Friday, May 01, 2020

Data Community #DataWeekender Europe 2020: Ethics in Modern Data

On Saturday May 2 Christine and I presented at the Data Community #DataWeekender Europe 2020 online conference, an all-online free virtual popup Microsoft Data Conference hosted by various professionals from around Europe. We're looking forward to presenting to the international audience of hundreds of data professionals, and are grateful for the final time slot that put us in mid-morning Saturday, Central US Time!

Our joint presentation is one of our favorites to present, Ethics in Modern Data. We'll be presenting in Teams Track 6 at 9:45AM US Central Time (-05:00).

This is an important topic that lives at the crossroads of both of our careers, my wife's career in organizational psychology and human resources, my career in data, and our joint passion for history and civil rights. It's important to understand that when dealing with bias, outcomes matter, intentions don't. While many of our examples come from the historical context of the United States, not all, and we have added addition context to an international audience.

Link to our presentation slidedeck with references is here:  Thanks to, a previous recording of our presentation is available here.

Friday, April 03, 2020

How to Think Like a Certification Exam at the PASS Professional Development Virtual Group

Thanks for the 90+ who joined today's PASS Professional Development Virtual Group webinar on Certification Exams Inside Out: How to Think Like a Certification Exam! This was a lot of fun. Thanks everyone for joining us! And great questions!

If you have any further questions on cert exams that we didn't get to during the webinar, reach out on Twitter or LinkedIn. And if you've become unemployed because of covid-19 and my wife Christine Assaf or I can help, let's talk. We're all in to help. Hit us up on LinkedIn.

Here's a link to the slide deck:

Sorry about all the technical foibles that our Paresh and I encountered! We weren't able to record it for some reason. Here's a recording of a past presentation of this talk if you want to share with folks who didn't see it live:

Stay safe, stay home, wash your hands. Here's some further Q&A:

Q: Does it still make sense to get one of the "old" certifications (MCSA, MCSE) as long as they're offered by Microsoft? 

A: Sure. Exams are always changing generationally and expiring. If being a SQL DBA is still a big part of your career, those older exams do not expire until January 31, 2021 and they will continue to show on your public transcript until January 2023, and the certifications still count towards partner competency attainment through January 2022, I believe. I wouldn't dedicate a lot of time and treasure in achieving them, but if you think you're close, go right ahead. Eventually you will be able to and you'll want to get the newer certifications, as always. Learning new skills in your trade has always been part of the game.

Q: How does the new Azure Database Administrator Associate certification compare to the previous MCSA and MCSE certifications?

A: This is probably a question better answered by others. Aside from further emphasis on newer and especially Azure-hosted technology, I couldn't speak to question format or selection other than what is publicly available anyway. In general, the exams have for a decade been trending towards broader sets of experience (again, an emphasis on delivering solutions as opposed to mastering features).

Q: Tell me more about beta exams.

A: Not free any more, but check the Microsoft Learning community blog for opportunities like this, where you can take a beta exam for 80% off if you're early to it. And while beta exams aren't scored immediately, if you pass the beta exam, you do get credit for passing the exam.

Q: Can you spread crunchy peanut butter with a fork?

A: Yes. That's just science.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Business Case for SQL Server 2019

Thanks for joining us for the The Business Case for SQL Server 2019 webinar via Spark/Ed today, an overview of new features in and around SQL Server 2019's release but also including new features to be aware of in Azure, recent SQL licensing changes, and more.

The presentation deck can be downloaded here in PDF form.

Link to the Sparkhound SQL toolbox on Github:

More about the Unlimited Virtualization with SA in Azure on Dedicated Hosts:

Contact me for an opportunity to get involved in an early adopters preview program for Azure SQL Database Edge: