My Book Contributions

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Published on: November 30, 2018

It’s a Wonderful Life

One of the really super cool things about the SQL community is the frequent opportunity one could have to get involved.

One of my favorite methods of getting involved is the varied ways to participate on a book project. To be involved in a book project does not require that one be an author. One can be a contributor, technical editor, technical consultant, author, or even provide technical reviews after the book is ready for publication.

Each method does come with some sort of invite from either the principle author or the publisher.

I have had a number of various opportunities to be involved with a book. As one ages, it becomes a little more difficult to remember all of the contributions so I just wanted to bring it all together in a single place to help me remember.

Author

SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes. This book came out in 2012 and I had a few people helping me with this first book. I enjoyed this experience even with the difficulties of learning the whole publication process and just getting through the massive job that it was.

DBA Jumpstart.  This was a community effort headed up by John Sansom in 2013. You can check out my contribution here.

SQL Server T-SQL Recipes. This book was released for SQL Server 2014 in 2015. Yeah it came a little late and that is because we had a bit of a late start. This was a follow up edition of the recipes book, only this time with a much smaller bunch of authors.

Consultant

Healthy SQL. This book was released in 2015. I helped Robert get it started and helped him get it across the finish line. This kind of effort included discussions about topics, scripts, and technical edits. If not for time, I was supposed to do a chapter or two and just got too busy to help as an author.

Technical Editor

SQL Server 2012 Data Integration Recipes.  I came fresh off the writing of the T-SQL recipes book in 2012 to immediately plunge into tech editing this book. Tech editor is a pretty good way to get involved because you are immersed in the publication process and you get to validate the content before printing.

Contributor

This is kind of a weird category. Each of the books here has a section from me. So in a sense it is kind of like a small author contribution.

Data Professionals at Work. This book was released in 2018 and is a compilation from several Microsoft MVPs about their personal experiences. I wrote a review about the book here.

How to be an MVP in Life. This book was also published in 2018. This book is another group of MVPs from tech and sport discussing various qualities of an MVP. You can read more of what I said about the book here.

Technical Reviewer

This type of participation comes after publication when a publisher asks for your assistance with a technical review.

SQL Server Transaction Log Management. This book came out in 2013 and was a project by a close friend – Gail Shaw. I do recommend this book to anybody who is working on SQL Server. You can read my review here.

Defensive Database Programming. My first experience with publishers and books came back in 2010 when I was asked to review this book. There are ten articles in the series – starting with chapter 10 here.

Data Professionals at Work Book

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Published on: November 29, 2018

Working as a Data Professional

An old friend Malathi Mahadevan (b | t) asked me one day if I would be interested in helping with her first book project. Anybody who has participated in the writing of a book knows this can be a rather daunting task – no matter the level of participation. Certainly, the principal author on a book has the grunt of the work, but there is plenty of work to be done for all.

I must say, I gladly accepted the opportunity. Firstly, this was a friend asking. Secondly, I liked the topic and method Mala had chosen. Lastly, I sometimes enjoy a little challenge. Ok, I probably enjoy challenges a little more than the average Joe.

Wowzas

Mala was able to gather quite a stunning group of people together to bring this book to reality. Check out this list (hyperlinks take you to the individuals chapter at Safari): Mindy Curnutt, Julie Smith, Kenneth Fisher, Andy Leonard, Jes Borland, Kevin Feasel, Ginger Grant, Vicky Harp, Kendra Little, Jason Brimhall, Tim Costello, Andy Mallon, Steph Locke, Jonathan Stewart, Joseph Sack, John Q. Martin, John Morehouse, Kathi Kellenberger, Argenis Fernandez, Kirsten Benzel, Tracy Boggiano, Dave Walden, Matt Gordon, Jimmy May, Drew Furgiuele, Marlon Ribunal, Kevin Kline and Joseph Fleming.

Kevin Kline out of that bunch contributed the foreword. If you follow the links, you will notice that the authors appear in order of their chapters.

All of these authors came together to share experiences and insights into the world of a data professional. None of the stories are the same. None of the experiences are the same (not on the micro level anyway). That said, all of the stories do bring the reader an opportunity to learn from the people that have been there and experienced some cool stuff in their careers.

