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October 2005 Blog Posts

New MS Certifications (and more acronyms to learn)

Microsoft recently published changes to their certifications. The entire program has been revamped, though if you are already certified, your credentials are still considered valid. New products (e.g. SQL Server 2005) will follow the new framework for certification. The first step for DBAs/DB Developers is MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist): SQL Server 2005. To get this credential, you need to pass one exam: "Exam 70–431: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 - Implementation and Maintenance". The next credential available is MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional). These come in three flavors: Database Developer, Database Administrator and Business Intelligence Developer. Each of these requires...

Women in Tech @ PASS

One of the highlights of the PASS Summit for me the past few years has been the Women in Technology lunch and panel discussion. As a female member of PASS and woman working in IT, I'm encouraged that this event is included as part of the Summit. Each year it seems that more women attend the conference; attendance has certainly improved since my first PASS in 2002. This year I had the opportunity to help coordinate the WIT event. The discussion this time focused on the challenges that face women working in IT. Our starting point was a recent study conducted...

The Interrupt Driven Life

Last week someone asked me if I was easily distracted at work. I told him that I thought the modern workplace made it impossible not to be easily distracted. Email, IM, over-the-cubicle conversations, the day is often just a string of interruptions that keep real work from being done. Except, of course, that the interruptions themselves often are "real work". What they prevent is any concentrated work, any focused work, from being done. It's easy to blame technology for this multi-tasking run amok, but that's only part of the story. We allow it to happen; many of us even thrive on...

Worth the price of admission

This year I attended the PASS Community Summit for the 4th time. Every year, there is at least one session, or one moment in a session when I think "that alone was worth the price of admission." That happened a couple of times this year. The first was when Ken Henderson demonstrated the Read80Trace tool. Apparently this tool, formerly used internally only, was made available to the world last year. But it was never on my radar, which is too bad, because it is a big timesaver. It is a tool that reads sql trace files into database tables normalizes the...

Databases as a force for good

One year during a keynote address at a PASS conference, Bill Baker (GM for SQL Server Business Intelligence) talked about the "goodness of databases." The idea appealed to me; as DBAs a big part of our job is to do our best to guarantee the accuracy of the data we manage. If the data is accurate, it's useful and it helps people do their jobs, or manage their lives. The goodness of databases was magnified a thousand times in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Accurate and available information became crucial to allowing families to be reunited. In the initial days after...



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