MCSE: Business Intelligence

MCSE Business Intelligence

The last goal for this year is accomplished! I now hold the MCSE certificates for both the Data Platform and the Business Intelligence tracks. I have to admit I expected the BI certification exams (70-466 and 70-467) to be a bit easier, but Microsoft has done incredible job in preparing those exams. I am quite impressed by the questions asked and the number of scenarios and case studies they put every candidate in. As you may know, I have stepped in another role this year  and the first project I did for my new company was a BI PoC for the biggest telco in my country. This PoC was very successful and I learned tons of stuff as we actually used Teradata as a source for our data, SharePoint and Excel Services, SSAS Multidimensional, Excel and PowerView. That was also the main reason for me to push and learn even more for Microsoft’s BI stack and go for this certification…

So that’s it for now. One more HUGE blog post and update is coming on 29th of December, so stay tuned! Until then – have a great, great holidays!

Hangout #26 BIML in the real world!

SQLHangout 26 is here and I suggest we call this “The Christmas SQLHangout”! This one is special and it’s special because of one simple reason – I had not one, not two, but 4 guests with me – Cathrine Wilhemsen(t|b|h), Regis Baccaro(t|b), Rasmus Reinholdt(t|b|h) and Joao Lopez(t|b)! Some of you may have already seen the hangouts with Cathrine and Rasmus, but trust me – you have to see this one. In number 26 we discussed BIML and how it was used in a real world projects. So enjoy watching and enjoy learning about BIML – a technology that will be part of every business intelligence project very soon…

 

T-SQL Tuesday #61 –
Giving Back

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Giving back. Community. Words that we in our SQLFamily use a lot. What’s more – we not just use them because they are cool, we fill them with meaning because I bet there is no other community that shares and helps each other that much. I know there are a lot who do that, but as much as we do – please show it to me.

This month’s #TSQL2SDAY is all about how each one of us plans to start or continue his contribution and here is how I see this aspect of my life(sounds serious, huh?) as there are a lot of things coming for the new year…

During 2014 I did amazing number of international presentations – around 20! I did all of those all on my expenses, but I regret NONE! I also did a lot of Twitter #sqlhelp stuff, blogging and of course – I continued the SQLHangouts videos. For 2015 I will keep it simple – I will just continue all of those above. I am just not completely sure whether or not I will be able to travel that much, but let’s hope I will be. “It depends” on a lot of stuff as we like to say. The cool thing is that if I am not able to travel, it will be because of a seriously cool reasons that I am keeping in secret for now.

So that’s my plan for 2015. SQLFamily will continue to be a priority in my list and let’s hope we will continue to see more and more amazing professionals joining, giving away and helping it too.

Thanks, Wayne for hosting and have a great holiday days, all! I have one more SQLSaturday to cover! Hope to see some of you there! :)

The MVP Interview and Me

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Some time ago I was recognized by Microsoft with their MVP award and since then a lot of time passed by and so many wonderful things happened! I learned a lot form all of the MVP folks and I was able to travel and speak at a lot of conferences. Today Microsoft published an interview with me on their MVP website in which I talk about the award itself, what are the benefits and why one should strive to get it. You can read it here. Let me know what you think! :)

Speaking at SQLKonferenz 2015, Darmstadt

SQLKonferenz DarmstadtI am pleased to announce that I was selected to be one of the speakers at the great SQLKonferenz in Darmstadt, Germany! The 2-day event will be held on the 4th and 5th of February and is organized by PASS – the biggest SQL Server organization in the world. Watching at the agenda, I can only say that this conference is one of those you definitely don’t want to miss. Just take a look at the speakers and you will see what I mean!

Hopefully you will be able to join! See you there!

Visio Stencils for SQL Server and IT Pros

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Are you a consultant, architect or just the person who is responsible for designing the solutions in your shop? If so, you were probably already been asked to create a diagram to “describe”(or let’s say visualise) it. Visio can be your best friend in situations like this as it specialises in the creation of all kinds of diagrams. However, in order for you to be able to create the ones that you are interested in – related to IT architecture, databases or cloud solutions, you will need specific stencils because Visio does not have all the possible “images” that you may need. So here is my “present” for you – below you will find 4 of the stencils(free ones!) I use in my day-to-day work and because I was asked by a colleague MVP recently (Argenis, yes, I am talking about you) and he found those useful, I thought you may also like them. Here’s the list:

  1. Windows Azure Stencil -> Windows Azure Pack & Windows Azure Visio Stencil
  2. Virtualization 2008 -> Virtualization Stencil
  3. BI SQL 2012 Stencils -> Visio Shapes for SQL 2012
  4. Office Stencils (there are good ones for Databases and Servers here) -> New Office Visio Stencil

Again – those are free, so download them and see what they offer. Let me know what you think and if you have other stencil(s) that you are using, please feel free to share them in the comments.

