In April 2015 I set a goal to become a Certified Expert in Biml. On February 1st 2016, I became the second BimlHero in the world – the first female and the first in Europe :)
It has been a long journey, and I have loved every part of it! Varigence announced the certification program in March 2015, and in April I decided to go for it. I was accepted into the program, and in June I attended 8 hours of advanced training. I spent the next six months working on my Biml solution. I was unable to work full-time on it due to other tasks and responsibilities at work, so I spent quite a lot of time on it at home as well. In November I completed the BimlHero Certified Expert Test, and in December I submitted my Biml solution and my case study of how I implemented the solution at work. In January Varigence reviewed my test, solution and case study, and in February I had the final code review with Scott Currie. It was very nerve-wracking having the creator of Biml go through my code! :) But I received lots of useful feedback and finally a congratulations on passing and becoming a BimlHero.
This is an achievement I’m truly proud of. I worked hard for many months and spent a lot of evenings and weekends learning and experimenting…
… well, ok, I wasn’t always 100% focused on my Biml solution when I worked during weekends :) …
…and now I’m really looking forward to continue sharing my knowledge and helping more Biml users. I’m very thankful and honored I got to speak at so many events in 2015, and I’m already looking forward to some great events in 2016 – including my first full-day Biml workshop with Scott Currie! I will also continue to blog about Biml, and let me tell you… Varigence has some super exciting stuff going on that I can’t wait to dig into and share with you guys :)
Preparing for the exam
Studying for the 70-461 (Querying) and 70-463 (Data Warehouse) exams was mainly about learning new 2012/2014 features and learning features I had not used as much in real projects. Studying for the 70-462 (Administering) exam was a completely different experience because I had to learn most of it from scratch.
Preparing for the exam
I work in a Business Intelligence department and mainly focus on Data Warehouse and SSIS development. Most of my preparation has been working on real projects for over five years and it is by far the best learning experience. I focused mainly on learning the new features in 2012/2014 and features I haven’t used as much in projects: SSISDB, Project Deployment, Environments, Parameters, Data Quality Services (DQS), Master Data Services (MDS), Data Mining, Change Data Capture (CDC), Transactions, Checkpoints and Fuzzy transformations.
Continuing my “2015 is such an exciting year for everyone using Biml” trend, Varigence recently announced the BimlHero Certified Expert Program. This is an extensive certification program that will ensure that you have the skills and knowledge to implement advanced, automated Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse solutions using Biml, BimlScript and Mist.
…and it sure won’t be easy!
To become a BimlHero, you will need to have at least one year experience using SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) and Biml. If and when Varigence accepts you into the program, you must first attend an 8-hour advanced training class. Within six months of attending the training class you must pass a BimlHero Certified Expert Test, and finally submit a complete production-quality Biml solution as well as a case study of a real-world Biml project you implemented. Varigence will review and provide feedback on the code sample and case study, and if they approve it… Congratulations, you will become a BimlHero Certified Expert! Simple as that :)
The first BimlHero training class will be held on April 29th in Copenhagen, Denmark during the Biml Scandinavian Tour 2015. Training classes will mainly take place in the US (Greenville, South Carolina) and Australia (Sydney), and online training options will be available in the future for those who are unable to travel.
Having the first training class in my region is a unique opportunity that I couldn’t miss! I will attend the training class in Copenhagen and then spend the next six months working on improving my Biml and BimlScript skills by teaching my coworkers and working with them on our Biml projects. (And I’m sure that by summer my coworkers will be teaching me lots of new tricks!)
It is truly exciting, and very terrifying, to be part of the first group of people who will attempt the BimlHero certification. It sure won’t be easy and there is always that risk of failing, but I will do my best, work hard, and have lots of fun with this awesome technology.
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.