Revision for SQL Server 2012 Exams

I’ve been revising something wicked for my upcoming exams. There are some very useful resources on the web, including the Virtual Labs from Microsoft, demonstrating new features in SQL Server 2012.

I was also shocked by the number of “braindump” sites, and even more shocking (but somehow not surprising, given that I come from a country known for corruption), people who will sit your exams for you.

Since I have morals, I’m going to sit the exams myself, and study properly for them. Given that I have been on SQLskills.com training, I feel that my understanding of how SQL Server works internally, will give me some insight into the more tricky questions.

I’ve also read from some people that these are “typical” Microsoft exams. In 1998 when I did my MCSE, we were warned about the so-called “Microsoft way” when answering a question: there’s the right way, the wrong way, and the Microsoft way. It’s always best to choose the latter.

Pass marks for all exams seem to be 700/1000, which is a good sign in some respects, but it also implies a lower barrier to entry.

I’m confident about my chances, but I don’t want to fall into the trap of hubris. My confidence is only as a result of putting in the preparation.

Monday is the first one.

SQLskills in Chicago, Redux

As I mentioned previously, I spent two weeks in the incredible city of Chicago, having more SQL Server shovelled into my skull, this time courtesy of Bob Beauchemin.

The first week was the Immersion Event for Developers, followed by the Immersion Event on Security, PowerShell, and Development Support.

On both Thursdays, I participated in the open presentation evening. In Week 1, Kenneth Urena (blog | twitter) and I compared two recovery scenarios, then had the audience guess which one was the real deal, and which one was the dress-rehearsal.

In Week 2, I re-introduced my SQL Server 2000 Duplicate Index Finder, and thanks to some fortuitous timing, was able to introduce a workaround in the script for a known issue, before presenting on it.

Both weeks also had some great presentations from other classmates (in IE1, IE3, and our own classes), and I learnt a lot and met some wonderful people, too many to mention here (though Jason did have an excellent singing voice).

A special shout-out to Andy Yun, who helped us make great food choices.

Thanks also to everyone who made me comfortable with my broken foot. I even had Kimberly lend me her knee scooter (it’s a real thing, I promise), which made getting around much easier.

SQL Server 2012 Exams

I’m taking the plunge to write all five SQL Server 2012 exams that are currently available, on my track to obtain the MCSM qualification (previously known as MCM, or Microsoft Certified Master).

By going public with my plan, I hope to motivate myself to spend some time preparing properly for it.

But in true Randolph style, I’m hitting all five over a two-week period, starting next week:

  • 070-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012*
  • 070-462: Administering a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Database*
  • 070-463: Implementing Data Warehouses with Microsoft SQL Server 2012*
  • 070-464: Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases^
  • 070-465: Designing Database Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server 2012^

My reasoning is simple: if I do them all at once, I have less time to worry about them.

* Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: SQL Server
^ Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Data Platform

The early 90s were not good to me

There’s a period of around 18 months in the early 1990s, in my life, that had a profound effect on me. I am building up the courage, remembering all the pieces, and I’m going to write it down.

It may also have coloured the memory of my father, because of his reaction and my reaction to that. I know I wasn’t to tell my mother, and my father died three years later anyway.

We have deep-seated issues that can affect our lives decades into the future. This is one example.

I haven’t decided if I’ll post it on my blog yet. I think my two Moleskines and the copy of Scrivener are about to get some action.

Wish me not luck, but peace of mind. A very scared 14 year old boy needs to smile again.

Google Authenticator Edit button bug on iOS

Something that I was struggling with recently is the Edit button on the iOS version of Google Authenticator, that doesn’t do anything. I wanted to rename the obscure AWS description, but couldn’t figure out how.

After visiting my favourite search engine, I discovered that I’m not alone.

The workaround (thank goodness there is one) is to go into Legal Information first, and then the Edit button works (thanks to Ilkka Mattila for pointing this out).