Why I’m Giving Up My Microsoft MVP Award

In July of 2020 I was awarded Microsoft MVP in the Data Platform category for my community contributions on SQL Server Big Data Clusters. This was a huge accomplishment for me and I am truly honored. The rest of 2020 was spent studying and passing Kubernetes certifications and dedicating time for introspection. I dug a little deep and tackled the good’ol question, “where do I see myself in 5-10 years?” After some time pondering certain paths and outcomes, I came to a pretty solid answer which involved giving up my MVP award.

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Level Up Your Career with Kubernetes

Are you a data professional and curious about Kubernetes but not quite sure what type of opportunities are available? Maybe you’re hesitant because you think Kubernetes is a “fad”? Or perhaps you’re just starting out in IT and don’t know what path to take?

Whether you are new to IT, or a seasoned IT professional, pondering these questions can be exhausting. In this blog post I will go over the importance of learning Kubernetes and how it can massively level up your career!

First, a little primer.

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From DBA to CKA – How I Passed the CKA Exam

About 2 years ago I started coming across a lot of online chatter on “containers” and “Kubernetes”. This was back in 2018 and around that time I had no interest of learning about it because it had no direct connection to SQL Server and my daily job duties as a DBA. Up until that point I had been working with SQL Server for about ten years. So like most people, “containers and Kubernetes” went in one ear and out the other.

That all changed with the hype, and eventual release, of SQL Server 2019. In SQL Server 2019 comes a feature called “Big Data Clusters”. This new feature in SQL Server really intrigued me because it was something completely different. I started to hear those terms again (containers and Kubernetes) because those are technologies behind Big Data Clusters. Over the next year, I heavily blogged, spoke, and created video content on Big Data Clusters. As a result of my deep passion and promotion of the product, I was awarded Microsoft MVP. My journey didn’t stop there as I have a natural “thirst for knowledge” and had to learn more about the underlying technology that makes Big Data Clusters feasible in the first place: Kubernetes.

So I started to study for the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam.

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From System Admin to SQL Admin?

I received the following reader question today and want to reply via a blog post:

Hi, Nice website, the interviews are pretty cool. I am a system admins, I want to transition to the database world, it seems that based on what I’ve been reading AWS and Microsoft SQL developer certifications are the way to go. Could you guide me in terms on putting a list together of which certifications I should own along with what skills/knowledge I should obtain in order to be able to secure a job for now and well into the future? Best Regard

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How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking

One of my goals for 2018 was to start speaking at events (i.e. User groups, SQL Saturdays).

A handful of people (including attendees) have asked how I picked the locations to speak at (i.e. OC, Albuquerque, Dallas and Pensacola). Below is the logic (or lack there of) that went into picking the locations:

How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking

As I sit in my hotel room after giving my 4th (and most likely last SQL Saturday event for 2018), I was wondering how I overcome my fear of public speaking?

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