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.

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.

Currently Reading #7

 I first read this book when it was realeased in 2012 on the 20th anniversary of the greatest sports team ever assembled. It was exciting to revist the players from the golden era of basketball when they were at their peak or near peak. This is the team that won games by an average of 44 points on the way to the 1992 Olympic Gold medal. It was the perfect time and place for this team to be created and would not or could not happen today.

Passed Project Management

Two months and several long papers later, I finally finished that IT Project Management course. One more class to finish the first term of my MBA. (Exam scheduled for next Saturday.) One thing I have learned is I do not want to be a Project Manager when I grow up. If anyone reading this is taking the IT Project Management (MGT2) course, here are my papers for all three tasks to give you an idea of what needs to be accomplished.

MCSE: Productivity 2017

Passed the Exchange 2016 exam today with a very high score.What is humorous is that I thought it was tomorrow and had not really studied that much. I would say I took it cold, but I did just teach the Exchange 2013 class two weeks ago. One thing I was surprised about was that I thought I would only earn the Specialist certification for passing the 70-345 exam. However, since I already have the qualifying MCSA certifications, this exam re-earned my MCSE: Productivity for 2017. Not sure what I am going to do for next year. I might have to learn Sharepoint.

Currently Reading #5

This is the story behind the case that gave power to the Supreme Court and making it an equal part of the government beside both the Legislative and Executive branches. Marbury v. Madison set the precedent of “judicial review”, but also established the United States as a nation of laws. I completely enjoyed reading this book when it was published in 2009. I felt it was time to re-visit this book of history that could find a home in the political thriller section of your local library.

Currently Reading #4

Read the words of our first President as he leaves office with a warning that rings true today. George Washington’s Farewell Address was a prophetic letter from a “parting friend” to his fellow citizens about the forces he feared could destroy our democracy: hyper-partisanship, excessive debt, and foreign wars. Most were stunned as the President announced he would not be seeking re-election for a third term, but even more so when Washington actually did step down to demonstrate to the world a peaceful transition of power.

Currently Reading #3

 I am a fan of David McCullough having read some of his other works, so I am used to the hefty lifting of reading one of his 992 page books. I’ve always had an interest in the political career of Harry Truman as few presidents have made as many pivotal decisions or faced the number of history-changing events. I was less interested in the first part of the book about not only his early life, but of his ancestors as well. But once he reaches the public stage, this book tells the tale of a truly historic life. The final months of World War II, the decision to drop two atomic weapons, the Potsdam conference, the Marshall Plan, the creation of Israel, the Berlin Airlift, and the Korean War. I am sure I left something out of all these issues that Truman faced during his presidency. If you can dig through the weeds of the first half of the book, the second half is worth the work.

Indianapolis #629

Ladies and Gentlemen! SQL Saturday of Indianapolis is now live. I am so excited to once again be able to organize the biggest and best SQL Saturday in the Midwest. We will have 45 of the top SQL professionals and speakers from around the country joining us to share their time and experience with you. And remember we are moving our venue 15-20 miles north this year to be able to accommodate a growing number of attendees. So don’t worry about getting waitlisted this year and be the first kid on your block to register for our August 12th, 2017 event. Also, if you would like to be a sponsor for our great event, please visit the sponsor sign up page on our website.

MCT – Year 17

Starting my 17th year as an MCT and my how things have changed. My first class as an official MCT was the MCSE track for Windows Server NT4. I had six students that would meet every weekend for six months. I believe five of the six did earn their MCSE. Thousands and thousands of students latter, I rarely have a student in the classroom as I teach the majority of my courses online with students from around the world. Recently, I had a SQL Server course with students from California to India. That is a difference of 13 time zones. I will admit there are a few topics that I get tired of teaching. But whenever a student gets interested and starts asking questions, I get re-energized and remember why I love this profession so much. I really do have a passion for learning.

Currently Reading #1

This year I thought I would start blogging about the non-technical books that I am reading in my spare time. You will probably see a lot of books on history, baseball, and science fiction. The first book is one that has been on my bookshelf for a very long time that I finally got around to reading. An excellent alternate history on when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Japan… or should I say did not drop it. A thunderstorm damages one of only two atomic weapons in the American arsenal. It will take time to rebuild it and there are those who are second guessing whether it would be good for humanity to unleash such a violent weapon. Instead, Truman decided to launch an invasion of Japan instead. Using actual historical documents, Alfred Coppel pieces together the American offensive as well as how Japan would have defended itself if this had been the actual history of the end of the second World War.