Goals for 2018

First Goal

One of my goals for 2018 is to get my MCSE for SQL Server 2016. Prior to March 31, 2017, the exact certification name was called MCSE: Data Platform. Microsoft has since changed things up and now call it, MCSE: Data Management and Analytics.

The process of attaining the MCSE certificate is straight-forward:

First: You must get your MCSA in SQL Server 2012/2014, or SQL 2016 Database Administration, Database Development, BI Development, Machine Learning, BI Reporting or Data Engineering with Azure. (I plan on getting it in SQL 2016 Database Administration).

In my case, I will have to pass the following two exams:

70-764 – Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure (Book I will use)
70-765 – Provisioning SQL Databases (Book I will use)

Second: Once I get my MCSA by passing the two above mentioned exams, I have to pass one more exam to get my MCSE. There are multiple exams and paths you can take, but I will take the below exam:

70-473 – Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions (Azure)

Second Goal

Another goal of mine for 2018 is to do more presentations. I submitted a session for SQLGrillen in Lingden, Germany called:

3 Lessons Learned in Successful Consulting

The talk is about 3 lessons I learned that helped me become a much better consultant. These lessons helped me go from thinking like a regular “9 to 5 DBA” to diving into the world of consulting.

All speakers will be picked after the submission window closes on 1/31/18. The SQLGrillen event is 6/22/18 – 6/23/18.

Very exciting!

NEW Features in SQL Server 2016 – User Group Notes

I attended my second Northern Virginia (NOVA) SQL User Group session last night. The session was called, “SQL 2016 – Cool New Features” by Microsoft SQL PFE Harsh Deep (blog)

SQL Server 2016 New Features
SQL Server 2016 New Features

Like the first session I attended, this session was held at the Microsoft office in Reston, VA and lasted roughly three hours from 6:30 pm to 9 pm. Food and beverages were provided and two Amazon Fire TVs were raffled off at the end of the session. No, I didn’t win. :)

NEW Features in SQL Server 2016

There are so many new features in SQL Server 2016 that I cannot list them all. I will mention a few that sparked my interest. You can get a complete list of new features, enhancements by visiting the official Microsoft SQL Server 2016 page here.

AlwaysOn – Included in Enterprise as well as Standard Edition. Replaces Mirroring. Failover at database level, not Instance level. Load balancing for readable secondaries.

Always Encrypted – Protects data in motion and rest. The encryption key resides within the application. The only modification you have to make it a one liner in the application connection string.

Polybase – This is used to grab data on a “Big Data” platform like Hadoop. The cool thing is…you can use TSQL!

Stretch Database – Data that is “cold” can be stored on the cloud while data that is “hot” will remain active on-premise. My friend Tim Radney (twitter | blog) wrote a great blog on Stretch Database here. Feel free to check it out.

SQL Server 2016 New Features Harsh Deep
Microsoft SQL PFE Harsh Deep

You can download a pdf of the presentation here. You can also find MORE links to articles and videos here.

Next Up…

The next Northern Virginia (NOVA) SQL User Group session, and the first for 2016, will be held on January 25th. The topic is “Demystifying Master Data Services” taught by Benjamin Franklin. Feel free to sign up here.


Before that…I will be attending my very first SQL Saturday in DC on December 4th and I am pretty excited!

Brent Ozar (blog | twitter), Steve Jones (SQLServerCentral.com), Senior Microsoft SQL PFE Ayman El-Ghazali (blog | twitter) will be among the many awesome speakers that day!

You can sign up here and check out the session schedule here. #SQLSaturdayDC

My First SQL Server User Group Session

I attended my very first SQL Server User Group meeting last night and it was awesome! I want to start by giving my friend Tim Radney a BIG thank you for telling me about the importance of attending these sessions!

THANKS brother!

I joined the Northern Virginia (NOVA) SQL User Group a few weeks ago and attended my very first session last night. The session was called, “Hands-On Lab- Migrating a SQL Server Database to a Microsoft Azure SQL Database” and it was an online lab.

It was held at the Microsoft office in Reston, VA and lasted roughly three hours from 6:30 pm to 9 pm.

If you want to do the lab yourself, feel free to download the lab book here and start the TechNet Virtual Lab here

My Thoughts

I absolutely loved it! There was pizza, soda, a big bucket full of Halloween candy, and a raffle at the end.

The group organizer Tim McAliley (who works for Microsoft) and Brian Moran (Founder of Linchpin People) were friendly, open to discussions/questions, and just plain down to earth.

It was a great experience and I will definitely attend more meetings! In fact, the next time NOVASQL Group is meeting is on Nov 2nd 2015 for a session called, “SQL Server 2016 Cool New Features” with Harsh Deep Singh Narula (a Microsoft PFE). If you’re in the area, come and join us! Sign up here.

My one regret was not taking any pictures! I’ll definitely take some next time! :)