T-SQL Tuesday #108: Non-SQL Server Technologies

This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Mala Mahadevan [b|t], who has invited people to discuss new skills and technologies that they’d like to learn in the near future, with the twist that she’s particularly interested in non-SQL Server items this time out.

This ties in rather well with my post yesterday about my New (SQL) Year’s resolutions, one of which is to spend at least thirty minutes five times a week on professional development.  I’ve got two main non-SQL areas that I’m looking to learn more about between now and next year’s PASS Summit: Microsoft Azure and Python.

Although none of my clients are currently primed to move into the Azure cloud, I need to make sure that when they’re ready, I am too!  I’m looking to dive in to the business intelligence and analytics offerings, as well as being particularly intrigued by Azure Cosmos DB.  The first goal is to truly get my head around as many of the 100+ available services as possible so that I can understand why and when to use each one; the how portion can come later.

On the Python side I’ve got three main goals:

1.  Upgrade my pandas skills to be truly “pro-level”.   No more googling every other data frame manipulation I need to write!

2.  Learn Seaborn to take my plotting and visualization skill to the next level.

3.  Work on some fun areas of Python outside of the data science ecosystem to develop my overall Python skills.

I hope you’ll check back in on me over the next twelve months to find out how I’m doing!


Happy New Year!

For many of us in the Microsoft Data Platform community, PASS Summit is a bit like Christmas.  It’s a chance to get together with our SQL Family, make new friends, and start playing with all of the new toys that Microsoft has gifted to us.

By the same token, the first day back at work after Summit is akin to New Year’s Day.  We are hungover – often literally, but almost always metaphorically too – from the high of the previous week.  But we are also energized by the sense of community and shared excitement that we’ve just experienced.  It’s a great opportunity to turn that feeling into a new start!

So I am taking the opportunity to declare this day as the first day of my SQL year, and I’ve got a couple of New Year’s Resolutions to share:

1.  I resolve to spend at least one hour five days a week on physical exercise.  I spent all of this year’s Summit under the weather.  A sizable (pun intended) component of this is the weight that I’ve put back on in 2018 after losing fifty pounds in 2016 and 2017.  This has had a noticeable affect on my breathing, sleep, and general respiratory health, and it’s time to reverse the trend.

2.  I resolve to spend at least thirty minutes five days a week on professional development.  There’s so much cool technology to explore in the data platform space, and I find that as a consultant I am often too busy implementing techniques that I’ve done 1000 times before to learn new ones.  This will also include trying to produce more technical blog posts, as well as creating new content for presentations.  Speaking of which…

3.  I resolve to not submit any abstracts for new sessions or pre-cons until they are at least 75% developed.  I’ve caused myself a lot of unnecessary stress over the past couple of years by procrastinating about finishing my presentations.  I must do better on this front!

4.  I resolve to document the previous week’s activities on my blog.  Hopefully this will help me to keep myself accountable for sticking to the first three resolutions.

I invite you all to make your “New SQL Year’s Resolutions” with me, and look forward to toasting to our successes together at next year’s PASS Summit!