kinds of questions and how to be prepared for them. Plus, get details on special deals, pricing, and registration, along with next steps in your Microsoft Certification journey.

Speaking about SQL

tsql2sday150x150I can’t believe it, I am finally joining the T-SQL Tuesday blog post party started by Adam Machanic (b|t). This month Andy Yun is our TSQL2sDay #84 host who has selected the subject of “Growing New Speakers”. Specifically, to talk about preparing,  presenting, and speaking at local user groups, virtual PASS chapter, SQL Saturdays and/or the PASS Summit. As a Microsoft Certified Trainer(MCT), this topic really hits home. Click here to read more.

MVP Summit 2016

15027402_1308799452471641_3949078490960710061_n I am so thrilled to be attending my first MVP Summit. I would love to say more about it, but there are signs everywhere reminding everyone about violating their Non-Disclosure Agreement. I think it is alright to mention that since I am a Data Platform MVP, I may have learned some stuff about SQL Server, PowerBI, and Linux. (I will let you figure that last one out on your own.) Anyway, at the Monday Night Welcome Reception all the MVPs from the United States got together for a group photo and we all sang the National Anthem. If you are trying to find me, I am on the left staircase right behid the brown column.