Hangout #25 SQL Server Indexing

SQLHangout #25 is a special one as I was joined by Tim Ford(b|t) who you may already know for one reason or another. If you don’t know him, however, Tim is the founder of SQLCruise, President of PASS and much, much more! In this hangout we talked about indexing strategies and Tim shared some really practical insights from his experience of troubleshooting and fixing performance problems. We also talked about 3rd party apps, filtered indexes and companies that are trying to make everything work with 2GB of RAM. Last, but not at least we discussed the fact that SQLCruise is actually coming to Europe! I really think you will enjoy the video, so free up 30 minutes from your busy day, watch and let me know what you think.

T-SQL Tuesday #60 –
Learning…

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At the moment of writing this blog post, I am at the MVP Summit in one of the hundreds of buildings of Microsoft in Redmond. I am listening to a very interesting session on how organisations collaborate with their partners and yes, I am learning some new things. However, I want to focus on something else in this blog post and not on what I have learned recently, even though I learned quite some stuff and quite interesting (some of which I cannot even talk about). So here’s the deal… Read More

Speaking at Java2Days 2014

Java2Days 2014I know. I know. Java? SQL Server? How can those be related!? It was hard for me to understand that too, so bare with me! Java2Days is the leading Java conference in Bulgaria from years. I remember how I went there when I was still a student and I was taking courses on programming with Java. That was years ago. Now, however, the event grew! What they are doing this year for first time is that they will held one track that will be dedicated to “different than Java things”. Let’s call it this way. How they got me as speaker, though, was also cool. My new company is one of the major players on the market when we talk about consulting and doing project work. We do that successfully because we have an amazing team of people and that’s true because together with all the other folks, we are 5 Microsoft MVPs. So, I think it is a logical decision to ask a company like ours: “Hey, can you help deliver amazing content”? Of course, we said a huge “Yes” and that’s how I got to this page.

Going back to the event, but this time as a speaker, will be fun for sure, so hope to see you Developers there! I am speaking for SQL Server and some cool T-SQL improvements in the SQL Server 2014 release, so see you there!

Update: I have to say I am pleasantly surprised! I had around 20 people in my session on SQL Server! Not only they were all engaged during the presentation, but they were also quite knowledgable about SQL Server in areas I did not expect. Unfortunately I was not able to talk with any other speaker as I had to go back to the office, but probably will do that next year.

For the attendees – here are my scripts that you all asked for and the slide deck from the presentation is below! Thanks for attending and hope to see you soon!

Hangout #24 Unit Testing in SQL Server

SQLHangout 24 is here and if you are a developer(or if you are a DBA too!) – listen and learn from it! I was joined by Ed Elliott(b|t) and he opened my eyes about what is and why do we need unit testing in SQL Server. Ed shared his experience on integration and unit tests and what is the difference between them and how we should approach the two. You will also learn about how you should handle your unit tests and what you can also do if you are a bit more advanced already in the subject. Last, but not at least, Ed recommended some great resources you can learn from. One of them (and I completely agree) is Simple Talk. The others are tSQLt(unit testing framework) and Microsoft’s recommendations on testing. Check them out and I hope you enjoy the video!

Speaking at SQLSaturday #356, Slovenia

SQLSaturday 356 Slovenia

A lot can be said in this blog post. Trust me. Slovenia and Ljubljana in particular is one of the most amazing places I have seen and to be able to go back for second consecutive year and speak at the SQLSaturday event there is just something that makes me happy, grateful and proud! So to put this sentence into context – I am pleased to share that I was selected to speak at the conference and I cannot wait to give as much as I can to the audience and the community there again. Last year I spoke about Distributed Replay and this year we are switching gears and I will be delivering more or less a development presentation that touches very heavily on transactions and concurrency inside SQL Server.  Can’t wait already! Hope to see as many of you at the event!

