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  • Blog Post: What kind of data person are you?

    I have been working with data in one form or another since 1991, but I wouldn’t describe myself as a DBA, data scientist or a developer so what am I, and am I alone? I spent ten of those years doing business intelligence and most of that was working with databases, designing systems data marts, and analytical...
  • Blog Post: TechDays on Line 2015–it gets better

    I have been out in Seattle for the last couple of weeks as a roving reporter for our upcoming TechDays Online 2015 and I have managed to get footage of some of the engineers who write the stuff we all use. I have also been having coffee with some of them to make sure we can share the very latest thinking...
  • Blog Post: IT Camp - Extend your Data Centre with Azure

    I have been on a journey over the last year that some of you may already be embarked on and that is to transition my skills to use cloud services and specifically Azure. For me it’s like going to America, the language is similar, the culture less so and everything over seems to be much bigger such as...
  • Blog Post: IT Camps–What are they good for.

    One of the most rewarding yet most difficult part of my job over the last three years has been involved with designing and delivering something called an IT camp. So I thought it might be useful to explain what they are in case an invite lands in your mailbox. What IT Camps are: Technical. it’s designed...
  • Blog Post: Future Decoded – with Data Science

    If you have been following my posts on Microsoft’s approach to data science with things like Machine Learning you’ll realise that it’s capable of making predictions. However to be honest it’s not going to tell you what devices and career you’ll have in five years time. To do that you need expert humans...
  • Blog Post: Saying Goodbye to SQL Server 2000

    I have published quite a few posts on how to upgrade from SQL 2000 to 2005/8 since I started blogging, but I still get asked a lot of questions about how and why so Alex (Editor of the TechNet Newsletter ) and I though an event might be in order. However this is a TechNet event with a difference in that...
  • Blog Post: European PASS Conference 2008

    If you can't make the launch, and weren't at SQL Bits a couple of weeks ago then why not convince your manager, wife, accountant that you need to go Germany to get SQL fix.  The Professional Association PASS for SQL Server and BI are holding their European Conference at Neuss, 14-16 April. ...
  • Blog Post: PASS Meeting 26th June

    The Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS), is holding it's next meeting on 26th June from 6-9pm.  The theme is virtualising SQL Server, in all its guises both using hardware and software. HP and Quest are going to be there and I will be flying the Microsoft flag.  So if you have an...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Application Platform Update 6th March

    My good friend Graeme Scott, while being an excellent presenter is not a blogger, but he has had a lot of requests to share his SQL Server session from the Microsoft Application Platform Update on 6th March and I am here to help. So if you caught his session last week here’s the link to his deck , and...
  • Blog Post: After TechDays there’s After Hours

    Hopefully you are aware of Tech Days in the UK during the week of 10-16 April, but you might not be aware of the After Hours evening event on the 14th April. This is  still about technical stuff but with homage to  scrap heap challenge and Top Gear, rather than the day events where we all concentrate...
  • Blog Post: SQL Relay Notes and Queries

    I wanted to something different for SQL Relay last week as this is a community driven event and I didn’t want to cover areas that the other experts on the Relay team would cover. This left some gaps and I have had several follow up questions via twitter and e-mail which I want to cover in this post....
  • Blog Post: TechEd Middle East 2010

    Only in Dubai can you spend a balmy (25 degrees C) evening with MVP’s from UAE and Saudi Arabia overlooking a snow covered ski slope! I was there for the first TechEd for the Middle East and while I did 3 sessions, the most interesting bit for me at an event like this is the conversations you have on...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server sprawl

    Normally the term sprawl carries an implied criticism, in the case of SQL server that DBAs have lost control of their infrastructure and users are install it willy nilly without regard for data protection or disaster recovery.  However when it comes to SQL Server user group meeting then sprawl is...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Happy RTM

    Thanks to everyone who came along to celebrate SQL Server 2008 at our unleashed event yesterday and especially to the audience who volunteered to sit in the overflow room as we had a few AV niggles.  As you can see above image David Hobbs-Mallyon one of the SQL Server product managers is also a...
  • Blog Post: Upgrading to SQL Server 2008

    Back on 19th March I did a presentation on upgrading to SQL Server 2008, as part of the UK Launch event in Birmingham.  I have now got the feedback from this session and I thought it would be interesting to share some of it.  Microsoft’s privacy policy is far more stringent than any organisation...
  • Blog Post: Sharepoint Saturday

    User groups should be run and managed by Microsoft users, so I am really pleased to see SharePoint experts Tony Pounder, Brett Lonsdale and Mark Macrae , taking a lot of time and effort to run the first SharePoint Saturday in the UK. I have seen how successful SQLBIts has become and how it compliments...
  • Blog Post: SQL Skills

    The term master class is often overused but probably not in the case I am about to refer to.  Two of the authorities on SQL Server are over in the UK courtesy of SQL Server Magazine to run a SQL server master class on 17th June at the Radisson Edwardian Heathrow. Mentioning two of the authorities...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Unleashed – Decks

    Quite a few people have asked me where the decks are for the SQL Server unleashed event and I now have an answer: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/bb945096.aspx which I need to put on my blog so I can also remember myself! Also we have filmed this and I am hoping it will be on UGTV shortly as well...
  • Blog Post: 3 clouds and a screen

    No I haven’t got the numbers the wrong way round, the three clouds I am referring to are the three tracks we have put together for TechDays on 8th October and the screen is where you’ll be watching it as this is Online rather than in person. Those three tracks are: Cirrus Room - A high-level summary...
  • Blog Post: So You want to be an Evangelist

    With my job title of Evangelist I often get asked about what my roles, both inside and outside of the Microsoft firewall. In the 2 weeks I have presented to the Leeds VM User Group ( www.vmug.org.uk ), done a careers chat at a Science college, produced and presented at TechDays Online nd attended SQL...
  • Blog Post: Windows Server 2012 IT camps

    I have been out in the US for the past four weeks, and during my absence the rest of the UK TechNet team have filled my diary with various events including the next series of IT camps.  These camps will all be  on Windows Server 2012 specifically around how virtualisation changes in this release...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Reporting Services - Report Designer

    I was at SQL Bits (the SQL) at Aston University on Saturday and as usual if I can't answer a question on the day you will find it here: Does SQL Express 2008 include Report Designer? Yes and in fact that's all you get as BIDS only comes with standard and up (details are here ). Can I use CSS with Reporting...
  • Blog Post: Mini Computing

    The IT Pro team will be talking to over 2,000 of you over the next couple weeks as we embark on our sold out TechNet road show .  The bread van (as the rest of the team refer to my eccentric choice in transport) will be putting the mini into mini computing as we haul our server farm form city to...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Under New Management

    I am now hard at work on the events that will occur around the release SQL Server 2008. This time around I will be presenting: SQL Server Under New Management The ratio of DBA’s to the size of data being  managed is increasing all the time as is the burden of compliance regulation ,so what can be...
  • Blog Post: SQL Bits Friday session

    I promise this is the last time I mention SQL Bits this week, but I wanted to let you know I have got 25 free tickets for the paid for event this Friday which would normally cost £149 to attend.  The venue is the Celtic Manor in Newport… and is probably the next best thing to going to TechEd. There...