Personal goal for 2006,MCTS

2011-01-29 03:16:46

Well, i”m on the horse again eventhough i fell off last time i got the notion of getting certified.

this time around i”m actually putting 2-3hrs of studying, hands-on-labs and blog searching, per night till i feel confident that the theory is down pat and i can sit an exam.

So what am i aiming for? being an infernal pessimist i decided to aim small this time..MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications should be within my reach for sure.

the certification requires two core exams to be passed:

1: Exam 70–536: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 – Application Development Foundation
2: Exam 70–528: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 – Web-Based Client Development

Now, i”m pretty sure i could take those two and pass them in maybe 2nd try (never sat a MS exam so don”t know what to expect), but i”d rather go the long way and actually set the goal within the next quarter, study + take some courses (hell, who knows what else i”ll learn?).

The next one to follow, is by all accounts, the easiest one to pass (no heckling if you”ve passed it!!) so i”ll get that under the hat as well – all before September ”06 (check back to see how things are going – give me a kick up the arse if i slack off).

for this certification only one exam is to be passed:

1: Exam 70–431: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 – Implementation and Maintenance

So lets see how things turn out – i certainly have the opportunity to get it done now..

www.fasthit.net – best damn host i''ve ever used

well, after my rather rediculous issues with my latest web host (US based, basement camping, flexi-renting service provider) i decided to shop around for a Perth based (or at least Australian based) web host.

well, lo and behold, i had a fantastic web host just around the corner – ok, technically not around the corner, but in Perth anyways.

www.fasthit.net <- best webhost i”ve ever used.

These guys are soooo fast with their support (not to mention incredible flexible) that they had my account up and running in absolutely no time at all.

first off, here”s what i get (if you”re a true geek this will impress)..

1,,) Service running completely in a VPS
2) SQL Server 2005 (my god, i love them already)
3) 1.5GB space
4) Remote Desktop Access
5) H-Sphere Control Panel
6) 15GB bandwidth
7) Dedicated IP

those toys are more than what i”d expect from a local shop (you got to have been browsing the Aussie hosting providers to see the value here). The biggest part of the toys i get is of course the VPS and the Remote Desktop Access – ah, shouldn”t forget SQL Server 2005..this alone is enough for me to drool. Being a developer, it”s nice to have control over my environment.

Should just mention that it”s just the icing on the cake..there”s heaps more but i haven”t played enough with my new toys to explore anything else.

so www.csharpzealot.com has found a home – Fasthit.net it is!

Btw, the site should be up and running as soon as my friend Andrew Erkins (extremely talented graphics artist/web designer) has finished the concepts enough for his liking…

T-SGL Discussion Group

2011-01-29 03:15:09

Not many professions can mangle up a supporting technology worse than developers. A very common comment from a developer, when confronted with sadly logic-lacking SQL queries is to repeat it and it constantly amases me how often that happens.

Some of the most hard-core DBAs out there, carry knuckle-busters and baseball bats around, for just such an occasion. Needless to say, they mostly want to beat the hell out of us code-monkeys.

Well, i decided to get a SQL Interest Group up and running. The main objective is to further the use of T-SQL (either via command objects, adapters, stored procedures, clr integration etc) on SQL Server in a more “correct” manner. I say “correct” because there”s ways to do things and then there are ways to do things.

Extract:
“how to write correct queries to a database” – in terms of structuring and choosing your flavour in regards to T-SQL, Stored Procedures and/or CLR integration etc there is only really a trial n” error process involved when writing your queries – most developers go for the “but it returns the data i want!!!??? what”s wrong with that?” approach

So the suggestion is to get a discussion group going on how to do this properly. How do you correctly relate data? is it better to use a stored procedure than a t-sql command through and object? where does santa really live? how should you structure a stored procedure? We could also summarise some advanced topics like transactions and working with system objects and/or some of the houndreds of undocumented stored procedures and functions SQL Server has.

If anybody”s interested just send me an email to brian.madsen@gmail.com with the subject “SQLIG”, your email address and name and i”ll send out an invite. I”m using yahoo groups for the time being.

Now I''m a happy camper!! ComponentArt.com rocks!

Ok – since the MVP nomination i”ve gotten tons of info sent to me and have just barely managed to get through it all.

to top it off, i finally got the MVP newsgroups up and running and just spent a couple of hours reading through some of the threads i decided to subscribe to – and what do i see here..ComponentArt was offering a free Web.UI license for all MVP Visual Developer – ASP/ASP.Net awardees (the MVPs can find the details themselves or email me). so, could be a phising expedition but i thought it was worth a try.

Had heard about ComponentArt before but never used any of their products – so decided to check it out – and voila..less than 15 minutes and the license was in my inbox. i”m downloading now and i”m going to play with it tonight!!!

damn – i love cool toys!

Anyways, here”s a big Thank You to ComponentArt for extending this generosity!

Visual Studio 2005, initial look – part 1

Well, for the first technical post on this blog i”ll start simple.