Update: Sometimes it’s hard to find words to describe something. That’s true if I need to write anything about this particular SQLSaturday and Ljubljana. The only thing I know is that everything(and I mean it) – the venue, the city, the organisers, the audience, everything… was just perfect! You have to come to this event even if you are not from Slovenia. You just have to be here to understand what I mean and I wish everyone is able to come and join us one day! Until then, here are my materials and below is my slide deck. Thank you so much, SQLSatSlovenia. It was a pleasure!

Hangout #23 Add-Ins for
Business Intelligence

SQLHangout #23 is here and what an adventure it was to bring this one to you! I am not saying this because it was hard to get Julie Koesmarno(b|t) here(even though that’s not that easy task too, trust me – Julie is a hell of a busy person!), but because of what actually happened after we recorded the video. During the time of the recording there was a major issue(for which I didn’t know about) with the Google’s Hangouts platform – many videos were getting removed for no obvious reason. This one was one of them. Anyway, after a really serious follow-up with the Google Hangouts engineers, they managed to recover it back, so I hope you will enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed recording it. What you can expect is to hear some cool advices from Julie on how and what tools to use if you want to make your life as BI developer easier(productivity, productivity!). She shared her TOP 3 free BI add-ins + more and there is something for the people who just decided to jump or switch into the BI world. Again – enjoy watching! ;)

My First MVP Summit

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The MVP Summit is The Conference, The Gathering of all Microsoft MVPs, no matter of the technology they have been rewarded for. It’s held once per year and this year is my first one(and yes, I am pumped!). I am happy that I will finally be able to meet all the other MVPs, chat with them and talk about our passion – technology. This year the summit is going to be in Seattle which is also my first trip to the US and I already can’t wait for it! It’s going to be a 14 hour flight, but I know it will be one of the best experiences ever, so who cares about the flight duration! Stay tuned as I will be updating this article soon. First day from the event is November 2nd! Hope Microsoft have prepared something very cool for the “Grand Opening”! Hope to see many of you there!

Update: The MVP Summit is now over and it’s going to be a long 18 (probably even more) trip back to home. However, what an event this was! I am completely blown away by not only how the whole event went as a whole – the logistics and every single small detail involved in it, but more by the content, the involvement and the people. What I mean by that is how much content we got for those 3 days and the fact that almost 100% of it (not kidding) was stuff (let’s call it this way) which is under NDA (some of which is now public after it was announced at the PASS Summit, but some not at all). In addition to that, the feedback, brainstorming and how much discussions we went through – wow! It is really nice to see that Microsoft, the Product Groups and the Product Managers care about our opinion and what we think on specific subject! Both of those combined with the fact that during those 3 days you are able to meet with all of the other MVPs (some of which you may be able to see only on this event during the year), chat with them and exchange ideas is just fantastic!

So after me being at the MVP Summit, I would strongly encourage everyone to get involved in the community work and give, give, give because at the end of the day – it all pays back. It really does and surely it does in many forms, but the MVP Summit is for sure one of them!

Cheers and stay tuned for some really important news coming in the upcoming month… :)

Speaking at SQLSaturday #359, Istanbul

SQLSaturday 359 Istanbul

I am extremely proud to share with you that I will be one of the speakers at the SQLSaturday event in Turkey on(and now be careful) 6th of December – one day after my birthday! This is one of the events I desperately wanted to be part of last year and here is why! The place, the speakers and from what I heard – the overall event was just amazing last year, so I am really, really happy that this time I will be able to contribute to it. Updates are coming soon…

Update: The event was great! Around 250 people got together, learned something new and exchanged ideas and thoughts with each other! I am also really happy with how my session went – full room of active attendees (they won some Pluralsight prizes too!) and of course – the organisers – they did a fantastic job both for the event and for the speakers. Below is my slide deck and all the other scripts and materials can be found here. Already looking forward to next year!

T-SQL Tuesday #59 – My Hero!

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During my child and teenage years there was only one thing that really interested me (except computers, hardware and that type of geeky stuff) – basketball. We had a team in my home town and we were crushing it! Seriously, we were obsessed with the game! Whenever possible we were either playing or learning. We were either at the gym or at the stadium. And if we weren’t doing any of those two, we were at some place where we were watching NBA Action(during my child years there was such a show), analysing it or watching a recording of some previous episode(yes, remember DVR?). That being said I had “My Hero” and what’s more important – I still have the same person as “My Hero” or let’s call it “My Role Model”. Read More

Webinar for SQLRelay on Policy-Based Management

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SQLRelay is one of the biggest SQL Server conferences in UK. This year I really wanted to speak and be part of the event in London, but unfortunately I was not accepted by the organizers. Not a problem, of course. Next time. I have some other great news though that are related to SQLRelay that I want to share now – on 20th of October I will be delivering a webinar(the first of that kind for SQLRelay) for all of the folks who attended the SQLRelay events(there are such in many cities in UK) and for everyone else who may be interested in participating, of course. I will be talking about Policy-Based Management(something I recorded a course for Pluralsight on), so if you want to learn more about how you can audit and define rules in your environment with just a few clicks and report on them, you can register here and join me on Monday’s evening!

