Tag Archives: job

Five Years, A Quiet Quarter, A Look Ahead to 2016

Five Years of Blogging

From DataOnWheels Logo Original to data-on-wheels-1

My blogging story started on December 7, 2010. I have now had a blog for over 5 years. I want to thank all of you who have read my blog and interacted with me through it. You have seen me change the theme once and do a number of series. Here are some highlights from the past five years:

Top 5 Posts All Time

  1. Adding Top 10 Charts to Power View Which Honor Filters
  2. Simple batch script to generate XMLA and deploy SSAS DB
  3. T-SQL Window Functions – Part 1- The OVER() Clause
  4. Exploring Excel 2013 for BI Tip #14- Sparklines and Pivot Tables
  5. O, There’s the Data- Using OData in SSIS

Top Series All Time

The Excel BI Tips series has changed it name a couple of times. However, this tip series still rings true even today even as Microsoft invests in other tools. Look for some more Power BI content this year, but this series will continue to have updates. Also, look to see some Excel 2016 topics added to the list as that release becomes available. Here are the top ten tips from the series:

Tributes

A tribute is an expression of gratitude or praise. A couple of years ago, I started a series about individuals who have impacted my career. I do this as a tribute to my father-in-law, Ed Jankowski who passed away in December 2009. Check out my original post about him and his impact on me being in software development today.

Some Stats

I want to thank everyone again for taking time to check out my blog. Here are some stats that I thought were cool and decided to brag about here:

  • 2011 daily average: 9 – 2015 daily average: 162
  • 156 posts
  • 135,000 views
  • Best ever views in a day: 584

Thanks again for checking out my “help” library. As I noted in one of my posts, I blog to not forget and to pass along what I have learned. The key for me is that I do it when I can about topics that interest me.

A Quiet Quarter

The last statement holds true here. I have had a very quiet end of the year. I had blogs which followed up sessions, a practice that I intend to continue, and one BI Tip. November and December were quiet as my job and family took precedence as Pragmatic Works closed out the year strong and we had holiday activities at home including getting my two kids in college home. Well, the dust has settled so I am getting a few more posts published now. Look for the Minnesota SQL Server User Group and Minnesota BI User Group follow up posts this week.

Looking ahead to 2016

After a busy year last year, I am looking forward to having some new opportunities to write about Azure, SQL Server 2016, and other technologies I have not even seen yet. Are you excited for what is coming? Let’s have a great year working with data and analytics.

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2013 – A Year In Review

It is in our nature as humans to look back in order to understand where we have been.

Warning – some of this blog contains stuff about my family… In case you only want the technical stuff.

Family Fun

This past year has been very interesting for me personally and professionally. In the past year, my youngest, Mikayla, has entered Junior High officially taking our family out of elementary schools. Mikalya joined me at the SQL Saturday event in Omaha. At the same time, my oldest, Kristyna, is now a senior at Burnsville Senior High School. Both of my boys, Alex a junior and Andrew a freshman, are both taller than me and staying active. Alex joined us at the Minnesota SQL Saturday and did a lot of volunteering. Andrew probably had the best event of all as he joined me at SQL Saturday in Fargo. There he got to see Bill Gates in person. I am proud of all of them, they are great kids. This was also the year I celebrated 20 years with the woman I love, Sheila. Without her support, I would not have been able to get this far in my career as well. Yep, it has been a busy year personally. Soon there will be lots of college, marriage, and maybe even grandkids. Wow, I must be getting old.

Magenic and the Server Development Practice

2013 is my first full year as a Practice Lead at Magenic. I started out as the Practice Lead for our Business Intelligence and Data Practice. In August, my role expanded to include SharePoint, Biztalk, and TFS. This allows us to focus server technologies at Magenic. Along  the way, I have had to learn a lot about VMs (still a work in progress). I really enjoy working with the pros across the company that we have. We some very talented BI, SharePoint and BizTalk consultants including a few virtual TSPs in SQL Server, Business Intelligence, and BizTalk.

