SSIS is the devil!

So, I have been studying for my 70-463 exam for almost 8 months now.  I’ve taken the damn test twice, and failed both times.  The score remained about the same.  I’ve tried several supplemental materials to read through along with the Microsoft Training Guide.  What is crazy is, I thought this test was going to be the easier of the 3 when pursuing my MCSA!!  I thought the querying was going to be the death of me, as I still have a hard time writing out queries and actually reading code.

So, this time I am taking a slower approach.  I received a half off voucher when I attended Summit, so I am using that.  Also, Microsoft has their second shot deal going on right now, so I am hopeful to pass within that time frame!!  The biggest issue I have is, I have no business application to use this on!  We do not use SSIS in any shape, or form at my business.  Our ETL processes for our Analytics platform is all done through stored procedures.  So, me getting this certification is just a way of saying “Hey, I can do something you other guys cannot!”.

After I pass this test(and trust me, I will!), I am going to take a month or so off, then pursue my MCSE for the Data Platform of SQL 2012.  I want to be an MVP someday.  I met so many at Summit, and every time that I did…I said to myself…I could do that..I can be an MVP!   So, here I am on my Sunday evening, blogging away after studying a bit.  My Wife is downstairs watching her TV show.  I will probably get about another hour or so in tonight, and then I read it while riding the trolley to and from work.

I made several big advancements in my project at work this week.  SQL Sentry was installed, and I have my alerts configured.  I also got my baselines done.  I am about 75% done with my review of the system(Backup plans, archive times, system resource utilization) and I get to present my findings next week!!  I am hoping my boss likes what he sees and begins having me push this out to the rest of our clients!  It is always enjoyable for me to set these things up and watch how each environment differs from the other.  Even though they are on the same application version of our software, the same build of SQL, the same amount of CPU’s. same amount of RAM, same vendor for both.  Identical servers all the way to the faceplate!  It’s one of the things that makes my job enjoyable…not one day is ever the same!! It is always a new set of challenges each day, and that is what I hope makes me an MVP someday!

Until next week yinz guys!

Jim

Summit 2015

I was finally able to attend Summit this year.  The experience I had there will forever be in my mind as…AWESOME!  I had such a great time going to the sessions that I attended.  There were so many that I attended and I cannot even begin to list them all.  A few that stuck out the best were Jes Borland’s “Minimize Data Loss with Advanced Restore Methods”.  Lots of things to take away from that session that I can apply.  It had been a while since I had to restore any clients databases, but it was always good to see other ways to perform the task.

Here is a shot with me and Jes!  She is such an awesome person.  She was always willing to answer questions, grab some coffee, or in short, be awesome!

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I got to attend the Speaker Idol in support of my local PASS user group’s session.  Bill Wolf aka @SQLWarewolf was doing his presentation on SARG-ability.  Bill was the first speaker I had ever seen for a SQL presentation.  He made his presentation so much fun to watch, that I try to catch him speak anytime he does around the local area!  He always ends up teaching me something new, even if the session is something that I have watched before.  In support of his entry into Speaker Idol, several of us wore “Wolf Pack” T-shirts that somebody made specifically for this event.  I thought he did very well with his presentation, as well as all of the other presenters.  Here is a photo of all of us after his presentation:

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I got to sit in the Community Zone alot and speak to potential future speakers for my Virtual Chapter, In Memory(http://imvc.sqlpass.org/).  I got to meet ALOT of Microsoft MVP’s as well during my time there.  I was so blown away by how friendly these guys are.  The folks that I see speak at these events are much like Rock Stars to me, and to be able to approach them and speak with them and not have to pay an extra fee, was something that really made me understand what PASS is truly about, #SQLFamily.

So when I left to go to Summit, my suitcase weighed 49 pounds.  When I weighed my bag at the Delta check-in on my way home, it weighed 78 pounds!!  That is 29 pounds of swag I got to bring home!  I got a ton of books from the RedGate folks, lots of gift cards from the HP folks, and TONS of tshirts!!

I cannot wait to go to Summit 2016…I am already speaking to my boss about the approval to go.  I told him all of the stuff that I was learning, and that I couldn’t wait to apply it to my current workload.  The cost of Summit was easily reimbursed with the amount of knowledge I have gained and will apply to my clients.