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New Release: BimlExpress 2018!

BimlExpress 2018It is finally here! The new BimlExpress 2018 is now generally available for download :D

There are many bug fixes and improvements in BimlExpress 2018, and two new main features: Support for Visual Studio 2017, and a new Convert from SSIS to Biml feature. All the great features that were added in BimlExpress 2017 are still there, of course.

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Speaking at SQLGrillen 2018

SQLGrillen 2018On Friday, June 22nd, I will be eating bratwurst, drinking beer, and talking about Biml at SQLGrillen 2018 in Lingen, Germany. I will leave it up to you to rank the importance of those three things. What I will say is that I’m thrilled and honored to be a part of it this year! I have watched the event grow from a small, local event to breaking all records this year. There will be three precons, five tracks, 35 sessions, 200 attendees, and lots and lots and lots of fun. The tagline is literally “SQLGrillen: Databases, Bratwurst & Beer” – how can that not be an amazing event :)

If you think this sounds fun and want to squeeze in a trip to Lingen, this is your lucky day! There are a few last-minute tickets left. Go grab one before it sells out!

SQLGrillen 2018 Schedule

I will be presenting my brand new session Biml Tips and Tricks: Not just for SSIS packages! That’s right, I won’t be generating a single SSIS package in my session. (If you want to learn how to do that, go to Ben Weissman’s session Let’s build SSIS packages with Biml – live!) In my session, I will show you how to use Biml for other things, like generating T-SQL, creating test data, populating static dimensions, and comparing tables and views across databases. I really should have called my session “Cathrine does crazy things with Biml”, haha!

If Biml is not really your thing, check out the rest of the schedule and speaker list. Wow.

Newcomer Track at SQLGrillen 2018

My favorite part of SQLGrillen 2018 is the Newcomer Track. Seven brand new speakers will get the chance to speak at a conference for the first time! Each newcomer was assigned a mentor to help them prepare for their session. I have been helping Robert French (@sql_bob) over the last few months, and I think I’m even more excited to watch him present than I am about my own session! Robert is presenting his great session Soft Skills for Success. I know it’s great because I got a sneak peek while he was rehearsing :D

See you there?
While we are waiting, join the conversation on Twitter by following @SQLGrillen and using the hashtag #SQLGrillen.

Please let me know if you are attending SQLGrillen 2018 so I can say hi! :)

Preparing for and Taking Microsoft Exam 70-767 (Implementing a Data Warehouse using SQL)

Microsoft Exam 70-767: Implementing a Data WarehouseAfter taking a break from exams and certifications for a few years, I recently decided to resume studying. On May 29th, I shared my Updated Microsoft Certification Goals. A week later, on June 5th, I achieved my first goal! I passed Microsoft Exam 70-767: Implementing a Data Warehouse using SQL. By passing this exam, I became a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Data Management and Analytics. Woohoo :)

In this blog post, I share how I prepared for the exam and what my experience was like on the day of the exam. While I only shared my updated goals last week, I spent weeks before that focused on studying. More importantly, I have had real experience working hands-on in projects for several years. Without this experience, I don’t think I would have been able to pass this exam – at least not on the first attempt.

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Updated Microsoft Certification Goals

Updated Microsoft Certification Goals - MCSE: Data Management and AnalyticsIt has been several years since I last studied for a Microsoft Certification. (Insert your favorite saying about how time flies and life changes here!) Back in February 2014, I started working towards the old MCSE: Business Intelligence. The first step was to earn the MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014. It took longer than I expected, including a frustrating experience trying an online proctored exam, but I finally passed the last of the three required exams in May 2015.

By then, my goals had changed. Varigence had announced the BimlHero Certified Expert program, and I decided to put the MCSE on hold for a while. Sorry, Microsoft, Biml was just more fun! :) In February 2016, after 10 months of working on the Biml certification, I became the second BimlHero in the world.

My plan was always to resume studying for MCSE: Business Intelligence. But, surprise surprise, things changed again. My new jobs required a lot of traveling, and I even put tech on hold for over a year while working in a community-facing role. I challenged myself in different ways by speaking and delivering workshops. In short, I chose to focus on developing other skills.

We are now almost halfway through 2018 and I am finally ready to continue working towards my next Microsoft Certification. Except for the tiny little detail that I was so slow that the certification I originally set as my goal no longer exists. Hahaha! :) Instead of the old MCSE: Business Intelligence, my updated goal is…

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Speaking at SQLSaturday Finland 2018

Cathrine Wilhelmsen is speaking at SQLSaturday Finland 2018On May 12th, I will be speaking at SQLSaturday Finland 2018 :D This will be a milestone weekend. It’s the first ever SQLSaturday Finland! And that means that when this event is over, all the Nordic countries will have had a SQLSaturday. So cool.

It’s always great to see SQLSaturdays in new countries. I’ve been poking my friends in Finland for years encouraging them to organize a SQLSaturday. Both because I wanted to see a SQLSaturday in each of the Nordic countries, but also very selfishly because I wanted to go there myself ;) I have never been to Finland before, so I’m very excited I finally get to visit.

As soon as the event was announced, I registered and decided to go. Later I was honored to get selected to speak as well. After this event, I will have presented at a SQLSaturday in each of the Nordic countries. All I can say is wow. I’m so grateful for each of those opportunities.

Did you know that SQLSaturday Finland was the last event I published on my last day working for PASS? No? I don’t blame you! It’s not something I expect anyone to know or remember except me. But it was a big day for me, and that’s why this event is even more special to me personally. I got to know the amazing team of organizers while helping them get started. I’ve seen the time and effort they’ve put into it, and now the event is just around the corner. Yes, I’m definitely proud of them for everything they’ve accomplished :)

SQLSaturday Finland Schedule

I will be presenting my Biml for Beginners: Script and Automate SSIS Development session. But don’t worry! If you’ve already seen my session or don’t really care about Biml, you have over 20 other amazing sessions to pick from.

See you there?
Are you planning to attend? While we’re waiting, please join the conversation on Twitter. Follow @SQLSatFinland and use the hashtag #SQLSatFinland.

I hope to see you there. Please come and say hi if you see me! :)