Not only will you encounter some interesting stories, but I believe you will also encounter some interesting insight into some of the contributors. Each person unravels a little bit of their own unique personality while trying to share their passion and love for this field we all excel at (at least sometimes).

If you read closely enough, you might even find a steamy romance hidden between the covers of the book. Then again, maybe that can only be found on a Little blog.

Oh, did you know you can also reach each of the authors on twitter? Check out this list here! Missing from the list is Kevin Kline, but you can find him on twitter here.

 

Go Get the Book!

With so much great stuff to learn from so many awesome people, you must be asking where you can find the book?

That’s easy! Head on over to Amazon and snag the book (in ebook or paper formats) now! Even with sooo many people contributing to this book, it is a rather short read, coming in at just under 400 pages. It’s also lightweight enough, it could be easily carried around during the lunch break or to and from work.

 

How to be an MVP Book

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Published on: November 28, 2018

How to be an MVP in LIFE

One of the fun things about being involved in the community is the opportunity to meet new people. Sometimes, meeting new people leads to new opportunities. Most of the time, those meetings turn into friendships of varying degrees.

One person I met at an event is David Lundell (b | t). We had an opportunity to sit down and get to know each other just a little bit. Then we ran into each other at a few more events – funny how that happens. We have a lot in common such as our mindset toward community and being involved in many different ways (coaching sports, scouting, speakings, writing, tech, MVP etc).

After meeting David, I had the opportunity to participate in one of his projects. David was looking to write a book about the MVP mindset and character. Well, the book is now finished! You can find this book on Amazon – here!

David put a lot of work and effort into this book. Not only does he interview Microsoft MVPs, but there is also an interview with the 2016 World Series MVP Ben Zobrist. He strives, in this book, to illustrate the MVP character and how that character is something that helps to build up a team. An MVP may receive a lot of recognition, but usually that recognition also includes higher achievement for the team and more recognition for the team overall.

This book will help you learn how to elevate yourself and your team as you uncover some of the traits related to those MVPs in life, sports, or even work. This book is not just about how to be an MVP for Microsoft, but rather how to elevate yourself or your team to a higher standard in life. Check it out and bring a whole new attitude to how you balance your life and efforts.

Just for techies right?

While the book is predominantly comprised of experiences and interviews from Microsoft MVPs, don’t be fooled into thinking this is a tech book or that it is just for the IT crowd. This book also contains stories and interviews from sports MVPs as well.

Combining the geek crowd and the sports crowd into one book that can relate to all is quite a feat. Those two groups are at pretty disparate ends of the spectrum if you recall your school days at all.

When it comes to characteristics of an MVP, the two groups (geek and jock) are no longer at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Rather, they are very similar in nature which makes this such a great tool to help relate to many teams of different types. Business leaders, youth leaders, coaches, and the it crowd can all benefit from reading this book. The book is just under 200 pages and is available in e-book format on Amazon right now!

HealthySQL – A Review

How well do you know the health of your SQL Servers and databases? Ever wonder about the current health or even what the health was like a few months back? Sure, one could anecdotally say the databases and servers are healthy, but how do you quantify it?

Many have asked or pondered what to do to quantify a healthy SQL server. How do you get the hard numbers to show whether the server is or is not healthy? How do you get the numbers to show that the server is performing just as well or better than it did three months ago?

dbhealth_maintNow we have a way to answer those questions and more! Robert Pearl has finally published his book on Healthy SQL. In the book, Robert takes you on a journey from mapping out a plan, to capturing data, storing that data, and then how to report on that data. You will learn what to capture and what some of the various things actually mean (e.g. waits and indexes).

Throughout the book, you will see that Robert will introduce you to various tools. These tools can either be native to SQL Server or they could be third party tools. You will get a healthyDBgood primer on what the tool is and how to quickly use it as you become acquainted with the internals and the Health of your database and server.

As you progress through the book and learn about what makes a database healthy, you will encounter a chapter on how to store the data and make a repository to track your database health. You will want to create a repository so you can progress into the sections on reporting about your database health. Who doesn’t want to market to management how healthy the databases are?