Most developers who has the interest of upgrading to Visual Studio 2005 will be slightly surprised the first time they open it up.

First difference is how the “Start Page” looks like. Per default it has a much smoother look than the old “Start Page” from Visual Studio 2003 – it also gives you a lot more information straight away compared to the old one.


Visual Studio 2005 – Start Page

This page is split up into four (4) sections:

  1. Recent Projects
  2. Getting Started
  3. Visual Studio Headlines
  4. MSDN

Recent Projects includes a list of the last projects you”ve worked on – no different from VS2003 really, except maybe four (4) initial links a the bottom of that section. There you”ll find options for opening a project (which obviously you don”t have listed in the list above), opening a web site, creating a new project and creating a new web site. Now why is there such a distinction between a project and a web site in VS2005? The way “Web site” projects are handled in VS2005 is quite a lot different than it was in the olden days, where you could litterally add a web project to any solution you had running – in VS2005 there”s quite a different approach to this which i”ll be delving into a bit deeper later on (meaning, next post in this series).

Getting Started contains links to relevant information for your setup (you would have been asked for your development environment preferences when you first started up VS2005, so in my case it would show relevant information about Visual C# primarily). I can rest easy if i recomment a brief look at those links before you get into things (yes i know, RTFM isn”t as popular as it used to be).

Visual Studio Headlines doesn”t seem to change much – i”ve had mine say the same for the last 3-4 months. basically just “Join the Microsoft.com Research Panel” which is an external link to the Research Panel (note, none of the links you click will actually open your browser, but will open a new tab and display it in there – quite handy for those with only one monitor). Now i can recommend clicking it – last time i ended up http://msdn.microsoft.com/events/hero/ << here, which was quite amusing in a geekish/nerdish sorta way.

MSDN contains articles and links to quite a lot of good stuff – hell,that”s where i found .NET Rocks first time around. It”s updated automatically from the interweb so don”t just skip it each time you start up VS2005. I find quite a lot of interesting news there and it also keeps me informed (and up-to-date) on some of the newer developments in the community. Again,like Getting Started, this section is context sensitive (at least it appears to be since it keeps having info there that”s relevant to me in terms of my settings).

Now, without getting caught up with the eye-candy of VS2005, i”ll go into a few other features which impressed me. We all know how “Help” isn”t really the best tool MS has invented for both their OS and sometimes also other applications. But with VS2005 it”s really gone beyond the next generation. You can find one of the best newbie features approximately here:


Where do i find “How Do I”?

Clicking on this button (or CTRL+F,H) will at first bring up this question/settings box:


Where Do I “want to find” help?

Basically it just want to know where to look first – which is very handy since not everybody is blessed with broadband and it would be anormously annoying for somebody who”s installed MSDN and sees VS2005 run off online each time you”re looking for help.

Anyways, once we”re over that we”ll get another window opening (again, context sensitive to your settings) and it”ll give you a nice bit list, including basic information such as “what is the interweb” and “how to use C#”..ok, maybe not the first one, but at least the second one. This window is actually just a browser, allowing you to cycle through information in a indexed manner – but it does allow you to browse in a tabbed format, which is quite handy.


So How Do I Really Start?”

Anyways – that should do us for a start. Visual Studio 2005 has a lot of new functionalities which I believe both beginners as well as the old dogs can get some serious use out of.

4th of April 2006 – MVP Announced

The 4th of April 2006 was a good day..better than most days actually..my MVP was confirmed – letting me know, that the work i”ve done for the development community in Perth already, had not gone unnoticed.

First thing i noticed was the massive amount of emails i was receiving…could not believe the immense stack of data was being sent to me (oh, and it wasn”t even spam????) – mostly it was information about the award – what i had to do – what i had done – where i had to go do it..etc..also a lot of very helpful information from my MVP lead, Roseanne..so armed with information overload (thankful here that gmail holds 2.5GB of data) i set out to explore this community i”d just been accepted into.

First glance told me that the other MVPs from around Aussie where a tough bunch..extremely knowledgable and helpful with their own part of the interweb..

second glance told me..damn..these guys are good..i mean REAL good..quick glances at MVPs like Nick Randolph, Greg Linwood etc let me know i needed to pick up some speed here if i wanted to keep up with their technical levels.

Anyways – the blog is rolling..the ball is in my court..I”ll continue to run the MS SQL Server user group for the state and enjoy it..will also offer to present at the Perth .Net COP (http://www.perthdotnet.org) – run by Nick Randolph – and kick up my favorite pasttime – convert PHP scripters to the .Net framework at Port80 (www.port80.asn.au).

So, lastly (or almost), thanks for all the support from MS to get my user group going..thanks to Greg Linwood for the fantastic work he”s done for the SQL Server community in Australia…and all respect to the rest of the guys at www.sqlserver.org.au

without sounding like a geek – ok, i am a geek but it”s always safer not to sound like one – the 4th of April was definitely a good day for me.