During this past year, I have traveled around the country to consult, to speak, and to meet customers. I have had the privilege of speaking at multiple SQL Saturdays, Modern Apps Live, SQL Live, and Code Mastery events. It has been fun. I almost made it to all of our offices including the locations we opened this year. I made it to Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte, Boston, New York City, and San Francisco. Still need to get out to Los Angelos and Manila.

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While it has been hard at times, the travel experience has been good overall. I try to keep my speaking engagements up to date, maybe I will see some of you next year.

This year I also authored outside of the blog. Chuck Whittemore (The Insight Analyst)The Changing World of Business Intelligence: Leading with Microsoft Excel - Custom Software Development White Paper and I coauthored a white paper on Leading with Excel: The Changing World of Business Intelligence. This was a fun project where we bring together Microsoft Excel and Microsoft BI in a real world way. We continue to successfully work this strategy with our customers and it was the impetus for my Excel BI Tips blog post series. I SQL Server Analysis Services 2012 Cube Development Cookbookalso had the privilege to coauthor a book that is just being released: SQL Server Analysis Services 2012 Cube Development Cookbook by Packt Publishing. This the third book I have worked on and it has been a while since was last published so this was a good experience for me. I still don’t know if I would take an entire project on, but maybe someday.

This year wraps up with me becoming a virtual TSP with Microsoft to further support their efforts with SQL Server and Business Intelligence in the marketplace.

One other thing that has been interesting for me is that with the release of Power Pivot and SQL Server Analysis Services Tabular Model, I am seeing a huge shift in how I work with and sell BI. I have always worked with cubes, but now I see the in-memory space as a more compelling and leading edge solution that will continue to change what my career will look like. While I had a lot of fun being a cube and MDX wizard, the ability to deliver results to business users in a timely fashion with great visualizations is actually more fun. The more things change …

Happy New Year!

I hope you and your family had much to look back and celebrate this year. I thank God for the blessings of a great company to work for and an awesome family to be with.

#meme15: Reasons I Like My Job

meme15new

When Jason ( B | T ) posted this assignment, I thought it would be a fun topic to write on.  Before I get into my reasons, some history is in order.  I will have been employed at Magenic ( T ) for over 8 years.  My employment has not been contiguous, as I left for about 4 1/2 years.  In my first stint at Magenic, I came into consulting with no idea what I was getting into.  When I left, 5 1/2 years later, I was doing a lot of travel while leaving my wife with 4 kids under 10 at home.  My reason for leaving Magenic was to be closer to home with less travel.  Now, on to the topic because the reasons I like my job and the reasons I returned are very similar.

Reason #1:  My wife likes where I work

When I mentioned to my wife that I was ready to go back into consulting, she noted that going back to Magenic would be good for me and for the family.  As it turns out, Magenic provided me with a supportive and fulfilling environment which meant a better home life.  Furthermore, she likes how they treat our family as if they matter as well.

Reason #2:  This too shall pass …

I work in consulting.  I really like the freshness of each contract and the knowledge that no matter how bad it looks, it will pass as well.  Keeps the work new and exciting without the burden of working on the same thing for years.  (FYI – did that for 4 1/2 years.  I like consulting better.)

Reason #3:  I get paid.

I don’t do the job for free and I still get a paycheck.  Given the economy of the day, this is a valid reason for liking my job.

Reason #4:  Blah, blah, blah

One of the reasons I came back to Magenic is the fact that they enabled me to find more speaking engagements.  While blogging for me at times can be a chore, speaking at user groups, SQL Saturdays, conferences and other events is fun.  It is one of the things I really love about my job.  This year I will likely get over ten speaking engagements in with over 12 sessions delivered on various SQL Server and BI topics.  Yes, this is fun.

Reason #5:  Coworkers and peers

My final reason is my coworkers and peers.  I get to work with a lot of smart, fun, and driven people.  It is refreshing to go to work and see how each and everyone is finding ways to push the envelope.  Not only that, many I am able to count as friends who I would keep in contact with whether or not we worked at the same place.

I am really pleased with where I work and enjoy what I am doing and who I work with.  I can only hope that I can help improve it for those around me.  What I found interesting about this meme is that it did not prompt a “career” response.  My job enables me to pursue my career, which is awesome.  I could do this elsewhere, but why?