03 June 2010

What's New #1

Instead of Introduction

    May is gone and it was quite a stressful month because given the fact that I had to start with a new job, a new position I will have to grow in, I had also to find a new apartment, move, install myself, so I barely had time for my blogs, the little time I had spending it reading stuff related to the new requirements, trying to improve my German, etc. Even so, I found a few interesting resources, adding them to the pile of other interesting links I collected over time. So, I realized that maybe it makes sense to group some of them in a set of postings under the title “What's New (In My World)”, hopefully they will be of interest for other people too.

Free Universities and Resources for SQL Developers & Co.

    I was kind of positively surprised to discover that several known authorities in their fields opened their own online Universities for the masses, a new free formal form of study on the web that takes advantage of the latest trends in online learning – webcasts, PowerPoint presentations, blogging posts, online communities, new technologies and applications, etc. The most unexpected appearance is the SQL University having as faculty known professionals and bloggers like Jorge Segarra, Adam Machanic, Pinal Dave or Kendal Van Dyke, to mention only the ones whose blogs I previously known, but also others not less important professionals. The posts cover topics like SSIS, PowerShell, parallelism, database administration, etc. and I find them quite a useful resource of knowledge not only for beginners but also for experienced professionals.

   Early this year I discovered the BeyeUniversity that currently offers a series of 5 free certificate programs for BeyeNetwork members, covering Business Intelligence related topics, the online video courses having an easy to follow format, the content being approachable also by non-professionals. Between the instructors could be recognized Bill Inmon, one of the pioneers in data warehousing, leading the course on Unstructured Data and being also a columnist in BeyeNetwork newsletters, several others webcasts with him being also available. Ralph Kimball, the other important personality in the area of data warehousing has opened the Kimball University and even if its courses are not free, on his website could be found a big collection of articles reflecting the ideas of his school of thought. 

   The MIT OpenCoureWare initiative is quite old, though maybe not so many people know that there are made available also courses on Database related topics, for example Database Systems, Database, Internet, and Systems Integration Technologies or Data Mining, the lecture notes and study materials offering a high level overview of the concepts related to the mentioned subjects. Some of the other courses offer also video or audio content, though more such resources could be found on YouTube EDU, Academic Earth, Lecturefox or similar resources, being covered a growing range of database related topics. Similar such resources could be found also with a simple search using the favorite search engine, many Universities have made available online, voluntarily or involuntarily their text, video or audio lecture notes.

Microsoft News

    With SQL Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio 2010 and MS Office 2010 Microsoft closes a new cycle of releases, the products reflecting Microsoft’s philosophy and the degree to which the company made it to hold their promises. It will be interesting to see how the products will be regarded by professionals and press, how they fit in the general technology trends, how they could be used together in order to provide highly scalable and available solutions. I really hope that Microsoft have made some important steps in bridging the gaps existing in their tools integration on 64 bit version, and that the new added functionality makes a difference.

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