More SQL Conferences coming up, including SQL Bits and SQL Down Under

I know I won’t be there, as I’m a million miles away in Australia, but being from the UK myself, I always have an interest in the UK SQL community and in particular, events like SQL Bits. This is the fifth SQL Bits conference, and they keep getting larger and larger. I’ve heard it’s now the largest SQL-focussed event in Europe. It’s going to be in South Wales (that’s OLD South Wales, not New South Wales), in November. I’m sure the area is lovely, good beaches ‘n all that… but considering it’s late November in Wales, I think you’ll be … Continue reading More SQL Conferences coming up, including SQL Bits and SQL Down Under

Seriously cheap exams in Australia

If you’re an MCP in Australia and you haven’t passed any exams over the past couple of years (since July 1, 2007), then Microsoft has an offer at the moment to let you do an exam for only US$25 (until June 30, 2009). Ok, so that means the price really depends on the value of the Aussie dollar, but either way, it’s not a bad opportunity. The offer is only on for a very short time, but why not check out http://www.learnandcertify.com/mcpupgrade/ and see what you can do? I’m thinking it’s a nice opportunity to knock over one of those … Continue reading Seriously cheap exams in Australia

Things You Know Now

This blog meme is doing the rounds… I’ve been tagged at least twice now (Jason Strate and Greg Linwood), so I suppose subconsciously I’ve been thinking about this stuff for a few weeks already. Since I do a lot of training, I tend to explain these things to my students anyway. I have a lot of opportunity to stand up in front of people and tell them important stuff – so this kind of thing definitely comes up now and then. Things I wish I had known years ago (career-wise that I would teach new people in the SQL field) … Continue reading Things You Know Now

Reasons to consider certification

I saw a link to a report by TechRepublic giving reasons to value certification in 2009. The idea behind the piece is that we are in a time of economic crisis, cutbacks and the like, and asking the question about whether or not people should be looking for certification or not. Most of the points made come down to differentiating yourself from the masses. For individuals I would have to agree. If you are trying to get a job, and are looking for every possible argument to get yourself in the door, certification can’t hurt (don’t expect to beat someone … Continue reading Reasons to consider certification

Free SQL training at events in the UK and Australia

…and I’m not even referring to the User Groups which run regularly. The ones I’m referring to are SQLBits and the SQL Down Under Code Camp. SQLBits was in the UK last weekend, and was a massive success. I would’ve loved to have been able to attend, but it’s a bit far to travel (I guess about 12000 miles). They had over three hundred attend, which is fantastic! Adelaide User Group regular Martin Cairney was there, and presented the talk he gave in Adelaide earlier this year. It seems to have been received well. And this coming weekend is the … Continue reading Free SQL training at events in the UK and Australia

Only 71 people have MCITP:BI

Mitch Wheat sent me this. According to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/certified.mspx, there are only 71 people in the world (well, at the end of June) who have achieved MCITP:BI. This means passing the two exams 70-445 and 70-446. You could be one if you use SSIS, SSAS, SSRS and do a bit of Data Mining. Doing some of the courses like the ones offered by Solid Quality Learning might help too, of course.

Pearson Vue no longer offering Microsoft exams

You can only book to do Microsoft certification exams through Pearson Vue until the end of August. From then on, you have to choose Prometric. More information can be read at Vue’s website: http://vue.com/ms/testtakerfaq.pdf Personally, I find this a real shame. It’s good for us candidates to have a choice. I’ve preferred Vue over Prometric in recent years, and it was Vue who provided exams at TechEd Australia. I don’t know the reasons why Microsoft have taken this approach, but will post again once I have found out something (assuming the information I find out is public).

70-431 exam tips, and congrats to Jos Verbaken – MCTS

Jos Verbaken was a student of mine a few weeks ago. He lives in Ballarat, and is known around the Melbourne SQL Server User Group circles. He did the 5-day course 2780 – Maintaining a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Database. During the course, I encouraged the students to sit the exam 70-431, which the exam I wrote simulation questions for, and the exam which is half covered by the content in Course 2780 (the other half being from the ‘Implementing’ course 2779). I did my standard trick of telling the students to take a chance on the exam without studying … Continue reading 70-431 exam tips, and congrats to Jos Verbaken – MCTS

Topics for coffee meetings

Nick Randolph made an interesting point. But first let me say that it’s great that the Perth .Net group are doing this at all. It’s a great move to develop a stronger community, and one that I would love to see happen in Adelaide some time. My problem with organising something like this is that I’m not in the city often enough, but I will try to encourage other people in the Adelaide user-groups to set up something like this. Back to Nick’s point though… In case you’ve just read through his post and are wondering what I’m talking about, … Continue reading Topics for coffee meetings

4 questions to evaluate people’s passion

I’m going to find this topic very interesting when I’m training people more and more. Kathy Sierra gives us four questions to judge someone’s passion for their work: When was the last time you read a trade/professional journal or book related to your work? (can substitute “attended an industry conference or took a course”) Name at least two of the key people in your field. If you had to, would you spend your own money to buy tools or other materials that would improve the quality of your work? If you did not do this for work, would you still … Continue reading 4 questions to evaluate people’s passion