As a Friend of Redgate I get to use and review their tools and provide feedback directly to the development and product teams. I might also get the opportunity to speak about and/or publish articles about their tools and how we use them to solve our problems at work.
I’ve been using the Redgate tools for years, and I love how they interact with and give back to the community. Not only do they host free SQL in the City events, they also support a lot of user groups and SQLSaturdays and publish books you can download for free. They listen to your suggestions and always have a smile on their face :) I’m very excited to see how I can help this year.
My hope and goal is to provide some good feedback on how we use their tools in a data warehouse environment, and get some help in return to learn how we can be even more efficient. There are many areas in my department we can improve, and I hope we can use the Redgate tools to streamline our deployment process and automate testing – things we struggle with in a complex environment where so many things depend on each other. I also hope I can help others by sharing our experiences by speaking or publishing blog posts or articles. This will be an exciting year!
Preparing for the exam
My plan was to work my way through each chapter in the Training Kit book. I read each chapter and answered the quick check questions, lesson review questions, and case scenarios out loud to myself. I did all the exercises, but none of the suggested practices. Instead, I tried to use what I had learned at work. For example, I rewrote some of our queries to use the new window functions, and it was easier to understand how FOR XML worked when I queried data I was already familiar with.
Disclaimer: I will not try to take a Microsoft Online Exam again – until they fix or change their exam software.
I heard about Microsoft Online Exams in 2015 and found out they were available in Norway. I immediately wanted to try it! Taking an exam online would allow me to schedule it during the weekend so I didn’t have to take time off work. It also meant I saved 2-3 hours of travel time on a day.
Reviews of the exam process were both good and bad. Some had technical difficulties and had to reschedule, some had technical difficulties and failed their exam, while others had no problems at all and were very happy. I decided to give it a go.
If the regular sessions aren’t enough learning for you, register for one of the pre-cons on the April 24th training day:
SQL Server: An Introduction – William Durkin (@sql_williamd)
Understanding SSIS internals and performance tuning – David Peter Hansen (@DPHansen)
R: from analysis to integration – Steph Locke (@SteffLocke)
Optimising Reporting Services for MDX Data Sources – Bob Duffy (@bob_duffy)
Performance Troubleshooting for the (Accidental) DBA – Mark Pryce-Maher (@MarkPM_MSFT) / Richard Douglas (@SQLRich)
And huge congratulations to Andy, Ginger, Oz and Luan for being nominated, you all deserved it! :)
Winning the 2014 Tribal Award for Best New Community Voice means more to me than I can explain. 2014 was a difficult year for me personally, but it was also an amazing year where I discovered how much I love being involved in the SQL community. We organized the first SQLSaturday in Oslo, restarted SQL Server User Group Norway, I started volunteering and speaking at events, and I received the PASS Outstanding Volunteer Award.
2014 ended on a high when I found out I was nominated for a Tribal Award, and actually winning… Well, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start 2015! :) I’m so happy, so honored, so proud, and so thankful. I went “SQUEEEEE!” and then I cried a bit. Now I have a huge smile on my face and I’m even more motivated than ever to do what I can for the SQL community in 2015. Let’s do this! 2015 is going to be a fantastic year :)