Data Amp Webinar

 This coming Wednesday, April 19 at 8AM Pacific Time (click for your local time), Microsoft will be hosting a major on-line event of interest to anyone working with big data, analytics, and artificial intelligence: Microsoft Data Amp.

During Data Amp, Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie and Corporate Vice President Joseph Sirosh will share how Microsoft’s latest innovations put data, analytics and artificial intelligence at the heart of business transformation. The event will include exciting announcements that will help you derive even more value from the cloud, enable transformative application development, and ensure you can capitalize on intelligence from any data, any size, anywhere, across Linux and other open source technologies.

WGU Excellence Award

 I didn’t even know there was such a thing. But apparently, my paper for my marekting class won the WGU Excellence Award for April. The email I received stated: Congratulations!  Your recent submission for Marketing has been selected by the WGU Evaluation faculty for recognition due to the exceptional nature of the work you submitted. The evaluator shared the following about your Task 1 submission: The document exemplifies effective marketing and business research through the introduction of two new services in the global environment. An informative report rich with ideas that demonstrate the need and process of going global delivers an interesting and engaging read.

MCSA Certifications – April

 Just when I thought I had all the certifications figured out, Microsoft announced yesterday the addition of the MCSE: Business Applications (focusing on Dynamics 365) which includes two new supporting MCSA paths – MCSA: Dynamics 365 and MCSA: Dynamics 365 for Operations. Additionally, they’ve added the new MCSA: Data Science, which puts you on a path to earn an MCSE: Data Management & Analytics certification. Check out this new pdf that clearly outlines the requirements for each certification and the electives that can be taken to renew each MCSE annually. Bonus information on the pdf download is some other unannounced MCSA certifications including Cloud Database Development, Big Data Engineering, and BI reporting.

Columbus SQL User Group

On my way to the Columbus, Ohio SQL Server User Group to talk about “How to get Microsoft Certified”. Microsoft has recently streamlined the certification process and this session focuses on what you need to know to get Microsoft Certified on SQL Server. The presentation walks you through the certifications, exams, and resources available to get you ready for success. You can download the presentation here.

Passed 70-764

 Finally received my scores from the 70-764 Beta Exam I took back in January. Passing score of 874 which is not too shabby. I guess I could also add that I took the exam while on my lunch break during the week I was teaching the class for the 4th or 5th time. But I won’t do that, because then I would just be bragging.

Get Certified on SQL Server

T-SQL Tuesday #89 – The times they are a-changing

Thank you to Koen Verbeeck for hosting this month’s T-SQL Tuesday. The topic for this month is the role of the DBA in a cloud based world. Will there be less jobs in the future for the traditional DBA? As with most questions in the data world… It depends. We currently live in the age of disruption where you must adapt to change or fade away. That has always been true in the technology world. I am sure there are still Cobal and Fortran developers out there, but would I base my career on those languages? That is why it is always important to future proof your career. One way to build the skills needed to compete in this cloud first, mobile first world is to get Microsoft Certified on SQL Server. Microsoft has recently streamlined their certifications and have geared many of them towards Azure based technologies. The 70-765 and 70-473 exams are specifically geared towards working with SQL in Azure. I have spoken at several user groups and SQL Saturdays on how to get SQL Server certified, but if you would like to see an overview click here.  Feel free to contact me with any questions and I will be happy to guide you on the path that is right for you.

Future Proof Your Skills

 Click here for my interview with Microsoft Learning on planning for the future and steps people can take to prepare for an unpredictable industry. We are now in the Age of Disruption. every industry needs to be ready to adapt to change quicker and quicker. Those who can not adapt will not survive. For those in the IT industry, that change is happening at an even quicker pace. You can no longer be an expert on the same product for 10-15 years. If you are not learning and moving forward, you are losing ground.

MCSA: Windows 2016

 Passed two exams this week during the MCT Summit. I started with the 70-740: Installation, Storage, & Compute with Windows Server 2016. This was the one I studied for on the train, because I thought I was a little rusty on Virtual Machines and Clustering. But it was the simple stuff like REFS and Data Duplication that was tripping me up during the exam. Today, I took the third and final exam needed for the MCSA: Windows Server 2016 certification. Which of course is the 70-741: Networking with Windows Server 2016 exam. Again, I breezed through the difficult parts of the exam only to be hung up on a silly subnetting question. It was like I forgot how to do math. But a few extra minutes double checking my work and I knew I had it right. So that is 9 exams and 9 certifications in the last 6 months. I think I’m going to take the rest of the year off from Microsoft exams.

Northwest Train Trip

 Well I did it. 58 hours on a train from Indianapolis to Seattle. So I can scratch that off the bucket list. It is amazing to think this is how we traveled before airplanes only 60-70- years ago. I was able to go through Wisconsin, North Dakota, Montana, and Idaho which were states I had never visited. So I only have 8 states left on my list. I did promise some of my students pictures, so here they are the photos that came out pretty decent. It is a little difficult to take pictures on a speeding train.

Security Update Guide

From the Windows Server Update Services, Microsoft Security Bulletins, and Patch Tuesdays, Microsoft has had a long history in being a leader with security updates. In an effort to modernize the process of informing organizations with needed information, Microsoft is introducing the new Security Update Guide, which is a searchable database that you can use to find updates and filter them based on what you’re interested in. Once you find what you’re interested in, you can then download the list of updates and associated data as an Excel spreadsheet.