With the tools in this book, and the repository you will create, audits and discussions will become much easier. You will be able to implement processes to help make you more aware of the environment and help keep you from getting that annoying page in the middle of the night.

Take a look at the book and enjoy.  You can get it from Amazon here.

If you are a young DBA, new to being a DBA, an accidental DBA, or just any DBA looking for a little extra help in figuring out how to check and track the health of your server, it is worth reading this book.

Top 10 Recommended Books…

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Published on: July 29, 2014

So the title says it all, right?  Well, only really partially.

Recently an article was published listing the top 10 most recommended books for SQL Server.  That’s the part the title doesn’t say.  It is really important to understand that we are talking about the top 10 recommended books for SQL Server.

The beauty of the top 10 list is that I have a book on that list.  It caught me by surprise.  That is very cool.

If you are interested in finding a book, I recommend naturally that you check out my book.  But just as importantly have a look at the list.  This was a list that was published independently by SQL Magazine.  On the list you will find books by people like Kalen Delaney, Itzik Ben-Gan, and Grant Fritchey.

2012_Recipes

Check out the original list, here!

Where in the World is…

Categories: Corner, News, Professional, SSC
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Comments: 4 Comments
Published on: July 18, 2012

You may or may not have noticed that over the past several months I have been somewhat absent from my blog.  Very few articles if any have been produced.  There has been a very good reason for that.

It all started back in November of 2011.  Slowly over time, the ball started gaining momentum.  In about March, the momentum was such that I needed to start cutting back in a lot of other things (like my blog or community activity) sadly.

This project was big with deadlines that just kept approaching faster and faster.  More time needed to be given to the project so we could try and hit our goal.  Well, I have more time these days as the deadlines have all been pretty much hit.  Goal is nearly achieved and it is pretty cool.  It feels good to have accomplished this and now there are some new goals.

I didn’t make this journey by myself.  There were a few other people very involved in the entire project.  One is a good friend Wayne Sheffield.  The other is an employee of Microsoft – Andy Roberts.  Yet another is a civil servant and MVP – David Dye.  The last of the group was our editor Jonathan Gennick.

What?  Did I say editor?  Yes I did.  We wrote a book together.  The book is available for pre-order now and is due to be published on August 22nd of 2012.

This was a lot of hard work and late nights.  I think it was well worth it to this point.  And I really want to get on to another book project soon.

I do have to give thanks to the team, the editor, and to Joe Sack (Twitter) for allowing us to take this version of the book and run with it.  Joe provided great input and helped on the technical review.

There are plenty of good books coming out in the next few months (this being one of them of course).  I urge you to take a look at them.

Grant Fritchey SQL 2012 Query Performance Tuning 

Grant Fritchey, Gail Shaw, Chris Shaw, Tjay Belt, et al Pro SQL Server 2012 Practices

Itzik Ben Gan Microsoft SQL Server 2012 TSQL Fundamentals

That is just a list of a few of the books out there or that will be out there soon.

Freedom

Categories: Book Reviews, News, SSC
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Published on: February 7, 2012

Not too long ago, I blogged about a Book called Daemon.  Freedom is the sequel to Daemon.

I enjoyed reading this book.  The story continues from Daemon, but in a largely different direction.  I like the direction the book took, for the most part.  I was hoping that there would be more tech talk and not so much of the sci-fi tek.  I liked the sci-fi tek, I just thought it would have been more down to earth to keep it closer to reality.

Daemon was scarily real.  The exploits were real, the danger seemed real.  In Freedom, I felt it made a big reach.  When looking at both books together though, it seems like a natural progression.

I like the plot.  The story culminates with a confrontation at a compound in Texas.  I really thought that the confrontation was a huge let-down.  I really expected more conflict at that point.  Everything was mounting to that, but the ultimate goal was to demonstrate that the group of people from the darknet still could think for themselves.

In the end, it was a good story.  I would like to have some of the technology.  I must also admit that Freedom was harder to put down than Daemon for me.  I found myself rooting in favor of the Daemon.  I started rooting for the Daemon at the end of the first book.

