Microsoft Streamlined Certification Paths

mcsp Microsoft is streamlining its expert-level certifications to provide more flexibility and a wider array of starting points towards certification. There will be Four new Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certifications and One Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) certification.

You will first need to earn a qualifying Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) from one of many qualifying paths and then pass a single additional exam from a list of electives to earn the corresponding MCSE or MCSD.

The MCSA/MCSD you earn will never expire, however each year you will have the chance to re-Earn the certification by passing an additional exam from the ever growing list of electives. This replaces the existing requirement of needing to renew your certification every 3 years and will help you gain new skills on new exams instead of continuing to re-test on older skills over and over again. To find out more, download the list of exams and electives for the Microsoft Streamlined Certification Paths here.

October – IndyPass


Identifying and Fixing Parameter Sniffing
(Tuesday October 18th, 2016 – 6:00 pm)
Presenter: Brent Ozar from Brent Ozar Unlimited

You swear nothing changed – but suddenly your SQL Server has ground to a halt. Queries are slow across the board. You restart the server, rebuild indexes, or update statistics, and magically the problem goes away – but what really happened, and how do you fix it faster and more permanently?

Get Started with Query Store

2308-img123One of the newest features that everyone is talking about with Azure SQL Database or SQL Server 2016 is the Query Store which provides a mechanism of capturing query performance over time and persisting it with the database. I’m still trying to figure it out myself, but a great place to start is from Grant Fritchey who may be a little obsessed with the Query Store and Plan Forcing,

MVP: Data Platform

mvp I am deeply honored and extremely humbled to be joining the MVP community. This is not something you earn on your own and there are so many people to thank, which I will do individually when I see them. It is always nice to know that my passion for learning and teaching technology is recognized by the community at large. Thank you very, very much.

Ignite Attendee Celebration

ctj2sfywcaa2zry Now that was a great party at Centennial Park. I had a nice view from atop the Ferris Wheel looking down on 23,000 of my closest techie friends. Not going to lie, I did eat two turkey legs. I mostly sat back and listened to the live band and enjoyed the great fall evening in the host city of Atlanta. I have heard rumors that next year Microsoft Ignite will be held in Orlando. I know I will definitely be back.

The 2016 Krewe Photo

ctm1bluxyaamahi Every year, The Krewe gets together at noon on Tuesday in front of the New Horizons booth for our annual picture. And I have no idea why I am looking in a different direction than everyone else. New this year at the Ignite conference were the BeamBots, for people who could not make the trip to Atlanta. Of course, The Krewe hijacked them all for the photo to get a truly international picture. In case you are wondering, The Krewe is a loosely based group of international techies who attend a lot of conferences. You can find them on Twitter @TheKrewe or on Facebook somewhere.

First day of Ignite 2016

14463077_1266149963403257_7021987707697021234_nFirst day of Microsoft Ignite. First lesson, with 23, 000 attendees you need more than ONE working escalator. Second lesson, I really loved the hangout area. I could not decide on which session to take so I took them all. This is one large screen where you can switch back and forth between sessions or just watch CNN. Lesson Three, CNN headquarters is right across the street and they have a great food court, which after today is where I will be eating lunch.14468263_1266643663353887_5364675333849623436_o

MCT Day – Atlanta 2016

14433125_1264609860223934_5100013779758901729_n What a fun, educational, and entertaining MCT Day. I arrived at the Embassy Suites a few hours early to help set up the projectors and other tech stuff (moving tables). It was so great to see all my old friends and meeting some new friends. The session with Larry Kaye on the future of Microsoft Certifications should have been in a bigger room as it was probably the most packed session of the day. I missed the session on Flipped Classrooms as Tiago Costa and myself were delivering our session on planning events. Overall, it was an exciting day. The after party at Top Golf was top notch and an even greater time hanging out with all my MCT friends. It definitely was an awesome start to Microsoft Ignite week.

September IndyPASS


Being able to write functional SQL queries is a useful skill, of course, but functional is only the first step. An understanding of how SQL Server processes your queries is necessary to ensure that what you are writing is handled quickly and efficiently.
In this session, we will cover the basics of SQL Server storage, clustered and non-clustered indexes, the three main join algorithms, scans versus seeks, and other fundamental concepts behind the processing of Transact-SQL queries.


Microsoft Tech Community

tech This has been rumored for some time, but it now seems that Microsoft’s latest iteration of online community is live. Launched on September 2nd, but in beta testing for months, the Microsoft Tech Community asserts to bring multiple communities together in a central location. Sound familiar? That’s essentially what Microsoft did by ending 5 different conferences and merging them into Microsoft Ignite.

LOD Ignite Badges

14358719_1782951765260045_6779394591045956477_n Learn on Demand Systems is rolling out with a fun new achievement system. The team will be at  Microsoft Ignite  in Atlanta, GA from September 26-30, 2016, where they will be showcasing this great new program. Just some of the badges you can earn include Head in the Cloud, Day Tripper, Houston We Have a Problem, and The Exterminator. For example to earn the Head in the Cloud badge, you have to take 5 different Azure labs. Do you think you have what it takes to earn all the #IgniteAchievements? For a full list of achievements and their requirements, check out