Hope to see you online!

Another month,
Another SQL Course

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This year is going absolutely great! I have visited and spoken at almost 10 countries, delivered courses for both students and organisations and now I am pleased to announce that I am delivering one more course! This time the focus will be on SQL Server Development. 12 people already enrolled and we will fire this up on 18th of October. The course will be a 40-hour fun, but intensive experience in which the students will learn many, many things ranging from how to write simple queries and stored procedures to how to actually optimise code and make it run fast. Really fast.

Can’t wait to see my new group already! However, there’s quite some work to do before that, so wish me good luck for my session at SQLSaturday #311 in Sofia which is this Saturday and stay tuned for 2 SQLHangouts that are coming in the next 10 days!

Cheers!

Update: A few hours the course ended – an update. I had great time with my students! In those 4 weekends we learned a lot (I also learned a ton from them, trust me) – we started from the basics – what are databases and what TSQL actually is and ended somewhere in the concurrency and performance tuning topics. That is quite a journey and I am extremely proud and happy that we went through it successfully! Now, we all have to move on. I hope and I am sure they will all do well and I am starting my recordings for my second course for Pluralsight. More information soon…

Going for
Sofia Marathon 2014

Sofia Marathon 2014This Sunday (12th of October) I will be going for the 20km run at Sofia Marathon 2014! After last year’s amazing experience, there is no doubt in my mind that everyone who enjoys sport and more particularly – enjoys running, should be there! Hope to see many, many friends next Sunday and please, please, please if you enrolled for either the 20km or the 42km discipline, please do a test run first and check if you are indeed able to ruBoris Hristov Sofia Marathon 2014n that distance. I really can’t understand people who think that running those kilometers (and these are a lot, trust me) can be done easily. Never underestimate the preparation for it because otherwise there may be some serious problems with your health. (just decided to mention it this time based on what I saw last year!)

See you there!

Update: Great experience once again! For a second year in a row we were blessed to have fantastic weather and fantastically organized event! I completed the 20km run for 1 hour and 39 minutes which is a really good time for me, so I am really pleased with the results. Definitely looking forward to the marathon next year and in the mean time – I have already registered for some other events.

Speaking at SQLSaturday #311, Sofia, Bulgaria

SQLSaturday 311 Sofia BulgariaI am really pleased to share that I will be speaking for 3rd year in a row at our local SQLSaturday event which is organised by Mihail Mateev(b|t). It makes me smile when I think about this event because of one simple reason – every single year it gets the attention of more and more people! This year the conference promises amazing presentations, 5 tracks and rock star speakers, so if you want to chat with other database professionals, learn new things and simply have fun, come on 11th of October at the Infragistics Office in Sofia! My presentation will cover some of the really cool T-SQL improvements that were introduced in SQL Server 2014, but I would strongly recommend you take a look at the schedule and see how much other great stuff you can learn in that day! I will be brining some unique presents with me(just letting you know!), so… hope I will see you soon!

Update: Two days after the event, I am proud to share that the event in Sofia was just incredible! Misho and the guys who helped him organise this whole experience, did a fantastic job and that’s something that could be easily confirmed – just go to the page with the sessions and choose any of the speakers. Go ahead and ask them for feedback. You will see what I mean. Nothing else to say except that I had a really great time and once again – thanks to everyone who attended my session. The slide deck is below and the scripts are here.

ApexSQL Log:
Rollback DMLs and DDLs!

Some time ago, I started helping the guys from ApexSQL at their boot on events like SQLSaturday Oslo and SQLSaturday Paris. They contacted  me because they wanted some assistance with their technical demonstrations on a tool they have developed which is called ApexSQL Log. I thought that would be fun, so I accepted and indeed – it was totally worth it, but not only because of the experience on the boot, but because of the tool itself. Let me tell you a bit more about ApexSQL Log because if there is a tool that you have to know about that was made by those guys, it’s definitely this one!

Read More