Daemon

Categories: Book Reviews, News, SSC
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Published on: January 4, 2012

At the recommendation of Jorge Segarra (Blog | Twitter),  I got the book Daemon.  Well, I actually got that about a year ago as a gift – but it was on my list of books to read because Jorge recommended it.

I have finally finished reading it and will be starting Freedom very shortly.  I am glad I bought Freedom prior to finishing Daemon since the ending leaves to many open story lines.  I really hate to finish a book on a cliff hanger and then have to wait for the next book.

While reading the book, you sit there and wonder if your servers are patched.  You also wonder if the network has been properly secured against intrusion.  But in the end, you accept that it doesn’t matter how secure the network is because the most successful way to hack a network is via social engineering.

Reading the book from an IT perspective, you understand that much of it is plausible.  You also find yourself slobbering over some of the tech that is described.  I really want some of those security systems, at least two AutoM8s, and an omnipresence stereo system (for lack of a better term).  A Razorback would be interesting to own too. 😉

I really enjoyed the book.  There was plenty of talk of databases, data security, and data breaches.  There was also a nice mix of espionage, treason, and mystery.  The plot seems to continue to twist and turn – which kept me involved.  At many points, you are also greeted with cold hard reality with some of the decisions that must be made and with regards to how politics work.

Go get this book and read it.  I’m off to read Freedom now.  I find myself expecting a myriad of possible conclusions while hoping for a better conclusion.

SQL Deep Dives 2 on the Kindle

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Published on: November 23, 2011

Since Deep Dives 2 came out, I had been putting off getting my copy of the e-book until I wanted the book for travel purposes.  I decided I really needed to have it loaded on the kindle and quickly started running into a few roadblocks.

First roadblock was easy to overcome.  That required an email to Manning to get the beta link for the ebooks.  If you purchased through Manning, I’d recommend checking the beta site for any e-book purchases.

The second roadblock was determining which file to use on the kindle.  E-book formats are .mobi, .pdf and another that escapes me right now.  I didn’t see one for kindle.  In my journeys though I learned that mobi is essentially the same format as the azw format used by Amazon for the Kindle.  That is very good to know.

The next roadblock was how to get the file onto the kindle.  Getting it into my PC Kindle was pretty easy.  Find the \Documents\My Kindle Content folder in your user profile directory.  Then copy the mobi file to that directory.  But despite that, syncing did not put that book onto the rest of my kindle apps.  I soon found two ways of getting that done.

The first method for getting those mobi files onto the kindle was to plug my kindle into the usb port and copy the mobi file onto it.  Still, it didn’t sync to the rest of my devices.  Flip side is that it was pretty fast.

The second method for getting those mobi files onto the kindles is to email your kindle email account.  Amazon will eventually make those files available for you.  This will make it so you can sync all of your kindle devices with the same files.  The drawback is that it is considerably slower.

The same process can be done for any of those SQL books you have that you want to port around with you.  Now, the book is updated on several devices for me (laptop, phones, kindle) and I can reference it much faster than lugging the book around everywhere I go.

Try it and enjoy!

Throne of Fire

Categories: Book Reviews, News, SSC
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Published on: November 22, 2011

Finally, I have completed another book.  I took the opportunity while traveling to catch up on some reading.  Better yet, I was able to do this while testing out my Kindle.

The book I just finished is “Throne of Fire” by Rick Riordan.  This is the second book in the Kane Chronicles series and is very similar to the popular series about Percy Jackson (by the same author).

Sadly, some of my dislikes about the Percy Jackson books are present in this series as well.  I can get past some of that because the story is good (grammar and spelling mistakes throughout).

The two Kanes (Carter and Sadie) embark in this book to awaken the sleeping crazy Zeus.   The meet new friends and new challenges.  There are bumps and twists throughout the book.  And the one thing that kinda bugs me is that the climax is at the end of the book – creating a cliffhanger.  Now I am stuck waiting for the next book to be published – arghhh.

I liked the story.  I thought it was entertaining.  I would certainly let me children read the book.  It is a nice adventure and a good escape from the daily stresses.

Check it out sometime.

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