Thanks to all who attended my sessions at recent SQL Saturdays! In July, I presented two sessions at the SQL Saturday in Iowa City; this past weekend, I presented at SQL Saturday in Kansas City. My slides for both are now on my presentations page.
On October 12, I’ll be doing my last SQL Saturday for the year, this time in Minneapolis. I’ll be speaking about how you can use service broker to enhance your applications. The abstract is on my presentations page, and you can register here. I hope to see you there!
I was quite surprised, to say the least, to hear today of Microsoft’s sudden retirement of its advanced certifications. (For those who haven’t heard, Microsoft sent an email late Friday announcing its decision to retire the MCM, MCSM, and MCA certifications on October 1, just one month from today.)
For many of us, this is a huge disappointment. In the world of their certifications, the MCSA is like an associate’s degree from college; the MCSE is like a bachelor’s degree. The tests for both are challenging, but still readily available, and thousands of people get these certifications every year.
An MCM, on the other hand, was more like a graduate degree from a university. It was expensive. It required experience, and a lot of study, both of which took a lot of time. It was definitely not for everyone. And that was precisely its allure for the small percentage of us who aspire to be the best at our craft.
I’m sure the advanced certification programs were not cheap to operate. But not everything can be distilled to a number on a balance sheet. The intangible benefits for this program were huge. For those who desired to attain it, it was a way to prove ourselves. For Microsoft, this was (or should have been) another way for them to find their most dedicated supporters and the next generation of those ready to solve the hardest problems.
I, for one, am sorry to see this program go. I’m not ready for it yet – my goal is to obtain my MCSA and MCSE by year’s end – but I had planned to try for a MCSM in a year or two. Hopefully, there will be something else to take its place by then.
If any of you are in the Midwestern US, you can come see me speak both of the next two weekends. Both are new sessions, and they should be great!
On April 6, I’ll be presenting “Get Involved!” at SQL Saturday #206 in Madison, WI:
SQL Saturday is a great place to learn more about SQL Server. But did you know that it’s just the tip of the iceberg? There are a number of places you can learn about SQL Server and just as many ways to share what you’ve learned with others. Most don’t even require a lot of time or money. The SQL Server community is vibrant and growing, and it needs your voice. Come to this session to find out how you can get involved!
And then on April 13, I’ll be presenting “Service Broker: The Queue Continuum” at SQL Saturday #211 in Chicago:
Pop quiz: How can SQL Server help developers build scalable, distributed, and asynchronous applications? Service Broker is the answer! In this presentation, I’ll show you what it is; talk about when and why you might want to use it in your applications; walk through an example of how to set it up; and share a few lessons learned from our successful implementations.
There are a ton of other great sessions from great speakers scheduled for both events, too. Come get some free SQL Server training!
Two years ago, I was first inspired to start blogging by a session at the annual PASS Summit. It took me about eight months to finally get things together to start writing… and then I stopped. Finding time for this has been difficult, between the demands of work, family, and leading a PASS chapter. I started presenting earlier this year, and that filled up a fair part of the little time I had left.
I’ve spent the past week at the Summit again. Once again, I’m inspired to start writing. Being around over 3800 people in my field reminds me of all the conversations that there are to be had. There are never too many voices in the community, and it’s time for me to find mine.
One of my goals for the year was to present at least twice. I’m happy to say that I’m making progress on that goal – my first presentation was selected for SQL Saturday #118 in Madison, WI!
I’ll be presenting “Practically Normal”, a practical introduction to normalization. Normalization is a key concept in a relational database. It’s not difficult in practice, but too often, it’s explained in very technical terms, which makes it sound extremely difficult. My goal is to explain the first few normal forms in layman’s terms and using plenty of examples so that those in attendance can walk away with an idea of how they can apply it in their environments.
I hope you can join me on April 21! It promises to be a great day!